Lee Bul

Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia

Art is conditioned by other visual phenomena, and Lee Bul’s creepy sculptures owe debts that this, her first solo exhibition in Australia, can’t acknowledge. The ideal Lee survey would own up to the vertiginous array of fashion, painting, cinema, and architecture that underlies her intensely memorable sculptures rather than repeating lazy, dead words like “subversion” and “cyborg.” For even if avatar presences started out as Lee’s basic modus operandi in works with titles like Cyborg W4, 1998, the most interesting aspect of her practice has long since been its genuine affinity with cinema: her ability to create extraordinary props and mise-en-scènes from high-tech polyurethane panels with aluminum armatures strung across deep space in the simulation of computer-generated imagery. These certainly aren’t best read as illustrations of the previous generation’s body-theory seminars. Lee’s

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