Press Release

The division of biology and geology or nonlife and life is not merely a division that is artificial. It is a division that is dangerous.

—Elizabeth Povinelli, Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism, 2016

In recent months, Daniel Lie has used the studio at Küstlerhaus Bethanien as a research base for exploring the processes of decaying matter. Scales of Decay is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Berlin, and expands the boundaries between what is judged as living and dead matter. With Scales of Decay, Daniel Lie is showing a spatial installation consisting of large-scale drawings made with charcoal, watercolours, turmeric, pencil and linseed gel. The expressively drawn works on paper hang in groupings from the exhibition ceiling. Inspired by a composition of rotting fruits and vegetables draped on a plate in the artist’s studio over several months, it evolves into an entity of its own and, in contrast to the traditional, painterly model of a still-life, becomes the artists collaborator—a symbiotic agent that influences and informs Lie’s work on many levels.



International exhibitions

International ongoing exhibitions

Daniel Lie, Scales of Decay

Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (Germany)

11.06 - 11.07.2021




Exhibition June 11 -July 11, 2021. Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Kottbusser Strasse 10 - 10999 Berlin (Germany). Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–7pm.







Daniel Lie, Scales of Decay, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2021. All Rights Reserved

The colours of the drawings fluoresce in the space. The exhibition walls are also included and have been handpainted with turmeric and linseed gel. Comparable to the dramaturgy of a musical composition, the space is divided into different scenes. Textile works hand-dyed with turmeric accompany the drawings. Their colours yellow (flowers, fruits, bodily fluids) and black (death, earth, depth) form contrasts. The motifs are reminiscent of microscopic images from laboratories, micro-organisms and enlarged particles, and merge with suggestions of insects, food, sea creatures and natural elements. As in many of Lie’s compositions, Scales of Decay builds bridges to concepts of performance art, a medium based on time, transience and presence.

Transgender artist Daniel Lie (Brazil/Indonesia, born in Sã Paulo) is researching life, death, ancestry and decay, and uses organic living matter as a laboratory of ideas. In Daniel Lie’s work, time is central: from the most ancient memories to the beginning of the world, the span of a human life, and the geological time of the elements. To highlight such timeframes, elements that have time contained in them are used for installations and performances, including decomposing matter and the growth of plants, fungi and the body. In interdisciplinary exchange with mycologists, archaeologists or environmental specialists, Lie develops posthumanist perspectives, aiming to break binary thought structures between science and religion, origin and presence, life and death.

Daniel Lie currently holds a KfW Stiftung scholarship in the International Studio Programme at Küstlerhaus Bethanien. Other KfW Stiftung scholarship holders participating in the International Studio Programme in 2021/2022 are Hamlet Lavastida (Cuba), Aziz Hazara (Afghanistan) and Gaёlle Choisne (France/Haiti).

The KfW Stiftung is an independent, non-profit foundation established in October 2012. Promoting cultural diversity in Arts and Culture programmes is one of its top priorities, alongside with further initiatives in the fields of Responsible Entrepreneurship, Social Commitment as well as Environment and Climate. To promote intercultural dialogue, the KfW Stiftung offers artists from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia the opportunity to live and work in Berlin for 12 months and to participate in the studio programme of the International Cultural Centre Küstlerhaus Bethanien.

Daniel Lie,  Dife and Leath  (detail), 2021

Daniel Lie,  Dife and Leath  (detail), 2021