2017, Sat, Jul 01

Lani Maestro: The Anonymous I

Lani Maestro,

Lani Maestro, "No Pain Like This Body", 2010, Red neon signal. Courtesy the artist, Photo: Hua Jin

The pursuit of “difference” is essential in the process of creativity: it allows for the self/ other relationship to blossom. In a world gone mad, where there is a resurgence of oppositional and dualistic thought, how can we reinstate a different kind of reflection that allows for an overcoming of the fear of the other? How can silence and stillness become radical alternatives?

Lani Maestro’s artistic work is concerned with questions of how we occupy space, how space occupies us, as well as how our space is occupied with and by others. This direction is inevitably affiliated with the themes of home: are we at home by belonging or by being different, by non-belonging? Initially intellectually enigmatic but sensuously resonant, Maestro’s formally restrained work is almost (in today’s context) elegantly classical in spite of the raw emotion sometimes embodied in it. Many of Maestro’s works situate places: they allow the viewer to travel in and out of a home, into and out of space in order to erode binary oppositions. In this sense Maestro’s work might be described as an architecture of the body, with the proviso that the effect of such works, which emphasize passage rather than permanence, ultimately undermine architecture’s claim to authority.