Su-Mei Tse, Venice Biennale winner in 2003, produces works that remind me of Blake’s line about seeing the world in a grain of sand, and not just because one of her principal video-installations was a superimposed image of Paris Roadsweepers in the Sahara. Her works often concentrate on one principal image or material or motif, but repeat this singular principal again and again as if for eternity, as if her art were some mystic meditative chant. Her ‘Air Conditioned’ monograph seems to be a rather rare piece as i can’t seem to find it in too many other places, but Strand books of New York has a copy.
Pictured below is her work Proposition de detour, a Persian rug cut into the likeness of the famous Maze in Chartres. It Displayed at the Peter Blum Chelsea Gallery.
An NYT review of the ‘Air Conditioned’ Exhibition on which the Monograph is based:
”Air Conditioned” includes a white neon sign that reads”[E:r] conditionné,” and two digitally processed video projections. ”Echo” shows the artist sitting with her cello on a grassy prominence looking across a big valley to a vast rocky mountainside. Intermittently she plays passages of classical music that mingle with echoing, previously played passages. ”The Desert Sweepers” is a dreamlike vision of two dozen men in green janitorial uniforms in a desert environment of rolling dunes. Each uses a green-bristled broom to sweep sand into a small pile at his feet, creating a continual scuffing sound. The workers pause occasionally as though to ponder the futility of their task. This might be a surrealistic commentary on affairs in the Middle East.
Also on view are an installation of modern living-room furniture with a loose ball of red yarn on the coffee table, called ”Pénélope, le Retour”; a large, wall-hung hourglass called ”Personal Time”; and a pair of photographs of the artist playing her cello with tubes leading from the instrument’s body to her ears called ”The Autistic Musician.”
An image from the book:
Buy the monograph here for $15, a great investment.