Reliquaries have long since given hope to the hopeful and faith to the faithful. Inside of which there might-or might not- be the scraps of some body of holiness- a shriveled finger, a tattered veil, a splinter of holy wood; a depository for precious items. Even if empty, there is art in deception, aesthetics in enclosure. In Reliquary our attention is called to the relationship and value between the contained and the containing, the interior and exterior, the poetics of enshrinement. But alas, perhaps we are no longer dewy-eyed pilgrims traveling great lengths to sit near a box containing a toenail. And perhaps we are no longer fervent members of the cult of the relic, but isn’t she pretty?

ARTIST Liu Dao 六岛
MEDIA RGBLED display, paper collage, Chinese papercut (Jian Zhi 剪紙), teakwood frame
DATE Made in island6, Shanghai 2013
SIZE 58(W)×104(H)×9(D) cm | 22.8(W)×41(H)×3.5(D) inches

CREDITS Amanda Wesley (performance) • Thomas Charvériat (art direction & technical guidance) • Fabrice Amzel (video animation) • Jean Le Guyader (documentation) • Guan Yan 官彦 (production supervisor) • Yeung Sin Ching 杨倩菁 (lasercut) • Margaret Johnson (production assistant) • Cecilia Garcia (production assistant)•Margaret Johnson (author)

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