Taipei Fine Arts Museum will present 3x3x6 as Taiwan’s representation at the 58th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2019. The exhibition features artist Shu Lea Cheang’s brand-new commissioned project 3x3x6, curated by Paul B. Preciado. 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. 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.
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.
In conjunction with the installation, Cheang and Preciado will host the public program, “The Failures of Electronic Discipline: A Symposium of Gender and Sexual Outlaws.” The event will involve critics, academics, and writers, including Fuller and Jack Halberstam, as well the performers who embodied the characters in film series of 3x3x6. The event is to become a queer performative encounter of dissidents of the patriarchal and colonial regime. It will be held on May 11, 2019 from 4-7 pm with free admission to all.
3x3x6 is on view at the Palazzo delle Prigionoi (Castello 4209, San Marco, Venice, Italy) at the Venice Biennale from May 11 to November 24, 2019. For more information, please visit taiwaninvenice.org.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.