Carey Young

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Carey Young
Carey Young

1970 (age 49–50)
Lusaka, Zambia
EducationRoyal College of Art, London
Known forContemporary art

Carey Young (born 1970) is a visual artist whose work is inspired by multiple disciplines, including economics, law, politics, science and communication. These fields's tools act as material for her installations, text works and photographs, and for videos in which absurd relationships develop between the performer and the rhetoric of political, commercial and legal discourse. Young's work often develops from the professional cultures she explores. In her installations, she often dons attire appropriate to the business and legal worlds, and enacts scenarios examining and questioning each institution's power to shape society.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Lusaka in Zambia in 1970, Young grew up in Manchester, England and studied at Manchester Polytechnic, the University of Brighton and photography at the Royal College of Art in London. She has dual USA/UK citizenship and lives and works in London, UK.[1]

Exhibitions and themes[edit]

Young has exhibited her work at many galleries all over the world. Highlights include the ICA,[2] the Whitechapel Art Gallery,[3] the Hayward Gallery, Secession,[4] Kunstverein München,[5] Mass MOCA[6] and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.[7]

Young's work is included in the public collections of the Centre Pompidou,[8] Arts Council England,[9] Dallas Museum of Art,[10] and the Tate.[11] She is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

Young's projects often center on notions of language, training and performance, and take an ambiguous political stance to create a web of complex questions for the viewer. Since 2003, her work has shifted into an interest in legal language and systems of thought, with 'Disclaimer', an exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute[12] examining the legal disclaimer as a form of negative space. In 2005, she showed 'Consideration', a series of works exploring the connections between contract law and performance art at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York as part of the PERFORMA05 Biennial.[13] RoseLee Goldberg has described the works in this show as "dealing with the overwhelming power of the law."[14]

Her 2013 exhibition "Legal Fictions" at Migros Museum in Zurich was described by Mousse Magazine as featuring:

"law-based works [that] address the monolithic power of the legal system. The artist examines law as a conceptual and abstract space in which power, rights, and authority are played out through varying forms of performance and language. With the drafting assistance of legal advisers, her works often take the form of experimental but functional legal instruments such as contracts, and also employ media such as video, installation, and text."[15]

Her 2017 video 'Palais de Justice',[16] at Paula Cooper Gallery was described by critic Jeffrey Kastner as:

“quietly stunning … vividly proposes a juridical world as it might otherwise be, a form of the Law that may someday be possible.”[17]

Johanna Fateman, Artforum, described the work as:

"a transfixing (...) speculative fiction", a "tantalising (...) novel mockup of a postpatriarchal legal system."[18]

Selected solo exhibitions[edit]

2017 Palais de Justice, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York; The New Architecture, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas

2013 Legal Fictions, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; Let the World Speak for Itself, Le Quartier Centre d'Art Contemporain, Quimper

2010 Memento Park, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (and tour to Cornerhouse, Manchester and MiMA, Middlesbrough); Contracting Universe, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

2009 Carey Young: Uncertain Contracts, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; Speech Acts, Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis; Counter Offer, The Power Plant, Toronto

2008 Mutual Release, Thomas Dane, London

2007 If/Then, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York; Speechcraft, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (performance); Consideration, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis

2006 Image Transfer, Umea Art Academy, Umea, curated by Maria Lind

2005 Consideration, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (part of Performa05 Biennial); The Representative, solo presentation, IBID Projects booth, Zoo Art Fair, London; Disclaimer, IBID Projects, London Carey Young, Trafo Gallery, Budapest.

2004 Disclaimer, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds; Participant Observer, participative workshop on art and economics, IASPIS, Stockholm; Carey Young, Index, Stockholm; Viral Marketing, (The Revolution is Us! & Getting Things Done When You're Not in Charge), Kunstverein München

2003 Optimum Performance, A Short History of Performance - Part II, Whitechapel Gallery, London; Carey Young, IBID Projects, Vilnius; Viral Marketing, Kunstverein Munich;

2001 - 2002 Business as Usual, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, Angel Row, Nottingham; Firstsite, Colchester (curated and organised by Film & Video Umbrella)

2001 My Megastore, site-specific works at Virgin Megastore, London; Carey Young, Video Project Space, Wilkinson Gallery, London

2000 Nothing Ventured, fig-1, London (exh. cat.)

Other publications[edit]

Young's work has been included in several publications, such as the book Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom, Black Dog Publishing, London, UK, edited by Adler P. (2012), and a number of videos and audio recordings.[19]

Selected periodicals[edit]

  • Fateman, Johanna, "Carey Young at Paula Cooper", Artforum, Nov 2017
  • Farago, Jason, 'Palais de Justice', New York Times, 20 Sept 2017
  • Bryan- Wilson, Julia. 'Inside Job: Julia Bryan-Wilson on the art of Carey Young,' Artforum, Oct 2010
  • Bell, Natalie, 'Carey Young', Art Papers, March/April 2008
  • Schwabsky, Barry, "Carey Young", Artforum, Sept 2005
  • Smith, Roberta, "The Passions of the Good Citizen", The New York Times, 3 May 2002

Web articles[edit]

  • Kastner, Jeffrey, Garage magazine (Vice magazine), Oct 2017[20]
  • Bourbon, Matthew, 'Critic's Pick: Carey Young at Dallas Museum of Art',, Feb 2017[21]
  • Shore, Robert, and Young, Carey, 'Interview with Carey Young: “Friendly, Honest, Straightforward”: Meditations on Power', Elephant magazine, Feb 2017 [2]
  • Goldberg, RoseLee and Stallman, Nick, "Conversations..with RoseLee Goldberg', New York Foundation for the Arts, 2005[22]
  • Baker, R.C., 'The Road to Dystopia', Village Voice, 2007[23]


  • Buskirk, Martha; Gygax, Raphael; Young, Carey and Zolghadr, Tirdad, in 'Carey Young: Subject to Contract', JRP Ringier and Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich, London, 2013
  • Farquharson, Alex; Gillick, Liam and Young, Carey; Kelsey, John and Millar, Jeremy, in 'Carey Young, Incorporated', John Hansard Gallery and Film & Video Umbrella, London, 2002
  • Nochlin, Linda, in Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum, New York, 2007
  • Bourriaud, Nicolas, in Moscow Biennale 7 catalogue, Moscow, 2007
  • Hoffman, Jens in 'Institutional Critique and After', edited by John C. Welchman, JRP/Ringier, Zürich, 2006
  • Newman, Michael, in 'How to Improve the World', Hayward Gallery, London, 2006
  • Townsend, Chris, 'New Art from London', Thames and Hudson, London, 2006
  • Farquharson, Alex, Schlieker, Andrea, and Mahony, Emma in 'British Art Show 6', Hayward Gallery Publishing, London, 2005
  • Latour, Bruno and Weibel, Peter, 'Making Things Public', ZKM and the MIT Press, Karlsruhe & Cambridge, 2005
  • Hoffmann, Jens and Jonas, Joan, 'Art Works: Perform', Thames and Hudson, London, 2005
  • Kimbell, Lucy (ed), 'New Media Art: Practice and Content in the UK 1994–2004', Arts Council of England / Cornerhouse publications, London, 2004


  1. ^ Young, Carey. "Artist's official CV". Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Whitechapel Art Gallery, London". 20 December 2004. Archived from the original on 20 December 2004. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  4. ^ Archived 21 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Archived 2 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^
  12. ^ Archived 24 August 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Archived 7 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Archived 4 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Carey Young "Legal Fictions" at Migros Museum, Zurich". Carey Young "Legal Fictions" at Migros Museum, Zurich. Mousse Magazine. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Palais de Justice". Carey Young. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Carey Young "Palais de Justice" at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York". Carey Young "Palais de Justice" at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Vice Magazine. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Carey Young "Palais de Justice" at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York" (PDF). Artforum. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  19. ^ "The Slade School of Fine Arts: Ms Carey Young". The Slade School of Fine Art: Ms Carey Young. The Slade School of Fine Art. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  20. ^ Kastner, Jeffrey (28 September 2017). "Carey Young Fights the Law and Wins in Her Imposing New Video". Vice. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  21. ^ "Carey Young at Dallas Museum of Art". Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  22. ^ "NYFA Interactive - New York Foundation for the Arts". 4 March 2007. Archived from the original on 4 March 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  23. ^ "village voice > art > Best in Show: Carey Young's "If/Then," 'The Office,' and Jean Foos's 'The Other Me' by R.C. Baker". 23 December 2007. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2019.

External links[edit]