Atelier Michael Lin

Tu parles / J’écoute

Cécile Bourne

This project is an attempt to deal with the fundamental idea of the museum and its function as a space for exhibition. The project took the Taipei Fine Art Museum and this particular group exhibition as its subject matter and tried to explore the structural parameters of this event, beginning with the artist and his work then the curator and then the museum. By doubling each of the positions mentioned above the project tried to expose the structure of the exhibition and at the same time bring about the questioning of that structure with the goal of proposing a different dynamic within these relations.

The lighting of art works, one of the most fundamental necessities of an exhibition, was taken on as a vehicle for this project. Due to the nature of this medium, acting only as a complement to the other projects, it necessarily established a collaboration with all the other artists, the curator, and the museum staff and facilities.

The Lighting of the exhibition was not only discussed in terms of an ideal light which would best illuminate the works but also discussed in terms of the flow and whole with some works at times in complete darkness and varying degrees of dimness.

The project sought not only to understand and explore the parameters of the artist and curator, through interviews and discussions about the importance of lighting, but also sought to deal with the museum as a work frame within which the art is viewed. The closing announcements, the only utterance that the museum emits, was also appropriated and used as an area for intervention. The three minute announcement that takes place each day at 17:50, indicating the end of viewing time in the museum, was re-mixed and overdubbed in collaboration with a local radio dise jockey.

The idea of the project was not to introduce any objects but to establish a forum for the discussion of the works in the exhibition; first how each artist envisioned the reception of their works, second, how the curator envision the exhibition as a construction of meaning, and third, how the exhibition as an event can be staged and how the positioning of the artist within this event can take on new forms.

Michael Ming-Hong Lin chose to relate his piece directly to his peers in the show. He asked all other artists to describe ideal lighting conditions for their allotted space. He exhibited the resulting sketches and proposals at TFAM on a long roll of tracing paper stretched over a light box, thereby literally giving them the limelight while challenging the notion of authorship within his own contribution. His concern was to account for the visitors’ progression across various degrees of illumination, from semi-darkness to light, across museum spaces. Simultaneously, he played a remixed, [overlapping] sampling of multilingual museum opening and closing announcements. Thus his contribution also emphasized the place of the artists, curator and museum staff in shaping a collective exhibition. Through these displacements of familiar sound and light contexts he engaged us to take critical distance from our position as spectators, to view the museum as a framework for the construction of meanings and nonsense.

At TCRC he chose a spot under a loudspeaker out of work to install a mysterious shot of the TFAM building at night as an echo of his museum installation. With its inherent sharpness and lightness, Michael Ming-Hong Lin’s self-effacing contribution explored uncharted territory where singular experiences of personal reflection and meditation merge into a shared field of collective memory and imagination.