35th Bienal de São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec 2023
Free Admission
35th Bienal de
São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec
Track 20

Daniel Lie

We came to the end of our visit to the 35th Bienal with the work Outres [Others], by Daniel Lie, a non-binary artist of Indonesian origin from Pernambuco. Lie was born in São Paulo and is currently living a nomadic process. Despite adopting the so-called neutral language in the title of the installation, in opposition to the male/female binary of current linguistic systems, this is not the centrality of the meanings that emanate from his work. What Lie calls into question are other binary simplisms that categorize the world around us, especially those that we can’t see and that his living works highlight in front of our senses.

As Thiago de Paula Souza says in a text for the exhibition catalog: “Lie has broadened his notions of temporality and has endeavored to find forms of collaboration that break the hierarchical notion that places the human species at the top of the evolutionary scale. Since then, they have been developing ‘installations-entities’: large sculptures of organic materials, the result of the process of degradation/transformation of the elements that give them form.”

The installation created by Daniel Lie is woven into the columns of the Bienal building. It is made up of white fabrics dyed with turmeric. These fabrics wrap around six of the building’s columns, three on each side, forming a rectangular area. Between the fabrics are brown earthy structures, which start at the top of each of the columns and descend to the ground in the center of this quadrilateral. Next to these structures are voluminous arrangements of leaves, yellow and white flowers and terracotta vases suspended from ropes attached to the ceiling at different heights and arrangements.

The installation works with inherently ephemeral and transitory materials, such as decomposing matter, growing plants and other organic processes operated by “other-than-humans”, such as bacteria, fungi, plants, animals, minerals, spirits and ancestors

Depending on when you visit the exhibition, Lie’s work may smell different. These materials will evolve and transmute throughout the show as they rot, sprout and change shape and tone in unpredictable ways. When exposed to sunlight, turmeric loses its hue, so that with the passage of time and the sunlight coming in from the Pavilion’s large windows, the pigment can fade completely from the fabrics.