Liliane Lijn

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  • Song Name: Liliane Lijn
  • Artist: Government Art Collection
  • Album: Government Art Collection podcasts
  • Year: 2013

In an audio interview with Liliane Lijn, which took place in her north London studio in 2013, the leading international artist gives us an insight into her unique career. Lijn hung out with Surrealists and Beat poets in Paris in the 1960s where she applied Letraset to cylinders and cones and attached them to revolving turntables to create kinetic texts called Poem Machines. From these early beginnings Lijn has gone on to pursue the exploration of light and energy with scientific dedication. In the 1980s she worked on a number of gigantic, plumed and beaded kinetic sculptures that referenced the feminine. In the last couple of decades she has produced a new series of rotating cones known as koans, stemming from her interest in Zen Buddhism where a koan is a puzzle, or type of riddle used for meditation. Lijn’s whirring mainly off-white koans have a snaking neon line running through them in subtle contrast to the object’s opaque surface that mark elliptical planes on, in and through the sculpture itself. Lijn delights in juggling with combinations of industrial materials – including liquid, light, fire, acid – and has also worked with interstellar dust following a three-month residency at NASA’s Space Science Laboratory in the US in 2005. Covering sculpture, drawing and installation, Lijn’s kaleidoscopic practice brings into focus the diverse strands of science, art, technology, female mythology and Buddhist philosophy.