"The further backward you look, the further forward you can see," Winston Churchill once said. Two generations later, Korean artist Lee Bull echoes this notion quite tangibly; Her current show includes a series of ultramodern sculptures that use the architecture of the past to understand the ever-updated landscapes of the future.
In the front room, Bul installed a series of lightboxes (some freestanding, others tiled horizontally on the floor) that sandwich bulky, gearlike forms between two reflective glass panes. Observing these cogs up close, viewers can make out reliefs of tiny, mercurial vistas of hill-nestled castles repeating ad infinitum. Despite their too-sleak packaging (the manicured frames, carefully placed spotlights and shiny veneers detract from the central infinity-mirror illusions), these dioramas remain intriguing, as they effectively articulate the idea of a world constantly reinventing itself.
The two largest sculptures occupy the back gallery. A colossal chandelier, made of metal chain and crystal drapes from the ceiling, its form imitating a construction by visionary Weimar architect Bruno Taut. The neighboring Bunker-M. Bakhtin is an onyx-colored cave: While one half looks like stone (favored by our most distant ancestors), the other resembles a space pod facade. Visitors can step inside and don headphones that hang from the ceiling. Through the headset, even the tiniest sound is amplified and echoed, driving home a central tenet of the show: Matter-be it a vision, a building material, a sound vibration or an architectural design-is never destroyed, but reprocessed to suit the moment at hand.. and the moment after that.-Emily Weiner