Acknowledgements / Lines of Handling

April 6, 2024 – May 20, 2024
Studio 8, Hyde Park Art Center 5020 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago, IL 60615

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

State VIII Project (2024-2027) is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition, Acknowledgements / Lines of Handling, which includes mixed-media projects by Wang Langgou and works on paper by McKinzie Trotta. This two-person presentation marks the debut of both artists in Chicago.

Wang Langgou and McKinzie Trotta strive to be clinically precise when conceiving, developing, and finalizing artworks, and they acknowledge a shared interest to embrace the visual but also simultaneously question it. Wang Langgou’s practice is grounded in his experience as a high-altitude tunnel engineer. Because of the uninhabitable landscape averaging 3,500 meters above sea level, Wang writes poems to address the lack of human traces and to investigate his position within and beyond nature. Spending all year but one week living in prefabricated mobile homes, Wang becomes drawn to the idea of traveling in terms of human movement and globalization. For instance, Wang Langgou publishes his first collection of poetry with funding from a Chinese uniform company, cementing the intellectual within the commercial, but the publication is only the beginning of a series of pre-calculated arrangements in China and the United States. Also, he edits and manipulates utilitarian objects, such as a clock designed in Sweden and made in Vietnam, scissoring the clock hands before plugging in the battery to allow for rotation. Wang raises the question: “How can art become intentionally formless and lyrical?”

In contrast to the ambition to launch the work into the world, as in Wang Langgou’s case, a drive to self-scrutinize informs McKinzie Trotta’s practice. Providing commentaries on and around binaries such as “man-made” and “god-given,” Trotta analyzes the ontological nature of things and what, on the other hand, could be considered interventions. She typically starts the planning of her drawings and prints with the placement of the signature, slowly working her way backward to determine composition. Moreover, she is adamant about the function of the empty space, claiming that visual elements preside over such void so different characters can intertwine. McKinzie Trotta is also interested in the role language plays: a sense of clarity undercuts the absurdity of her literal forms, and the words that punctuate the composition do not always exist in coordination with the titles. In a way, language reveals her interests, projected to provoke, but it also stays as language per se. When asked what the work is about, Trotta responds, “It is simply a ten-foot ladder.”

The opening reception will be held on April 6, 2024 from 2 to 4 pm. For reproduction requests, interviews with the artists, and general inquiries, please contact TPQ at +1-646-320-5932 or