Hilla Lulu Lin- Miles I Would Go-

Ilanna Tenenboaum

Miles I Would Go, 1998, by Hila Lulu Lin, is an invitation to a sensual journey taking place in a labyrinth of rooms. The viewer is invited to enter them barefoot, to shed his peel as a precondition for entering the Sanctuary. The power of the visual experience is built while walking, as in a dream, from room to room, as the color and contact of the feet with the changing floor, transfers the viewer from one world to another, from image to image. The accumulative experience is of familiar materials and objects which have been shaken and charged with violence, sexuality and humor, originally foreign to them.

On the central wall in the enveloping space photographs of eyes are nailed in a grid-like shape, like butterflies in a collection. The pictures of the eyes are cut around the skin that surrounds it and they seem like a strange mollusks, wet oyster resting in a shell. Projected on two perpendicular walls is a video work in which the artist is seen wrapping a red thread around her fingers at the end of this process, her finger are bound together resembling chrysales characterized by a strenge animalism. The space floor is covered with white feathers with five small television sets projecting documentation of a night voyage in and outside the city. In steady motion the light spreads out before the camera while the road is engulfed in darkness.

The structure of the work is a labyrinth, a pure structure of order. The labyrinth is an ancient symbolic structure of square spaces which realize a clear order revealed only from a bird’s eye view but is baffling to those who are lost in it. Rosalind Krauss describes the grid as a typical structure of modernism expressing the modernistic wish for silence, lack of narrativity and anti-literarints. The grid enabled a rational and objective alignment and at the same time retained the faith in a possible transformation of form into spirituality, into the divine.29 The grid’s structure and the red string, evocative, of Ariadne’s thread — both symbolizing human knowledge — have become, in this work, morbid signs containing a great deal of violence. Shifting the inside out words, while recurring images of body parts turn into a part of the space envelope, creates a feeling of an inner space that evolved into a very feminine place of occurrence, both seductive and reserved. The work evokes a sense of oscillation between hovering and motion, triggered by going past the TV screens that show a documentation of a night journey, and a static sense. Rendered by the fact that the gaze fixates on the nailed eyes and the motionless, fettered hands. Hila Lulu Lin’s work fluctuates between narrativity and stasis; nartivity a la George Baker which is linked to development within a given time, to gaining historical consciousness, as opposed to stasis which linked to the anti — historical and to the realm of the subconscious, and perceived as an intrusive, deconstructive force that brings to the surface the repression built into western culture.30 Narrativity implies motion, continuity and multiplicity. Static state leads to opposing meanings: stopping, freezing time, a recurrence of motifs. In the current work, the narativity is systematically interrupted by stasis and vice versa.

Hila Lulu Lin was born in 1964. She lives and works in Herzelia. Her work Miles I Would Go was exhibited at the Haifa Museum of Art in 1998.