VIP Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, 6-9pm
Public Opening Reception: Thursday, March 5th, 2020, 6-9pm
Exhibition Time: March 5th, 2020 - April 30, 2020
Exhibition Address: Multispace NYC
53 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
Liminality Liminoid is a two-month long solo exhibition of the New Media Artist Snow Yunxue Fu, located in the 2,000 square foot ground floor of Multispace NYC in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Fu’s artworks are set within a corridor, where Plato’s allegory of the cave is revisited through contemporary New Media Imaging technologies. Fu showcases new and selected digital work, ranging from VR, projections, and video installations. The artwork in the show demonstrates the relevant experimental approaches that her practice embodies among her New Media artist peers in this unique era where powerful technology is accessible for those who are determined enough to wield it.
Fu introduced computer animation to the context of contemporary art at a time when the medium was associated more with novelty, scientific modeling, and mainstream commercial animation. Working primarily with 3D software such as Maya, Realflow, Poser, Unity, and Unreal Engine, Fu’s mesmerizing scenes of intentional abstraction are the result of a breadth of fine arts and experimental practices translated into the intricate lexicon of digital software. Trained formally as a painter, Fu’s practice and approach to post-photographic 3D computer graphics and virtual reality software has been described as painterly and her research into the phenomena of the natural sublime echoes the investigations of historical western and Chinese painters, who peered into the significance or our capacity to experience the sublime in nature. She continues and expands their investigation and invites the viewer to examine the implications of our perception through the techno sublime.
The word liminal is often used in the discussion of the sublime within digital space and the VR experience, relating to occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold, conjuring up notions of time, space, and perception. The word is however borrowed from the field of anthropology, in which the liminal, as the anthropologist Victor Turner stated, “is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the rite is complete.”
Turner concluded that liminality "serves not only to identify the importance of in-between periods, but also to understand the human reactions to liminal experiences…and the sometimes dramatic tying together of thought and experience.” The digital space created in Fu’s work draws a parallel to the realms of the physical, the virtual, the metaphysical, and multi-dimensionality, setting the viewer in a liminal space at the threshold of each, fulfilling Turner’s observation that, “if liminality is regarded as a time and place of withdrawal from normal modes of social action, it potentially can be seen as a period of scrutiny for central values and axioms,” and for the origins of paradigms that are often taken at face value, yet all the while made possible by a perceptual capacity that is often taken for granted.
Unlike the sublime in nature, the digital space and the VR experience is what Turner would later go on to coin as a liminoid experience, with a distinction from the liminal in that the liminal engages in a social obligation or something out of our control, while the liminoid is a choice and often related to play. Liminoid, then is a simulation of the liminal, as the techno sublime experienced through digital space is a simulation of the sublime in nature, providing a voluntary opportunity for reflection. Like a pane of glass in a window, digital space frames and reflects our perception of reality, while simultaneously we see through it, peering off into the implications of the remarkable capacities and limitations of our ability to perceive. Within a digital space, we are offered an encounter to reflect on our response to the simultaneously beautiful and terrifying artifice of the techno-sublime, to be placed at the threshold of our perception while creating an opportunity to examine the implications of what is reflected.
*Please note that events such as artist talks and curated Gallery walks will be scheduled during the two months of the exhibition time. Please stay tuned for more detailed info.