An Te Liu
19 September - 05 October 2008
AN TE LIU
19th September – 5th October 2008, Studio 3
OPENING: Thursday, 18th September 2008, from 7 pm
AN TE LIU´s space-consuming sculptures and installations often consist of standard commercial electrical devices to filter and moisten the air. Piled up beside and on top of each other in the exhibition space, with their straightforward design, air vents and slats, and the cool white and grey colours of their cases, they resemble the model constructions of architectonic Modernism – functional housing blocks and building complexes that could originate from urbanist planners following the theories of “Neues Bauen”. In his spectacular, exemplary design for the “Ville Radieuse”, this movement’s prominent representative Le Corbusier realised the notion of better-quality housing by means of functional forms, open to more light and air, and so better atmospheric hygiene.
When - in his work Airborne (2000) - An Te Liu actually completely exchanged and filtered the air of the gallery space in the shortest possible time using a number of functioning air filters and ionisers, and actually caused air pollution as a consequence of this massive use of electricity, his sculpture developed into a critical comment on those increased efforts for atmospheric hygiene that have become almost manic in many places.
Liu makes use of the formal repertoire of historical Modernism, and references to this in his works merge into fictive scenarios of the future when a collection of air filters and ionisers in Cloud (2008), for example, are mounted on a panel floating in space so that they suggest a futuristic space city or an armada of space-ships that has been launched to defend the galaxy against an attack of killer microbes.
Liu’s new Berlin work Matter (2008) also investigates the conceptual worlds of cleanliness and dirt. This time, the particles of dirt or dust in the air around us become the focal point of a filmic installation that resembles a scientific experimental set-up: a small part of the darkened exhibition space is brightly illuminated and filmed by a camera, which then transmits images of the particles floating in the air onto two large projection surfaces. But the recordings, split into individual images, are projected with different timing – one simultaneous, the other at half speed – so that a growing discrepancy develops between the projections during the course of the exhibition, but also between what is filmed and one transmission. The fact that the camera is a model used for surveillance suggests that an invisible ‘danger’ lies in wait in the corners of the room – by this means, An Te Liu’s work enters the complex field of tense relations between belief and insight.
AN TE LIU *1967 in Taiwan, lives and works in Toronto. He studied art history at Victoria College, University of Toronto, and architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles. Exhibitions include: Style and Epoch, MKG 127, Toronto (2008); 11th Biennial of Architecture Venice (2008); 136 and Counting, SFMOMA, San Francisco (2008); Figuration in Contemporary Design, The Art Institute of Chicago (2008); Pattern Theory, MKG 127, Toronto (2007); Modelle für Morgen: Köln, European Kunsthalle, Cologne (2007); S t re e t, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2006).