24 Thinking Positions

a solo exhibition,

Junior Room + Blue Room Gallery, First Prebyterian Church of Chicago

Featuring tintype photographs and a temple made of moving boxes, "Twenty-Four Thinking Positions" is a solo exhibition by Max Li and presents encounters of various kinds. Mediating his own artworks through tintype photographs, Max reframes contemporary art as old photos and explores the temporality of visions. In this exhibition, different contact points are vivified—between the audio and visual, talk and contract, ritual and art space, and pulsing and thinking. Those points and pieces of thought compile twenty-four thinking positions and far beyond.

Curation: Martin Bai,
Graphic Design: Maddie Ma,
Opening Reception Catering: Dozzy’s Grill,
Opening Reception Music Set: "Xochipilli" feat. Dr. Adam Zanolini/ Jay the Ziah/ Mauricio Aguila Eduardo,
Special Thanks:  Zoey Hu, Thomas Lin, Sulyiman Stokes, Adapted Studio

︎Sixty Inches From Center Interview by Ally Fouts: 24 Hours Make More Than a Day: An Interview with Max Li at First Presbyterian Church of Chicago

Opening Reception + Project Light Show: 05.12.2023 6-10:30PM

Exhibition Documentations:

event poster designed by Maddie Ma

entry hallway

exihibition poster installed

exhibition checkin desk

Site: Twenty-four hours, 2023

Mixed media installation

After collecting a list of language bits from his notes, Max Li invites strangers on the street to pick a statement, say it out, and sign the receipt. This performance is later crystallised in two forms: an audio recording lasting for 24 hours and a marked receipt pasted on a stele.

Reframing those daily encounters as a temple made of moving boxes, Max visualises and vocalises the delicate balance points between the encounter and the ruin, the disembodied and the form, the cycle and the entry point. As an afterthought of the AI age and pandemics, this piece values the individuality behind transient human interactions, and their glamorous resonances. In the temple, a cluster of speakers perform a simulated human gathering with vivid personalities and beyond certain temporal domains.

steele view

steele with receipt

receipt details

temple side view with steele

stained glass wall in the church space

temple front view

temple gate

looking into temple through gate

temple interior view, of a ‘fountain of speakers’

temple interior view

speakers detail view

temple interior view

looking at lego, chalk board and wood panel painting through temple gate

temple gate view

temple full view

temple detail view

temple side view

temple side view and painting

painting detail view

hallway view

hallway view of 24 Thinking Positions entry and a painting

24 Thinking Positions, 2023

Mixed media installation

Every encounter encompasses an entry, a duration, and an exit. And each triggers a thinking angle, a thinking position, a thinking gesture, or a way of thinking.

Simulating an encounter with the unknown, Twenty-four Thinking Positions explores the temporality of visions, the aura of perspectives, and the myth of positions. In such a viewing experience, the diversity of thinking positions is vivified, embodied, and celebrated. Comprised of shadows of visitors and artworks, a lighting tableau invites the viewers to play with the shadows and become the artwork themselves.

installation entryway

‘Funambulist’, tintype, 10”x9”, 2022

24 Thinking Positions interior view

24 Thinking Positions interior view and shadow of visitor

24 Thinking Positions scrim and shadow of tintypes

24 Thinking Positions interior view

detail view

tintype photographs

‘untitled’, tintype, 4”x5”, 2023

‘mary’, tintype, 4”x5”, 2022

‘untitled’, tintype, 4”x5”, 2023

‘untitled’, tintype, 4”x5”, 2023

‘yeah’, tintype, 4”x5”, 2022

‘love so much’, tintype, 4”x5”, 2023

‘chart’, tintype, 4”x5”, 2023

‘balloons’, tintype, 4”x5”, 2021

24 Thinking Positions interior view

Opening Reception Photograhped by Sulyiman Stokes

Exhibition Visits  + Activations

Process Documentation

©MaxLi 2024