• Issue
  • May 01, 2022

Milan: Anicka Yi

Installation view of ANICKA YI’s Biologizing the Machine (spillover zoonotica), 2022, glass display cases, soil bacteria, cyanobacteria, and algae, dimensions variable, at “Metaspore,” Pirelli Hangar Biccocca, Milan, 2022. Photo by Agostino Osio. Courtesy the artist and Pirelli Hangar Biccocca.

“Metaspore” at Pirelli Hangar Bicocca was Italy’s first major exhibition dedicated to Korean-American artist Anicka Yi. Drawing from the cellular world—spores are self-reproductive cells that travel long distances—the show’s title underlined the transformative nature of Yi’s work and the spread of the artist’s ideas across the realms of art, science, and technology. Favoring the sense of smell over sight and using unconventional materials including microorganisms and bodily odors, Yi creates complex ecosystems that challenge anthropocentrism, highlight the interconnectedness between all living organisms, and comment on social injustices and prejudice.