“The world is only slightly larger than we imagine.”

Born 1972, Lianyugang, Jiangsu. Lives and works in Lianyugang

Record of Floating Ice—The End of the Tower (2010) is a sly take on Vladimir Tatlin’s 1920 Monument to the Third International, which was intended to house the offices of Lenin’s newly formed Comintern. Tatlin conceived his tower as a salute to Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution and a challenge to the “bourgeois” Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower; that it was never built exemplifies the folly of the utopian belief that theory trumps reality.  Lu Lei’s installation, accompanied by architectural drawings, includes two versions of the tower.  One is topped with a magnifying glass and an aerial (Tatlin intended his tower to have a radio antenna); the other is sheathed in copper and topped with a hammer and sickle rotating on clock-like wheels. The tower sits on a table with two drawers, in which are the words “Truth” and “The end of the tower / Forever”. Lu Lei was a child when Mao Zedong died, but the new, globalized China remains a Communist nation, and one where the effects of Mao’s policies continue to resonate.

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