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The Back

2019, performance, 60 min

Commissioned by MAXXI, Rome

The Back, composed of three performances, draws a connection between Rome's symbolic status as the birthplace of Western law and the controversial amendment to the Chinese constitution in 2018. Lin, dressed in the robe of a Franciscan monk, stands in front of the Pantheon in Rome, reads part of the 2018 Constitution of the People's Republic of China in awkward Italian, and creates a thirty-metre paper rope with the Chinese, English, and Italian versions of the text. He then walks into an alley behind the Pantheon, lies down on the paper rope, and rolls until his entire body is wrapped in it. Finally, he invites dozens of participants to join in a game of tug of war with the paper rope. Whenever the rope breaks or becomes tangled, they start again. The work is an expression of Lin's 

view on law and individual will: one cannot escape the binds of the law, which are produced by confrontation and forces pulling in different directions.

--Excerpt of "Sigg Prize 2019"  Exhibition booklet

© lin yilin 2018