35th Bienal de São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec 2023
Free Admission
35th Bienal de
São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec
Exhibition view of the work Outres, by Daniel Lie during the 35th Bienal de São Paulo – choreographies of the impossible © Levi Fanan / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Daniel Lie

On a visit to Daniel Lie’s studio in 2017, I sensed a strong aroma permeating the environment. The result of the decomposition of flowers, fruits, and vegetables kept in his studio, the odor was the manifestation of a universe of hidden beings that would give new directions to their artistic practice. The ongoing investigation focused on the effects of time and the action of microorganisms, such as fungi and bacteria, in the transmutation of organic matter. Witnessing the changes in the materiality of those elements, and following diverse natural cycles, enabled Lie to reflect on the complexities of interspecific relationships and their role in the generation and maintenance of life.

Lie has broadened their 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. Although they respond to the context and place in which they are presented, in each of them, Lie resorts to new methods to create harmonious ecosystems, where relationships between fungi, plants, animals, minerals, and other-than-humans can break with a binary reading of life and death.

For the 35th Bienal de São Paulo, Lie presents Outres [Others] (2023) and seeks to create a space where silence, not words, leads to relationships between those present. Outres is the result of the maturation of the techniques and methods of production developed over the last few years of their research. The immersive installation will consist
of terracotta vases, columns, and arrangements of yellow and white chrysanthemums, as well as cotton fabrics dyed with turmeric. Added to the composition of the work are the effects of the passage of time on the materials and the eventual generation of new lives derived from the relationships established between the organic agents present in the environment.

thiago de paula souza
translated from Portuguese by philip somervell

Daniel Lie (1988. Based in Berlin, Germany) produces on legacies of migration and queer studies. Their works are done in collaboration with forces they term “other-than-human beings,” such as bacteria, fungi, plants, animals, minerals, spirits, and ancestors. They have been exhibited in spaces such as the New Museum (New York, USA), Casa do Povo, Centro Cultural São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil), CEMETI – Institut untuk Seni dan Masyarakat (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), Espacios Revelados (Bucaramanga, Colombia), and Kraftwerk Berlin (Germany).