The world according to Generalized Axiom of Revealed Preference
Cindy Ji Hye Kim, HaeAhn Kwon, Jeremy Laing, Walter Scott, Ambera Wellmann
November 3 - 24, 2018

Press Release

The Generalized Axiom of Revealed Preference (GARP) is an economic equation that attempts to analyze individuals’ purchasing choices to understand the influence of policy decisions on consumer behaviour. Revealed preference theory tries to understand the preferences of a consumer among bundles of goods, within general budget constraints. For instance, if a consumer buys bundle of goods A over bundle of goods B, where both bundles are equally affordable, it is revealed that they then directly prefer A over B. As a concrete example, if a person chooses 2 apples/3 bananas over an affordable alternative 3 apples/2 bananas, then it can be said that the first bundle is revealed preferred to the second. It is assumed that this preference remains fixed, and that the consumer will only shift their purchasing habits to the second bundle if the first becomes unaffordable.

Revealed preference theory attempts to provide predictable data to lobbyists and policy makers so that incentives, subsidies, and tariffs might be put in place to generally sway consumer behaviour, but how might one think material preferences outside of this formula?  How do we attempt to explain why someone might prefer a banana to an apple in the first place? The exhibition proposes that materials, objects, and things might be capable of expressing their own seductive agency and that the preference of a subject for one object above another emerges through this encounter. The works and artists included have practices where, at times, the materials being worked with take the lead in decision making processes, revealing a complicity between artist and material.

Cindy Ji Hye Kim received a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013 and a M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Art in 2016. Her work has been featured in solo presentations at COOPER COLE, Toronto; YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Toronto; Interstate Projects, NY; and Helena Anrather, NY. Kim has shown in group exhibitions at Foxy Production, NY; DC Moore, NY; Thierry Goldberg Gallery, NY; and the Abrons Art Center, NY. Kim has been awarded residencies from The Banff Centre, Vermont Studio Center, Ox-Bow, Grin City Collective, and Salem Art Works. Kim Cindy Ji Hye Kim currently lives and works in Bronx, NY, USA.

HaeAhn Kwon mainly works in drawing, sculpture and installation. Her current research interest in strategies of the makeshift has led to a body of works that recombines and transforms everyday objects. Her assemblage and installations are informed by the vernacular architecture and object arrangements found in the urban environment of her native South Korea. Kwon's recent crude ink drawings depict women pissing near vehicles or in communal environments, which she describes in relation to urgency, shame, absurdity and jouissance. Kwon received her BFA from Cooper Union and has participated in exhibitions in Canada (Support, ESP), the US (The Hand, Michael Benevento) and South Korea (Samuso, Sempio Space, Okin Theater).

Jeremy Laing used to make clothes, and now makes other things with textiles and, more recently, with clay. His work has appeared at Art In General (New York), the Art Gallery of York University (Toronto), the Liverpool Biennial and MoMA (New York), and is in the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum, as well as private collections.

Walter Scott is an interdisciplinary artist whose work includes writing, video, performance and sculpture. Recent exhibitions include Betazoid in a Fog, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, SK; Big Toe, Giant Steps, Occidental Temporary, Paris; Ambivalent Pleasures: Vancouver Special, Vancouver Art Gallery; and Who Isn’t She? A Wendy Retrospective, Galerie UQO, Gatineau. In 2016, Scott was Artist-In-Residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Ambera Wellmann is a Canadian artist working in painting, assemblage, photography and video. Wellmann graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (2011) and earned her MFA from the University of Guelph, Ontario (2016). She is the recipient of the Joseph Plaskett award (2016) and the recipient of the RBC Canadian Painting Award (2017). Her works have been exhibited at the Power Plant, Toronto, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the National Gallery of Canada. She currently lives and works in Berlin.