Brookfield Place presents BLAST (2011), by celebrated Canadian artist An Te Liu. BLAST was the journal of the early 20th century Vorticist movement in England. Edited by Wyndham Lewis, BLAST was known for the concrete poetry of its typographical style. In An Te Liu’s hands, ‘concrete poetry’ takes on new meaning. The artist animates real things. In mid-air, a vortex-like sculptural arrangement suspends common household devices, from air purifiers and fans, to a George Foreman grill, a Moulinex, and an early Nintendo game console. Once coveted for their promises of domestic comfort, convenience, and leisure, these devices also now speak to the cycles of desire, use, and disuse which sustain consumer culture. With BLAST, Liu locates an axis in the whirlwind, creating a provocative artwork out of the tension between control and chaos, the 'new' and the redundant.
“Stripped of function and context here, these objects and dozens like them are painted a pure, almost-saintly white. Destined to be suspended in a tornado-like swirl, the effect is elevation in more ways than one. Once innovative, his menagerie of the obsolete evades the landfill in becoming a work of art”
Murray Whyte, The Toronto Star
An Te Liu's installations and sculptures explore issues of function, dysfunction and cultural coding in our built and hypothesized environments. He was the Canada Council's Artist in Residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin in 2008 and has recently exhibited at MOCCA, The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, the EV+A in Ireland, and SFMOMA. His work has been widely published and is included in the permanent collections of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Liu is represented by MKG127, Toronto