In Andrew Yang’s (American, b. 1973) first solo museum exhibition, the artist and trained biologist contemplates our relation to the Milky Way, to which the majority of people have no basic visual access. Yang attempts to close this distance in a work that explores our shared elemental equivalencies; as inherent parts of the Milky Way galaxy, our corporeal bodies are, in a very real sense, celestial bodies.
“The total of stars in the universe is larger than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of planet earth.” So claimed Carl Sagan. In fact, astronomers estimated in 2003 that for every grain of sand on earth’s beaches and deserts there exist ten times as many stars above. Yang takes Sagan’s pronouncement to heart in a scale model of the Milky Way in which one grain of sand represents one star; the estimated 100 billion stars are approximated by more than seven tons of sand. The work is accompanied by low level, white noise, which contains traces of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)—a residual signal of the origination of the universe. Modeled after the vastness of the galaxy, the installation provides an immersive and contemplative experience that brings viewers to the shore of the cosmic ocean.
The exhibition is organized by Joey Orr, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The exhibition is presented in the Dr. Paul and Dorie Sternberg Family Gallery and Ed and Jackie Rabin Gallery on the museum’s third floor.