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Via Negativa II

Lee Bul2014 © Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London

Manege Central Exhibition Hall

Manege Central Exhibition Hall
Saint Petersburg, Russia

One of Lee Bul’s first architectural installations, Via Negativa II (2014) is an enclosed, mirrored structure illuminated by rows of bulbs, which invites viewers into a maze-like space. Inside the structure, the mirrored walls create countless fictional paths and endless reflections of the viewers themselves, leading them to experience confusion and disorientation. However, it also challenges viewers and impels them to keep moving to find a way out of the deceiving images. Via Negativa II offers different views of the self in and in relation to physical space. The structure’s exterior is also entirely covered with mirrors, on which pages from psychologist Julian Jaynes’ book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (1976) are printed plainly, yet in reverse. The text is thus not meant to be perused or fully understood, but only remotely hints at the artist’s theme for this work. Lee Bul has referred to the “glass architecture” of Paul Scheerbart and Bruno Taut’s utopian visions as an inspiration, but her take on glass architecture is not transparent but ambiguous, not futuristic but introspective.

Details

  • Title: Via Negativa II
  • Creator: Lee Bul
  • Date Created: 2014 © Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London
  • Location: Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London
  • Type: installation
  • Rights: Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London
  • Medium: Polycarbonate sheet, aluminum frame, acrylic and polycarbonate mirrors, stainless steel, mirror, two-way mirror, LED lighting, silkscreen ink

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