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Still from CASANOVA X, 4K video, 10’00’’, from the film series for the installation 3x3x6 © Shu Lea Cheang. Courtesy of the artist and Taiwan in Venice 2019

Shu Lea Cheang »


Exhibition: 11 May – 24 Nov 2019

Wed 8 May 10:00

Palazzo delle Prigioni

Castello 4209, San Marco
Tue-Sun 10-18

The Venice Biennale - Taiwan Pavilion




Tue-Sun 10-18

Still from D-X, 4K video, 10’00’’, from the film series for the installation 3x3x6 © Shu Lea Cheang. Courtesy of the artist and Taiwan in Venice 2019

Taipei Fine Arts Museum will present 3x3x6 as Taiwan’s representation at the Venice Biennale 2019. The exhibition features artist Shu Lea Cheang’s brand-new commissioned project 3x3x6, curated by Paul B. Preciado. The exhibition at the Palazzo delle Prigioni will be on view from May 11–November 24, 2019; opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., and also on May 13, September 2, and November 18, 2019. Guided tours will be available twice a day during opening hours from May 11– August 27, 2019.

Soon after the World Wide Web was made available for public access in 1990, artist Shu Lea Cheang, armed with her creativity and imagination, embarked on a journey to expand new media beyond known functions of digital communication. She connected virtual networks with spaces in the real world and initiated creative, performative, and action-based projects.

Her piece BRANDON (1998–99) became the first work of “net art” (a movement also known as “net.art,” led by artists who work in the medium of the Internet) to be commissioned and collected by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Internationally recognized as an Internet art pioneer, Cheang explores the changing relationships between technology and body politics in the age of late capitalism and globalization. Her films, installations, interactive interfaces, and live performances reflect on the power of images and fictions to subvert normative representations of gender, sexuality, and race.

For Taiwan’s collateral presentation Cheang will create a new work inspired by the history of the exhibition venue, Palazzo delle Prigioni, which first served as a prison in the sixteenth century. The work’s title refers to today’s standardized architecture of industrial imprisonment: a 3 x 3 square-meter cell constantly monitored by 6 cameras. 3x3x6 thus speaks to the realities of the prison, constructed both physically and by the presence of digital surveillance mechanisms.

The exhibition works with ten historical and contemporary case studies of individuals who have been outcasted or incarcerated due to reasons of gender variance, sexual preference, or racial differences. The exhibition concept examines how visual and legal hegemonies are constructed over time and how these hegemonies rationalize sex, gender, and race as a result. Through its presentation, 3x3x6 will further explore the alternative forms of nonphysical yet increasingly omnipresent imprisonment in this new digital age, where surveillance apparatus and technologies are becoming inescapable.

A publication with new critical essays by Preciado, Matthew Fuller, Dean Spade, and Jackie Wang on Cheang’s work will complement the exhibition. On May 11, Cheang and Preciado will host the public program “The Failures of Electronic Discipline: A Symposium of Gender and Sexual Outlaws.” Taking place at the historic site of the Psychiatric Hospital Museum on the island of San Servolo, which was until the 1970s an institution of confinement for the so-called mentally ill, the event will involve critics, academics, and writers, including Fuller and Jack Halberstam, as well the performers who embodied the characters of CASANOVA X, SADE X, FOUCAULT X and D X. The event is to become a queer performative encounter of dissidents of the patriarchal and colonial regime, with free admission to all. For more information, please visit: www.taiwaninvenice.org.

Still from FSB-X, 4K video, 10’00’’, from the film series for the installation 3x3x6 © Shu Lea Cheang. Courtesy of the artist and Taiwan in Venice 2019