Two eighteen-foot-long, metallic graphite coated cylindrical elements are held by hundreds of cotton strings in mid-air confrontation.
The strings simultaneously support the physical weight of the elements and visually counter the forward force of the two opposing pieces.
The installation was conceived and created in response to the long open corridor space at Vessel Gallery in Oakland, California.
Installation view left
"...'Stalemate,' (is) two cylindrical eighteen-foot-long stakes, pointed like pencils, coated with gray, metallic graphite, and suspended in mid-air confrontation. ...' Liu's avatars of "fierce energy,' ... are immobilized by webs of 'slender, soft, feminine threads.'
-DeWitt Cheng, East Bay Express
"Stalemate, (is) an installation designed for Vessel Gallery's long, nave-like central corridor, with skylights set into its pitched roof... After threading strands of fishing line through the openings, they used the filaments to hang the two missiles or lances, facing each other across a yard-long gap, at head height. The aggressive energy of the piece is extraordinary, but so is the stasis imposed by the restraining and supporting webs, or shock waves, described by the artist as slender, soft, feminine and persistent.
The idea of aggression and danger halted by gentle restraint is similar to that embodied in a 2011 performance/installation, The Mending Project; in this piece, Liu sat at a table, calmly stitching together swatches of cloth that appear to belong to a floor-bound circular quilt "island" surrounding her, while above hung a cloud of menacing steel scissors, pointed downward and agape: the Sword of Damocles transformed into glittering birds of prey."
-DeWitt Cheng, Artillery