Public Viewings


Mnemonics of the Self and Social Space in the film works of 7 Chinese artists

Screening program and public presentation


SUN Xun
Requiem
video animation
2007

November 13, 2009
Salon of MoCAb – Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade
in collaboration ::  Jelena VESIC

November 18, 2009
Galeria Nova | Zagreb, CR
support :: WHW Collective

artists ::  CHEN Xiaoyun (1971, lives and works in Hangzhou), GAO Shiqiang (1971, lives and works in Hangzhou), LU Chunsheng (1968, Shanghai), QIU Anxiong (1972, Sichuan province; lives and works in Shanghai), SHI Qing (1969, Inner Mongolia; lives and works in Beijing), SUN Xun (1980, Fuxin; lives and works in Beijing), ZHANG Ding (1980, Gansu; lives and works in Shanghai)

Much of the literature compiled around the popularity of Chinese contemporary art is generally concerned with its commitment to an aesthetic modernization process that satisfies international exhibitions’ agenda by translating the social and economic implications of an increasingly globalized country into the critical achievements sustained by its creative miracle. While such form of discourse is motivated by transformative notions of urban growth, social development, economic differentiation, and is largely interpreted via a secular portraiture of changing credos and mentalities, not much of it seems to engage with the less manifest phenomena informing the shifting nature of private and public spatiality as culturally and subjectively constructed processes.

In recasting attention to the processes of spatial voyage and memory formation through the filmic experiments of these artists – be those documentary evidence, fictive journey or personal diary — subtle commentaries of self-disclosure reappear into a totally new feature of change which no longer inhabits the vestiges of the past – its symbols, iconographies and idols, but sits on the ruins of the present by eliciting mental, psychological and spatial associations of contemporary ‘inner landscapes’ . By articulating intimate writings into the architectural peripatetics of moving pictures, these artists’ works make use of an elliptic emphasis on subjectivity, mnemonics and imaging, so that the viewing product comes into being as a space of collective recollection where social fundaments and behavioural schema are readjusted into the artists’ contemplation of interpersonal dependencies and historical loci.

Public Viewings thus represents an attempt to elucidate theoretically and aesthetically on the changing psyche and processes of identity formation in contemporary China through their aesthetic re-enactment in cinematic space. In the wake of critical historical changes defined by forms of transcultural regionalism and denationalization in place in the Asian continent, a dive into the representational apparatus of the Self in the reality of globalizing China is a necessary exercise for anyone interested in venturing inside a yet un-coded domain of public culture where networked societies and a-political subjectivities are shaping new sociological mainstays.


Borderline – Moving Images


June 23 – July 1, 2007
various locations | Beijing, CN
www.borderlinefestival.org




The graphic project included visual identity and design for all communication material, posters, flyers, invitations and web. The festival published also a free independent journal chronicling all events and projects. The main visuals is inspired by Beijing City sprawling mobility, each character of the title Borderline (边界线) is cut out of a simplified map of the city.

main organizers :: BAO Atelier & Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing
in collaboration with: Soho China, Ltd., 86/33 Link, Theatre in Motion, Chaos Projects
supporting institutions :: CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts), Beijing Film Academy, Goethe Institute Peking, Austrian Cultural Forum, Norwegian Office of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of Belgium in China, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations (Mexico), Icelandic Art Center
sponsored by :: MinSheng Bank, Barco, Boloni Group, Intelligent Alternative
media partners :: Modern Media, Domus China, Time Out Beijing, Danwei.org, City Pictorial, City Weekend, Vision, Art&Design China


Borderline – Moving Images


June 23 – July 1, 2007
various locations | Beijing, CN




art direction ::  Beatrice LEANZA & Pauline DOUTRELUINGNE
main organizers :: BAO Atelier & Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing
in collaboration with: Soho China, Ltd., 86/33 Link, Theatre in Motion, Chaos Projects
supporting institutions :: CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts), Beijing Film Academy, Goethe Institute Peking, Austrian Cultural Forum, Norwegian Office of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of Belgium in China, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations (Mexico), Icelandic Art Center
sponsored by :: MinSheng Bank, Barco, Boloni Group, Intelligent Alternative
media partners :: Modern Media, Domus China, Time Out Beijing, Danwei.org, City Pictorial, City Weekend, Vision, Art&Design China

An experimental urban platform unfolding over the course of nine days, it takes as its area of investigation the interconnection between visual production and contemporary urban culture with a focus on video art and its multidisciplinary accounts. Conceived as a continuous narrative, the event moved every day into a new location within different areas of Beijing city, networked through public and private institutions, commercial and educational spaces including universities, galleries and art venues.

It featured an international program of both exhibitions and public programs such as talks, workshops, screenings, and live performances bridging perspectives from installation, short film, documentary, animation, performance and music, sound art, architecture and design.

Borderline‘s structure included three overarching sections: 2 thematic exhibitions, 6 days of Mobile Lab and night events. Full content on all events can be viewed at www.borderlinefestival.org.

(more…)


Seduction


A Theory-Fiction between the Real and the Possible

June 2007
Opening exhibition of Borderline Moving Images 2007
SoHo Shangdu Underground Parking Lot | Beijing, CN




curator ::  Beatrice LEANZA
exhibition design ::  LI Naihan

artists ::  Fikret ATAY, Johanna BILLING, Candice BREITZ, Mircea CANTO, Calin DAN, Claire FONTAINE, 高世强 GAO Shiqiang, Clarisse HAHN, Teresa HUBBARD & Alexander BIRCHLER, Jesper JUST, Mathieu LAURETTE, Melik OHANIAN, 欧宁 OU Ning & 曹斐 CAO Fei, 石青 SHI Qing, Ulla Von BRANDEMBURG, 吴文光 WU Wenguang, 张培力 ZHANG Peili.

design background ::

Through the ideal city, the grand socialist city, the modern city — the social, subjective and political space are represented.
 The space design accommodates the narrative of the different video pieces into a constructed environment of ephemeral simulation, where the spatial qualities of certain Beijing urban tropes and structures of spatial signification, sociality, movement, will be juxtaposed to specific filmic stories. Seduction is a staged fiction that wishes to provoke how forms and processes of production ultimately surface while questioning the reception and understanding of cultural orders as reconstructed truths. In the underground site of SoHo Shangdu parking lot, the experience offered to the viewer and the challenge put on the works presented is that of reconsidering the way they expose themselves to each other (as belonging to diverse critical/cultural/information systems and subjective spheres) while restoring that minimum distance necessary for the latent meaning of the image to remain still and become a point of collective meeting and counter representation. In this sense the show also puts together filmic languages that are very distant yet articulates vivid coded systems within a hybrid environment. The participation of the public in the reading of the show is thus one based on displacement and surprise, unattended meetings with subconscious and alien “possibilities” of existence that the one dimensional media performance of the modernizing process often hides, yet perpetuates.
(more…)


Seduction


A Theory-Fiction between the Real and the Possible

June 2007
Soho Shangdu Underground Parking Lot | Opening exhibition of Borderline Moving Images 2007
Beijing, CN


curator :: Beatrice LEANZA
exhibition design :: LI Naihan

participating artists :: Fikret ATAY, Johanna BILLING, Candice BREITZ, Mircea CANTOR, Calin DAN, Claire FONTAINE, GAO Shiqiang (高世强), Clarisse HAHN, Teresa HUBBARD & Alexander BIRCHLER, Jesper JUST, Mathieu LAURETTE, Melik OHANIAN, OU Ning & CAO Fei (欧宁 & 曹斐),  SHI Qing (石青), Ulla Von BRANDEMBURG, WU Wenguang (吴文光), ZHANG Peili (张培力).

A constructed story-telling portrayed by the experiments of 17 international artists, Seduction is a theory-fiction inspired by the homonymous book by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, featuring diverse video installations, including documentary, experimental video, and footage appropriated from personal and public archival material, CCTVs, mass media, pop culture video-clips, cinema repertory, etc.

“On the backdrop of modernization and the inspirational economic leverage incited by the countdown to the Olympics, the changing relationship between politics and culture articulates within a process of experimentation which interrogates locality and its historicity against, on a side, the products of global consumerist culture, and on the other, the convergence of new models of spatial thinking and occupation, popular culture, social ‘neo-neo-tribalism’, corporate branding, viral marketing and hybrid libidinal economies. The perpetual nature of this predominantly visual production giving rise to new urban imaginaries speaks to the paradigmatic quality of fluid social networks, where communication is situational, metaphorically consumed in the digital time of internet and experienced in the superficial flux of moving images. Indeed the synthesis of global connectivity is not only challenging our sense of space, but also that of human presence within; while displacing the time of history in a one-dimensional media flow, it furthers brings into questions that of its immanent possibilities and “invisible” modes of existence. It is thus in the spatial convergence of our mental vocabulary/memory, one of compound narrativity and filmic character, and the digital tempo of contemporary hyper-production that opens up the measure for art to forge critical distance and innovative models of counter-representation.”