Always Stop Eating While You're Still a Little Hungry, 2020
Brass, auto-stereograms (Magic Eyes), 3D print, window decal, steel, wood
67.5L x 42.75W x 85H in (vault and theatre)
2086.5 x 5187 in (window decal)
Commissioned by Asia Society Hong Kong for the exhibition 'Next Act'
'Always Stop Eating While You're Still a Little Hungry' consists of a miniature model theatre perched on the lower balcony of Asia Society Hong Kong's Yasumoto Bridge in conversation with a large-scale installation visible across the ravine, on the exterior windows of the Jockey Club Hall. The installation features iconic gymnast Mary Lou Retton, who won all-around gold during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics for the United States.
Intricate patterns printed directly onto the brass miniature, which is based on the theatre in which US President Lincoln was assassinated, resonate with other aspects of American history. References abound to George Balanchine’s ballet 'Stars and Stripes,' performed during Nelson Rockefeller’s inauguration as Governor of New York State; small-town Fourth of July parades; balloons from US Republican and Democratic National Conventions; and marches at Colonial Williamsburg, an historic American town preserved by John D. “Junior” and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.
Visually disorienting, the patterns are in fact autostereograms, or magic eyes; they each contain a secret image. At once euphoric and hysteric, celebratory and unsettling, they allude to the underside of nationalist spectacle which, like autostereograms, can function as decoys. The theatre’s main, or “grand,” drape contain a mixture of evocative curtain styles such as “Empire” and “Victory.” On stage is a dinner table set with a glimmering Thanksgiving turkey. The work’s title is a phrase oft-repeated by John D. Rockefeller, who championed a life of abstention.