3X3X3 a woman's head

3X3X6 3X3X6 title image

Reflecting upon the transformation of surveillance techniques since the panopticon to include contemporary 3-D facial recognition, AI, and the Internet, Shu Lea Cheang’s 3x3x6 restages the rooms of the Palazzo delle Prigioni—a Venetian prison from the sixteenth century in operation until 1922—as a high-tech surveillance space. Taking as its starting point the story of libertine writer Giacomo Casanova, imprisoned in the Prigioni in 1755, Cheang has conducted in-depth studies on ten historical and contemporary cases of subjects incarcerated because of gender or sexual dissent, including Marquis de Sade and Michel Foucault, as well as contemporary cases from Taiwan and South Africa. Their fictionalized portraits become part of the exhibition’s system; the title of which refers to today’s standardized architecture of industrial imprisonment: a 3 x 3 square-meter cell constantly monitored by 6 cameras.





character SADE

Charged with numerous allegations of sexual abuse, deviance, sodomy, and blasphemy; incarcerated in French prisons for more than thirty-two years of his life.

character B

Woman sentenced to life imprisonment–with the possibility of parole after seven years–in 2013 for cutting off her husband’s penis and throwing it into a garbage disposal unit.

character L

From China’s post-1995 generation, sentenced to four years in prison; charged with manufacturing and disseminating obscene articles on social media for profit in 2016.

character 00
00 X

Arrested for soliciting gay men to have chemsex via social networks; sentenced to twelve years in prison for knowingly spreading the HIV virus and endangering others.

character D

Transgender person accused in the 2010s of having sex with a woman without revealing his gender status; sentenced to six years of prison for sexual assault. This legal charge is known as “rape by deception.”

character CASANOVA

Arrested in Venice in 1755 and jailed at the Piombi; accused with an undetermined charge, likely a combination of corruption, indecency, and public outrage. He managed to escape in 1756.

character R

Muslim scholar arrested for alleged sexual assault and rape in 2018; detained for ten months in solitary confinement in a prison near Paris.

character MW

Man who agreed by contract to eat another man after having sex and slaughtering him; they had met in an Internet cannibal café. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in Germany in 2006.

character FSB

Three women from Gweru held at Harare’s Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in December 2011 for alleged raping, harvesting, and selling men’s semen. Further cases of female sperm bandits have been reported more recently in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

character FOUCAULT

Investigated for homosexual conduct by the Polish police in 1959 while serving as director of the Centre Français at the University of Warsaw; incarcerated for an unknown period of time.



Shu Lea Cheang is an artist and filmmaker working with various art mediums and film formats, including installation, performance, net art, public art, video installation, feature length film, and mobile web series. Her artistic pursuits demonstrate an imagination and the desire to cross the boundaries of society, geography, politics, and economic structures, thus redefining genders, roles, mechanisms, etc. As a net art pioneer, her BRANDON (1998–99) was the first web art commissioned and collected by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. From homesteading cyberspace in the 1990s to her current retreat to the post-netcrash BioNet zone, Cheang takes on viral love and bio hacks in her current cycle of works, including UKI (2009–ongoing) and UNBORN0x9 (2019). (http://mauvaiscontact.info)。




Paul B. Preciado is a writer, philosopher, curator, and one of the leading thinkers in the study of gender and sexual politics. An honors graduate and Fulbright fellow, he earned a MA in Philosophy and Gender Theory at the New School for Social Research in New York and a PhD in Philosophy and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University. From 2014 to 2017 he was Curator of Public Programs of documenta 14 (Athens / Kassel). He is the author of Countersexual Manifesto (Columbia University Press, repr., 2018), Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era (Feminist Press, 2013), and Pornotopia (Zone Books, 2014) for which he was awarded the Prix Sade. He is currently Associate Philosopher of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. His latest book is titled An Apartment on Uranus (Grasset / Anagrama, 2019).


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Founded in 1983, Taipei Fine Arts Museum is Taiwan’s first museum of modern and contemporary art, and among one of the oldest in Asia. Venturing into its 35th year, TFAM has dedicated itself to the development of modern art in Taiwan while staying abreast of ongoing trends in contemporary arts. It has pioneered the biennial trends for the region and overseen the operations of the Taipei Biennial since 1998, and the planning for Taiwan’s representation as a collateral event at the Venice Biennale since 1995. In recent years, Taiwanese artists and art institutions have elevated their participation in the global art community, generating a more refined and complex network of connections. For this reason, the nominating committee employed a greater level of strategic thinking, coloring their artist recommendations with stronger overtones of global strategy. https://www.tfam.museum

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