59th Venice Biennale, Venice

April 23 – November 27, 2022

59TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION OF LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA: THE MILK OF DREAMS

Liliane Lijn

Liliane Lijn has spent over six decades working between the fields of art, poetry, and science, creating sculptures, installations, paintings, and videos that engage with notions of Surrealism, mythology, feminist thought, and language. When Lijn emerged as an artist in Paris at the end of the 1950s, she experimented with the concepts of light, energy, and movement, most notably creating her mechanised Poem Machines – moving cylinders printed with words that spun at high speeds until they created a vibration effect. In the 1970s and 1980s, inspired by the rise of second-wave feminism, Lijn became increasingly interested in applying her multimedia approach to the human form, particularly focusing on the idea of women losing the body in an increasingly mechanised society. In the humanoid sculptures Feathered Lady (1979)  and Heshe(1980), Lijn imagines a futuristic and ambiguous female form – part machine, part animal, and plant – out of soft feather dusters and synthetic fibres, which are contrasted with industrial materials like piano wires, steel, and optical glass prisms that reflect and re-direct light. In Gemini (1984), Lijn uses the functions of tension and release characteristic of metal springs as a kinetic formal device, furthering her search of a new feminine form. 

Text by: Madeline Weisburg

Installation view, The Milk of Dreams, 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2022

Installation view, The Milk of Dreams, 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2022

– Photo Credits: Andrea Avezzù