Perrotin’s new major exhibition sees the San Francisco artist completely take over the space, covering the main auditorium and two further exhibition rooms, as well as the corridor linking them all, with a selection of new works, ephemera, and archival materials. Absolutely nothing has any description: we have no idea what anything is called; when anything was made; who any of the photographed or illustrated figures are; or whether the artist bought the item or made it himself.
The main auditorium welcomes you with McGee’s signature “boil” installation, with hundreds of framed works bulging out from the gallery wall in a display of colourful absurdity and abundance. Elsewhere, he has created signs for the non-existent “Hong Kong Contemporary Art Centre”, one of which has the pun subheading: “HONG KONG CONTEMPT”. There’s also an advert for Perrotin itself: McGee does not distinguish between fantasy and reality.
This preoccupation with creating fake history crosses over into his invented persona of Lydia Fong, and this name can be spotted cropping up in pieces all over the exhibition, including a small plate that looks like it has been stolen from a nearby budget café, but is in fact the artist’s own elaborate creation.
This is the first time McGee has exhibited in the region, where part of his heritage lies, which he has put to good use in terms of some Hong Kong-specific new works. The more you stare at McGee’s seemingly random piles of stuff, the more you find extraordinary and infuriating mysteries.
Running 10 Oct – 9 Nov 2019 at Perrotin, 17/F, 50 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong.