Flashy Detective Work


Anyone who has ever visited a major art fair knows that the conditions under which the works are presented have a very strong impact on their interpretation. This includes not only the architectural site selected for reincarnation as an art mall, but also the lifestyle associated with fairs: namely, late nights. It is fitting, then, that the narrator of YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES' newest Flash-based text art piece would be an insomniac. You see, the piece was commissioned by the Tate and its launch coincided with the launch of this month's Frieze Contemporary Art Fair, also in London. 'The Art of Sleep' is the newest web-based work by this Korea-based artist duo whose use of film noir plot conventions extends to jazzy soundtracks and fonts reminiscent of the detective's typewriter. Even the narrator's commentary is textbook noir, in its hazy recollections and foggy declarations about the nature of 'the international contemporary art market from the artists' perspective.' The animation is just over eighteen minutes long and, by the end, the reader becomes the ultimate detective, piecing together an interpretation based on discreet, if humorous, bits of evidence. - Elizabeth Johnston