Isn't it lovely?
Stepping inside Isn’t it lovely?, Phoebe Wang asks the audience to leave the known territory and comfort of the white-walled gallery space to become immersed in an isolated environment. Here, sights and sounds of walls, carpets, speech and din create a faux-warmth that is at once invasive and curious. The listener then must subject themselves to the sounds that enter their ears.
The fragments of recorded memories that make up Isn’t it lovely? hover over meaning, never landing solidly. As the audio progresses, Wang prompts and engages in a series of conversations that attempt to ask, “why choose to keep going in a world that is not built for you?”
In Isn’t it lovely?, Wang constructs a refuge of sorts – yet the systems and histories she seeks to evade or emancipate herself from continue to be felt here, too.
“I got into installation art is because I was really excited by the idea of surrounding people with a world that they could enter into. And the reason I was excited about sound was that sound can also go inside of you. So as an installation artist, and also a sound artist, I can create a world around you and then also have sound go inside of you. And it's the most immersive experience possible in my mind. So that's really exciting for me.”
Special thanks to Mitchell Akiyama, Sholeh Asgary, Niki Boghossian, Julia Bosson, Henry Faber, Grace Finlayson, Sarah Geis, Sarah Hallacher, Anne Sofie Kluge Hedegaard, Monique Ligons, Michelle Macklem, Aliya Pabani, Heather Raquel Phillips, Jenelle Pifer, Bird Reynolds, Lydia Rosenberg, Robin Luckwaldt Ross, Jess Shane, Siel Timperman, Mitch Trachter, Andrew Verlander.
This work was supported in part by the Wassaic Artist Residency Program, and commissioned for Resonant Bodies by Constellations.