A Kind of Machine Called “Liberation"
2003 performance, 15 min
It is realized after his move to New York, referred specifically to the U.S. Army’s “liberation” of Iraq. This work also made contact with similarly public spaces, as Lin Yilin constructed a brick wall on the performance site to delimit the scope of movement for a rider of a child’s bicycle with training wheels. He laid on the ground, his left leg covered by the brick wall, as in the process of bike riding the wall began to disintegrate and parts of it began to pin down a now immobilized Lin Yilin. And yet the piece proved equally strenuous for the rider of the bicycle, as the relationship between the two changed constantly through the course of the performance. This mutable relationship carried with it a manifestly broader meaning, from Hegel’s master-slave dialectic to Foucault’s analysis of power; more importantly, Lin Yilin used a seemingly playful style to manifest this relationship, turning the performance into a practice connected with daily life, a force catalyzing the formation and mutation of this relationship through a temporal process.