For the 55th Venice Biennale, Cai has been invited to show at White Light / White Heat, the exhibition created in collaboration between curator James Putnam and artisans at Bernego Studio in Venice. Alongside 65 other artists featured, Cai will stage Full-Body Scan: Next!, his first attempt to employ glass as a medium in his work.
Subtly taking root from the fine line between “safety” and “danger.” Cai has asked the glass artisans to fabricate ten wearable suicide bomber’s vests in glass. All parts are made from glass, but the explosives, detonators, wires, and shrapnel in the glass pockets are created from spurious odds and ends posing as the genuine.
A metal-detector gate often seen at security check points will hang a glass suicide bomber’s vest. A slideshow will be projected from behind the vest, showing people of different ethnicity, gender, and attire, each raising their arms with somber facial expressions, as if going through full-body scanners.
At the opening reception on May 31st, models wearing everyday clothes will put on the glass suicide bomber’s vests and nonchalantly wander in Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, mingling with opening guests. Overhead close-circuit cameras will quietly document the goings-on, quietly suggesting that the danger is everywhere, and not only do we fail to protect ourselves from harm, but we sometimes lack the knowledge of what is the real danger.
White Light / White Heat will be presented in three venues:
Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, Campo S. Stefano, 2847, Venice;
Berengo Centre for Contemporary Art and Glass, Campiello della Pescheria Murano, Venice;
Scuola Grande Confraternita di San Teodoro, San Marco, 4810, Venice.
We hope to see you there.