Unrequited Leisure / 507 Hagan St. Nashville, TN 37203 April 3, 2021 - May 31, 2021

Josephine Lee

Unrequited Leisure is excited to announce Josephine Lee’s solo exhibition, Practice until you feel the language inside you, curated by Tanya Gayer. 

If you had to define your idea of home in one  sentence, could you do it? Could you communicate how you belong and feel whole in this place as efficiently as possible? 

Informed by a lifetime of movement throughout the United States, Canada, and South Korea, Josephine Lee’s sculptures, installations, and performances investigate the psychic impact of cultural assimilation and naturalization through migration. Framing her research on the constructs of home, Lee examines how notions of place are entangled within politics of citizenship and national identity. Within this context, Lee implicates her materials, objects, and gestures in narratives of race and nationalism as an antecedent to a deeper examination of the inadequacies of representation, the complications of overlapping histories, and the complexity of unfolding spaces of home and belonging. Lee currently resides within the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwə yə̓ m (Musqueam),  Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and  Sə̓lílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.  

Our guest curator, Tanya Gayer examines  history-making processes embedded in  archives, databases, governmental assimilation efforts, and algorithmic categorizations. She studies the records and  stories involved with these entities to realize  the impact they have in forming identity and  culture.  

For Gayer, Lee’s work utilizes the tools of  futility and humor to challenge the rules in  which connection to environment, culture, and  citizenship are established and known. For this  exhibition, Gayer has selected Lee’s video, I  think I Canada I know I Canada, a performance  that Lee says, “underscores the disjointed and  oftentimes grammatically incorrect English of  immigrant peoples and the fallacy of the title  phrase in relation to identity and individuality.”