WAGE: Marcela Torres & Nayeon Yang

With David Nasca "Hot Seep" in the Milwaukee Ave. Window Gallery

Opening Friday, January 25th, 6-9 PM


Nayeon Yang and Marcela Torres

Through February 23rd

WAGE is a film set for a dystopian drama about a futuristic state of neoliberalism and its absurdist effect on the humanities and its practitioners. Or rather WAGE is an art exhibition where contemporary artists Yang and Torres have artwork in a gallery together. The protagonists, Yang and Torres, question if they are the protagonist and what is entailed in the position? They contemplate the art market, cyclical violent human history and their own role as disposable labor related to their non-white, female status. Yang and Torres seem to be stuck within the juxtaposition of making artwork about social change, yet operating within a hegemonic structure that eats up their effort and turns it into a cute trend.

Yang will present a series of immersive, yet occasionally hard to find installations that employ video, statistics about U.S labor politics, site-specific photo and objects that have been sites of routine unnecessary work. Yang asks, have you ever laughed so hard til you cried? Or cried so hard it became laughter?

Torres counters with a series of fraught text installations, sound objects based on martial arts training objects and performance documentation. These projects compare the psychological and emotional weight of contemporary poverty to mindsets during wartimes, to uncover the labor of survival. Projects center on inherent shadiem that creates these permanent war zones in U.S cities.

Here are a list of alternative titles for this film, exhibition, documentary, or Art 21 episode.

Unpaid Internship, MFA required

EBT Links is my patron

Minimal Wage

So cheap! It’s only for $7.25

24/7 Open

the game we play or the game we got played by

Priced Out

Yang and Torres work for money


Nayeon Yang is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago, IL. Yang has exhibited at different venues including Door and Room (Daejeon, S. Korea), The Birdsell Project (South Bend, IN), 849 Gallery at the Kentucky College of Art and Design (Louisville, KY), Art Museum at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), Roy G. Biv Gallery, Urban Arts Space (Columbus, OH), Bunker Projects (Pittsburgh, PA), Roots and Culture, Co-Prosperity Sphere, and Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery (Chicago, IL) and has a forthcoming solo show at Mythtake Museum (Gapeong, S. Korea). She received an MFA from the Ohio State University in 2016 and BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011, and is an artist resident at High Concept Labs in 2019, Birdsell Project in 2018 and 2015, ACRE in 2017, Wassaic Project in 2017, and others.

Marcela Torres is a social strategist, bringing into action performance, objects, workshops, and sound installation. Torres has performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago & Three Walls Gallery (Chicago, IL) Performances is Alive (Miami, FL), Fringe Festival (Detroit, MI), Itinerant Festival (NYC, NY), Virtual International Exchange (Boston, MA). Torres has exhibited work at the Flatlands Gallery (Houston TX), Fosdick Nelson Gallery at Alfred University, Green Gallery at Yale School of Art (New Haven, CT). Recent or upcoming performances and exhibition include BarTalk in De Hague, Netherlands and solo exhibition at Tropical Contemporary (Eugene, OR).