Shu Lea Cheang to represent Taiwan at Venice Biennale 2019

Shu Lea Cheang and Paul B. Preciado. Courtesy Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Taipei Fine Arts Museum has announced that Shu Lea Cheang will represent Taiwan at the 58th Venice Biennale. Cheang’s project, titled 3x3x6 (in reference to the new architectural model of industrial prisons: a nine metre cell monitored by six cameras), will be curated by Paul B. Preciado, and takes the form of a multimedia research project which will include images, installations and computer programming. Best known for her films, installations, performances and ‘interactive interfaces’, over the past three decades Cheang’s work has focused on the undoing of normative representations of gender, sexuality, and race. At the Taiwan Pavilion in Venice, which is located at the Palazzo delle Prigioni, a prison across from the Palazzo Ducale, Cheang’s 3x3x6 will be a site specific installation that reflects on technologies used to enforce confinement and control including those used within prisons as well as surveillance systems in contemporary society. Taking ten historical and contemporary case studies (including Giacomo Casanova, Michel Foucault, and Marquis de Sade) of imprisonment based on gender, sexual and racial nonconformity, Cheang will develop a series of videos that subvert those stereotypes.

In a statement, Cheang has said: ‘With this exhibition we explore the possible strategies for resistance against highly controlled societies, the self-affirming dignity against repression, and the variable versions of self-granted pursuits for (un)happiness.’ While Preciado has commented: ‘Cheang forces visitors to interrogate the distance between punishment and pleasure, surveillance and lust, between the system that is apparently watching us and we as actively participating and enjoying the act of surveillance. 3x3x6 explores the relationship between political punishment and sexual enjoyment, between modes of seeing and processes of subject production.’

27 November 2018