RUBBER FACTORY is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Catalina Ouyang.
Catalina Ouyang: fish mystery in the shift horizon
May 22 - June 22, 2019
Rubber Factory, NYC
"Shifting baseline syndrome" is a socio-ecological phenomenon in which scientists are unable to identify correctly a species’ "baseline" population size. Often, the only way to collect information for these studies is through oral transmission and local interviews, or by referring to literature and art from the past, as there is no "reliable," scientific written record or data. With fish mystery in the shift horizon, Ouyang draws connections between the shifting baselines of ecological systems – citing a study of now-extinct baiji and Chinese paddlefish in the middle-lower Yangtze River Basin – and the so-called "shifting baseline" of heritage, language, oral transmission, and ancestral knowledge in the diaspora.
"fish mystery" is a mistranslation of the name of Yu Xuanji, a Tang-dynasty poet, priestess, and courtesan executed for murder, whose language haunts the space. The work draws language from texts on shifting baseline syndrome, haunted landscapes, and ghostly, quantum discontinuities, as well as English "translations" of Cai Yan's poetry written in the spirit of Yu Xuanji, or Fish Mystery. The specters of extinction reanimate in the work as vengeful spirits. Mistranslation is metabolized as an act of rupture, casting an irreverent line through history, across continents, and across generations.
Catalina Ouyang has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Selena Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Make Room (Los Angeles, CA), Trestle Projects (Brooklyn, NY), PLUG Projects (Kansas City, MO), the Millitzer Gallery (St. Louis, MO) and fort gondo compound for the arts (St. Louis, MO). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Kravets Wehby Gallery (New York, NY), ART021 Fair (Shanghai, China), Helena Anrather (New York, NY), the Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), Anonymous Gallery (Mexico City, Mexico), fffriedrich (Frankfurt, Germany), like a little disaster (Polignano a Mare, Italy), projects+ gallery (St. Louis, MO), SPRING/Break Fair 2018 (New York, NY), Make Room (Los Angeles, CA), No Place (Columbus, OH), Rubber Factory (New York, NY), Gallery 400 (Chicago, IL), COOP Gallery (Nashville, TN) and Field Projects (New York, NY). She has attended residencies at the NARS Foundation (Brooklyn, NY), OBRAS (Evoramonte, Portugal), Atlantic Center for the Arts (New Smyrna Beach, FL), Mary Sky (Hancock, VT) and North Mountain (Shanghai, WV). Her writing has appeared in River Teeth, Cura Literary Magazine, the Blueshift Journal and Little Fiction, with two Pushcart Prize nominations. She is a 2019 MFA recipient in Sculpture from Yale University.