A tombstone which is dying / Liu Xuan

At the edge of chaos

An online exhibition curated by the Arts Management Master Course of IED – Istituto Europeo di Design di Firenze,

in collaboration with Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and Manifattura Tabacchi


A tombstone which is dying

Liu Xuan

This work is a piece of artificial ice.  I wrote a sentence above with a pen: I don’t want to cry.  Ice is placed in an outdoor space and melting in natural conditions is inevitable.  Does this ice want to exist / cry?  I can’t know about it.  Just my thoughts on this ice and it doesn’t need to answer me.  The external environment will respond in some objective form. We all exist objectively, in different forms.

The flowers in the garden bloomed beautifully, so I put the ice among the flowers, it was like a tombstone which is dying. As the ice melted, the words above also dissolved slowly. 

The ice is artificial, it’s extracted from my refrigerator. People produce nature, control nature and use nature. Everything looks natural and objectively, but in fact everything is inside of the human activity and control. The climate is warming, glaciers are melting, and species are extinct. The industrialized anthropocene makes the earth look less optimistic. So where will humanity and nature lead to?  Is the answer really natural and objective?  Or is it a subjective intervention and control by humans?  Will we live with nature in a limited way or embrace it?


Without a recalibration of the senses, at the level of our global species-being, adjusting our desires and needs, we cannot conceive of another mode of production, another set of social relations, another ethic of husbandry between ourselves and the earth. 


“Art’s labour is both a sensing and a spacing of the shared separation of the Anthropocene.” Whatever we humans are, we are now in the Anthropocene— sensing and spacing this kairos through our aesthetic apprehensions, political commitments, epistemic comportments, and environmental bonds inasmuch as we share in the separations it affords and overturns.”


“The world is all, that is the case.”


The performance will take place live on the 18th of June in Florence and will be live streamed on exhibition’s Instagram account.

instagram | at the edge of chaos

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Liu Xuan

Liu Xuan was born in China (Hu bei). 

She studied in Shanghai and lives now in Florence. She once studied at the School of Philosophy at the University of Florence, and now is studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. Studying and engaging in contemporary art, especially conceptual art and performance art are her main interests.