Lost Koan, 2007

250 x 150 cm base diameter

Glass reinforced polyester, Perspex, motorised drive and fluorescent lights

The title for this work has a dual meaning, referencing, as it does, two quite different matters.

Lijn’s first series of Koans were made in 1969. In order to make them, she had to have a mould made and, therefore, made three Koans of the same size, 5’6” (168cm) high and 40” (101.5cm) base diameter; Anti-gravity KoanSpace Displace Koan and Exit Matter KoanSpace Displace Koan is now in the Tate Collection and both Anti-gravity Koan and Exit Matter Koan were purchased by the Boissonas family for their sculpture collection in Flaine, France.

In the late 1990’s Lijn decided to revisit the Koans, changing both the scale and the angle of the cone. Zero Gravity Koan and Lost Koan are the result. The title Lost Koan refers to her NASA residency at the Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley. In the making of her film Inner Space Outer Space Lijn interviewed astrophysicist and renowned expert on the Aurora Borealis, Dr. Stephen B. Mende. She was fascinated by the visual thoughts arrayed upon his whiteboard and asked him to explain their meaning. His explanation was fascinating and connected to her own work, when he referred to the space above the poles where the solar wind meets with the earth’s magnetic field, as the lost cone.