Carey Young (London): Law as an Artistic Subject and Medium

'Palais de Justice’, Carey Young, 2017. HD video installation with quadraphonic sound, 17 min 58 secsSince 2003, visual artist Carey Young has developed a number of artworks that are also functional legal instruments, and which have conceptualised and explored law as an artistic medium. Young collaborates with legal advisors to make artworks in installation, video, performance, print, sculpture and photography which also operate as bespoke legal instruments, and which have been exhibited internationally. These works have embodied such diverse forms as contracts, disclaimers, offers, licenses, cautionary statements and a will, and addressed disparate legal fields including human rights, inheritance law, intellectual property and law relating to outer space. Experimenting with ideas of time, space and physicality in relation to law, Young’s body of artistic work explores law as a separate kind of ‘reality’, one with its own inherent subjectivities and points of breakdown.

In related projects, she has also created a number of artworks in video and photography which explore courthouse architecture and the female judiciary in relation to performance and ideas of framing and being framed. Through an illustrated lecture, Young will discuss several of these projects and their implications and context as works of art and ‘works of law’. As such, she will consider some ways in which visual art can address, expand and confound the growing discussions around an aesthetics of law, whilst also posing broader questions around the relations between power, performance, gender, representation, site and fiction.

Carey Young’s work has been exhibited at many significant museums and galleries including Tate Britain, Centre Pompidou (Paris, Brussels), Dallas Museum of Art, the New Museum (New York), MoMA PS1 (New York) and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis). Her work is in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Arts Council England and the Tate Gallery, amongst others. An Associate Professor in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, she is also Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Law at Birkbeck, University of London and Creative Arts Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Oxford. A monograph on her work, Subject to Contract, was published by JRP| Ringier in 2013. She is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.