‘At times, true reality doesn’t feel real, and this is the gap I focus on.’
Liu Wei in conversation with Hans Ulrich-Obrist, Trilogy, Charta, 2012
White Cube is pleased to present ‘Nudità’, an exhibition of new works by Liu Wei. Taking his title from an essay by the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, Liu conceives the exhibition as a summary of enquiries into the state of society at this particular, and pivotal, moment in history. Featuring new installation, sculpture and painting made during the past year, the exhibition expands upon the artist’s recent solo exhibition at Long Museum, Shanghai and responds to the global emergency engendered by the pandemic.
The exhibition posits the question: ‘Given the current condition of the world, what possibilities might exist for human beings to live together as a collective body?’ Using this question to frame his own reflections on the pandemic, Liu connects Agamben’s theories of ‘nudity’ to the current emptied state of the urban landscape and our increased physical distance from one another. In his new work, Liu considers this as a moment of transformation of perception and modes of being, and as a specific state of existence akin to an ‘absence of the veil’. Deserted streets, empty buildings and public squares have lost their function as sites for communal life − for Liu, these sites have instead become ‘a series of objects/patterns/intermediaries between the abstract and the concrete’; ‘denudate forms’ with ‘an openness and a mystery’.