With 'Platform' Michael Lin continues creating complements, transforming places rather than obscuring them. Lin's sites of choice are outside conventional exhibiting spaces: for the 2000 Taipei Biennial his expansive floor painting filled the foyer, the transitory space of the museum, while for this year's Venice Biennale visitors to the Palazzo delle Prigioni were met by his floral wall painting and waves of white curtains.
'Platform' is also another chapter in the long history of the reformulation of the fourth-century church, Hagia Eirene. Among its incarnations, the church, the only one in Istanbul not converted to a mosque, has served as an arsenal, a military museum and, since 1983, as a performance venue.
As with previous work, in 'Platform' Lin uses a traditional Taiwanese print, in earlier times the fabric of matrimonial duvet covers. Meticulously drawn, the enlarged phoenix pattern is painted onto panels, which form the platform. Fifty pillows, ensconced in camouflage fabric, are on its surface, evoking Istanbul's militaristic past.
Extremes of decoration, the two nature-inspired motifs are designed for protection -- one for the domestic interior, and the other for external warfare. 'Platform' brings them together to create a fora, a function that is only completed by visitors, echoing the church's history as a meeting center -- in 381 the Second Ecumenical Council was held there.
'Platform' shifts how visitors physically relate to the space of the church, and to each other, appealing to more senses than just sight. Lin describes the piece as 'there not to be there', and as an ephemeral embellishment it is not a monument to high art, but a place inviting interchange.
from: Egofugal, 7th Istanbul Bienniale