Shuang Li at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia

This is the last week to see Shuang Li in the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia

Shuang Li was raised in rural south-eastern China, where she grew up on a diet of YouTube, MySpace, knockoff Nintendo consoles, pirated videogames, and dakou CDs, hole-punched disks imported to China from the West as surplus plastic but disseminated in the underground market throughout the 1990s.

Attuned from a young age to the innerworkings of technology as a dazzling agent of entertainment, she likewise has long been cognisant of its capacity to act as a profound vector of control over individuals in China’s new era of accelerated development and global Neoliberalism. Li’s interdisciplinary work underscores the friction between biopolitics and the body, digitised desire, and human intimacy. Like many Surrealists artists of the early 20th century, who frequently addressed the relationships between sexuality and commodity culture through the exploration of the human figure, Li suffuses digital spaces of consumerism with bodily eroticism. In Li’s 2021 work ÆTHER (Poor Objects) – a play on the word “ether” – she amalgamates disparate footage, including that of a solar eclipse with images brightened by ring lights, the lighting tool often used by social media influencers and vloggers. Forging an aesthetic and conceptual connection between these rings of light – one natural, one artificial, both uncanny – Li denotes the slippage between virtual experience and physical life.

Madeline Weisburg

Shuang LI in the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia
The Milk of Dreams / Il latte dei sogni
Curated by Cecilia Alemani
April 23 – November 27, 2022
Central Pavilion, Giardini

Shuang Li's (b. 1990 in Wuyi Mountains, CN) work studies various mediums that compose the contemporary digital landscape. Crucial to this practice is the interaction between the medium and its users as well as among the mediums themselves. These diverse forms of intimacy form a motif that runs through the artist’s practice, as she explores how various forms of technology bring us into contact, and how they form part of a neoliberal apparatus that regulates the body and desire.

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November 24, 2022