It inspires me to think that reality is an unfinished project. When I look at the built world, I know it exists at the erasure of other possibilities. You can make up the difference if you're a builder, but the goal is not to rebuild everything, but to create the double that reminds you that possibilities are in the making
Inspired by Michel Foucault’s Order of Things and grounded by Walter Benjamin’s definition of political art as the retraining of the senses, I see art as an imperative for survival. With a background in anthropology and photography, I inherited the critique and crisis of representation from the Pictures Generation. Beyond theory, it’s even quicker to experience social constructs when you’re an immigrant. As an artist, I've been educated to systematically act out and question inadequate and repressive descriptive systems by Hans Haacke, Martha Rosler, Jimmie Durham, Charles Gaines and William Pope L. Their ideas helped me dismantle the chip on my shoulder that was the size of an empire.
My work on architecture, artifacts and anthropogenic materials (human effects on the environment) is a trilogy on the shift in the order of things. Order is the space of where knowledge is constituted with conditions of possibility determined by what history will allow in its orders. My process begins with categories and an itemization of content: monuments, buildings, and things. I make and collect to decipher codes of culture. My work of creating taxonomies from things that exist is to expose hidden myths within a given system. I create new orders to reinsert excluded differences and make sculptures that retool reality for its re-imagination. The most current work is Future Fossils, the conclusion to my decade long trilogy. The new work goes beyond social structures and constructs and takes on ecology that humbles human culture to the planetary scale of nature.
Born May 28, 1976, Pampanga, Philippines.
Lan Tuazon lives and works in Chicago where she is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the School of Art Institute in Chicago. Lan Tuazon has exhibited internationally at the Neue Galerie in the Imperial Palace of Austria, Bucharest Biennale 4, the WKV Kunstverein in Germany and the Lowry Museum in London. Solo exhibitions of her work includes Brooklyn Museum and Storefront of Art and Architecture in New York, Youngworld, Inc in Detroit, Julius Caesar in Chicago and the Visual Arts Center in Texas. She was awarded artist in residence and fellowships at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Headlands Art Center, and Civitella Ranieri in Italy and Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. Group shows of her work have been exhibited (inter)nationally including 8th Floor Rubin Foundation, Artist Space, Redcat Gallery, Canada Gallery, Sculpture Center, Apex Art, Exit Art, WKV Kunstverein and Künstlerhaus in Stuttgart, Germany, Shiva Gallery, Essex Flowers, Momenta Art and the Hyde Park Art Center. Bachelor Arts, Cooper Union, 1999. M.F.A. Yale University, 2002. Whitney Independent Study, 2003.
2021 Future Fossils: Sum, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL.
2018 In the Land of Real Shadows, the University of Texas in Austin, TX.
2017 False Fruits, Essex Gallery, New York, NY.
2016 Future Fossils, Julius Caesar, Chicago, IL.
2015 Bad Grass Never Dies, Youngworld, Inc., Detroit, MI.
2012 Ingredients of Reality: the Dismantling of New York City, Storefront for Art & Architecture, New York, NY.
2011 On the Wrong Side of History, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY.
2010 The Third Object, Lotrscak Tower, Zagreb, Croatia.
Ingredients of Reality, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany.
2005 Free, Floating IP, Manchester, UK.
2022 Tricky Passage, Rhona Hoffman, Chicago, IL.
2017 Politicizing Space, Shiva Gallery, New York, NY.
River Assembly, Floating Museum, Chicago, IL.
Haus Warming II, De Chiara Projects, Stone Ridge, NY.
2015 Mobility and Its Discontents, The 8th Floor, Rubin Foundation, New York, NY.
2014 The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL.
2013 Common Interests, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ.
2012 Process and Progress, Bronx River Arts Center, Bronx, NY.
Space Matters, Neue Galerie at the Imperial Palace, Innsbruck, Austria.
2010 On Producing Possibilities, Bucharest Biennale 4, Bucharest, Romania.
Territories of the (In) Human, WKV Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany.
Hier und Jetzt, Performance at Künstlerhaus, Stuttgart, Germany.
2008 Social Diagrams, Planning Reconsidered, at Künstlerhaus, Stuttgart, Germany.
2009 Boxfresh, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany.
Emerging Artists Fellowship, Socrates Sculpture Park, LIC, NY.2008
2006 Mixed Tape, Exit Art, New York, NY.
Skipping the Page, Center for Book Arts, New York, NY.
Social Diagrams, Künstlerhaus, Stuttgart, Germany.
2007 The Happiness of Objects, Sculpture Center, LIC, NY.
Eternal Flame, California Institute of the Arts Redcat Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
Post It Show, Pianos, NY and Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, NY.
Don’t Get it Twisted, Violence Affects Everyone, Apex Art, New York, NY.
2006 Action Adventure, Canada Gallery, New York, NY.
When Artist Say We, Artist Space, New York, NY.
2005 No Return, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, New York, NY.
2004 Thermo 04: Tripping Over Varicoloured Wires, Lowry Museum, Manchester, UK
Mirror, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY.
2013 Headlands Center for the Arts, Alumni Award, San Francisco, CA.
Presented an artist lecture, “The Order of Things” and produced new works during a 6-week residency.
2012 Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Art & Theory Fellowship, Innsbruck Austria.
Presented the conference, “Extinct Architecture: Utopian Design and Public Housing Worldwide”. Four fellows are chosen out of 400 applicants to receive a $9000 fellowship award and a five-month research and residency period.
2012 Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, Artist Fellowship, Umbertide, Italy.
Presented an artist lecture, “Order of Things and the Symbolic Crisis”. This prestigious fellowship valued at $35,000 is a 6 week residency in Italy and awarded by nomination only.
2011 Headlands Center for the Arts, Artist in Residence, San Francisco, CA.
Presented an artist lecture, “Social Production of Space” and produced new works during a 6-week residency. Awarded as one among 50 fellows in an applicant pool of 1000 per year.
2010 Jerome Foundation, Travel and Study Grant, New York, NY.
Received a $5000 travel grant to analyze Paris, Vienna, Berlin and Palermo and how the urban plan rendered each city susceptible to riots and insurrection.
Foundation of Contemporary Art, Visual Arts Production Grant, New York, NY.
Awarded financial support to complete and exhibit new work for Bucharest Biennale 4.
2009 Akademie Schloss Solitude, Full-year Artist Fellowship, Stuttgart, Germany.
Completed research, “Riot Cities: a Comparison on European Urban planning and
Defensible Cities in the United States”. Seminar leader for “Critical Intimacy: Psychological Affectation of Theoretical Texts”, a year-long program on art and theory for Akademie Schloss Solitude and 16 of its current fellows.
2009 Socrates Sculpture Park, Emerging Artist Fellowship, Long Island City, NY.
Received a $5000 commission for an outdoor public art sculpture.
REVIEWS & PUBLICATIONS
2017 Goodman, Jonathan, "New York: Politicizing Space - Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Sculpture Magazine, January/February 2018. Vol 37. No 1.
2015 Sharpe, Sarah Rose, "Many Layers to Lan Tuazon's Bad Grass Never Dies at Youngworld," Detroit Art Review, October 16, 2015.
2014 Levitt, Aimee, "The Hyde Park Art Center Examines the Chicago Way of Doing Art," Chicago Reader, August 24, 2014.
Kershner, Jim, "Oscar Tuazon," historylink.org, Dec.05, 2014.
2011 Wine, Elizabeth, “The Old and New,” Newsday, 5 Dec 5. 2011, pg 38-39.
Tuazon, Lan, “What’s in it for me? Radical Common Sense in Art and Education,”
“Negotiating Space/Negotiating Self,” “Commodities, Exchange, Waste, and Obsolescence,” “Artist Labor,” in Rethinking Contemporary and Multicultural Education, Ed. Eungie Joo, Joseph Keehn, New York, Routledge, 2011.
2010 “On Producing Possibilities,” Pavilion #15 Handlung.
2009 Gioni, Massimiliano, “Younger Than Jesus Directory,” New Museum and Phaidon Press.
2007 “Invisible Graffiti”, Tuazon, Lan, Printed by Redcat Gallery.
Schwendener, Martha, “Proof That Things Are People Too”, review of “Happiness of
Objects,” New York Times, May, 2007.
Pagel, David, " A Not-So-Risky-Business," LA Times, February 28, 2007.
Objects” by Schwendener, Martha, New York Times, May, 2007.
2006 Robinson, “Magnet Art for Serra Sculpture,” Artnet News Magazine, August.
Tuazon, Lan, "Toil and Trouble: Greater New York in Five Parts," n+1 Magazine, June 18. 2006.
Tuazon, Lan, “Invisible Living,” in Metronome No.10, C. Deliss, Ed. Documenta 12 Magazine Project.
2005 Cotter, Holland, “No Return” Cotter, Holland.
2004 “Free” reviewed by The Guardian, January 2005.
2000 “Experience vs. Interpretation: Traces of Ethnography in the works of Lan Tuazon and Nikki S. Lee” Kwon, Miwon, Volume 4, Alex Coles, Ed. London: Black Dog Publishing.
Tuazon, Lan, “Architectural Gaps,” UKS Forum for Samtidskunst, Oslo: Ungekunstneres, Samfund.