Alibi | forget art

Tag: Alibi

1 七月

Global Times | June 09, 2011 10:16

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/660708/An-Absence-of-Art.aspx

By Lin Kan Hsuang

Is something missing from your life – and do you know what it is? Nine artists unravel their understanding and interpretations of everyday ‘absence’ until July 3, at Alibi, a group exhibition at the Linda Gallery, 798 Art District in Beijing.

……

The Global Times spoke to curator Wang Yifei about how the artists interpreted the idea. First, she explained, absence can be viewed as a “general situation of apathy, loneliness and isolation.” Alternatively, it might be about one’s own absence from a preferable situation: an incessant yearning to escape a constant reality. Third, there’s a doubt about our being, a “question mark over space and time.”

…….

By the entrance protrudes a branch on a spring. The artist, Yang Xinguang, was inspired by his experience climbing a mountain. To enter the gallery, visitors have to either push the branch away to clear a path or make a detour.

……

“The attitude of both accepting and escaping from the disturbance embodies our resistance against something that should have not shown up in our lives,” Yang explained.

……

“Even if you’ve cleared the way and moved into the gallery, you may still be bothered by the branch bouncing back,” Wang said, laughing. “Pretty annoying.”

……

Transience

……

Inside, you’ll find a wall stocked with hundreds of half-eggshells, inside each of which has been written dense and repetitive English vocabulary. Looking for Sense of Security is about artist Liu Ren’s complicated feelings about the language as a required course in his past educational experience.

……

“I hoped to learn this international common language well, so as to be competitive enough, but I realized its importance too late. My alternative choice is to learn English by means of art,” Liu said. “The English vocabulary represented within has been sublimated from being a mere communicative tool to a cultural feature.”

……

Wang interpreted Looking for Sense of Security as being about an absence of both study and life. “The eggs originally bear life; now, a cultural media.”

……

Another of Liu’s works, Back to Ashes, an aluminum lunch box filled with eggshell debris, is more nihilistic.

……

“A living man can disappear in a blink, together with all his sentiments. Consequently, what he thinks important is no longer meaningful, just like the words in the shells. No matter how significant the messages were, time will at last dissolve all existing things,” Liu explained.

……

Besides Liu’s artworks, there are 10 oil paintings, five each by Sun Daliang and Shi Wenfei, Role, a video installation by Li Ming, Tian Yu’s multi-material Shield Position and Li Wei’s action-art video 22 min, 55 sec.


Wu Xiaojun’s work, based on Saddam Hussein’s last words.

……

Forget about art

……

In a separate space with a white neon-light fascia is the Forget Art Fair, a specifically showcased “mini-fair” at the center of the gallery.

……

“It is a mini-sized art fair with only one booth,” Wang said. “Which tries to extend the conception and function of traditional art fairs in a limited area.

……

“Contemporary Chinese art strongly requires the platform of commercial galleries. Forget Art Fair not only represents this status quo but attempts to blur the boundaries between commercial intervention and experimental presentation,” she continued.

……

Forget Art is a group comprising several dynamic young artists. Based in Beijing since 2009, it has successfully participated in two exhibitions.

……

“We are trying to develop work which is not easy to categorize. With a strategy of ‘urban nomad tactics,’ we are attempting to redefine spaces and locations,” said founder Ma Yongfeng.

……

Seven artworks are showcased at Forget’s Linda exhibition, including Alessandro Rolandi’s One, Huang Jia’sJanuary 2011 and February 2011, Ma Yongfeng’s Transparency is Wrong, Wu Xiaojun’s Don’t be Afraid and Yang Jian’s Want to Leave, using materials from oil-on-canvas and stainless steel to 3D animation, neon lights, synthetic glass and LEDs.

……

“Wu Xiaojun is an important figure in the conceptual photography movement of the 1990s, when he fabricated fictional cartoon figures and scenarios,” art critic Carol Yinghua Lu said.

……

Lu was one of five judges at the recent Golden Lion Prize in the 54th Venice Biennale, Italy, and the only Chinese curator of the 2012 Gwangju Biennale, South Korea.

……

Wu’s Don’t be Afraid features a heart-shaped object from which blood vessels made of thin red-neon lights extends, shaping the letters of Saddam Hussein’s last three words before his execution in December 2006 – and the title of the work.

……

“Since 2000, Wu has shifted the focus of his practice toward making site-specific neon-light installations, often involving texts and words, to comment on political and social events,” Lu noted.

……

“Based on his previous experience as a news editor, Wu is able to place an event that has taken place or is happening, in a logical perspective and a larger historical context.

……

“Even though what motivates his creativity is always a single specific aspect of an event, the process of thinking in between, which originates from a humanistic viewpoint and sensitivity, has enriched his artworks and made them thought-provoking.”


16 六月

by Edward Sanderson

from ArtSlant http://www.artslant.com/cn/articles/show/23823

Alibi

Group Exhibition

Linda Gallery Beijing

No.2 Jiu XianQiao Road, 798 Art District, ChaoYang District, 100015 Beijing, China
2011 June 04 – 2011 July 03

……

“Alibi,” the title in English of this group show at Linda Gallery in Beijing’s 798 Art District, seems so much more evocative than the Chinese title (不在场), which the essay by curator Wang Yifei translates as “Being Absent.” Although the adherence to the title seems a little weak at times, this show presents artists working with an absence of some sort. That being a very broad subject, the results take many forms and directions and overall the show brings together an interesting selection of works with some standout pieces.

……

Unsurprisingly, given where we are, the curator’s text does not delve too far into any of the contemporary social realities of “being absent,” describing it in general terms as “like a conspiracy, an escape or a way of self-liberation.” To me this places the focus more on an individual’s agency in the matter and less on absence as a result of outside circumstances. The text also proposes that: “In the contemporary art field nowadays, many artists have established their independent and mature styles of expression without any limit to the subject material.” This statement seems somewhat disingenuous. The show opened on a particularly significant day, a fact that some of the exhibiting artists were obviously well aware of, but would have been unwise to attempt to deal with directly. But there is little point dwelling on such matters, as they simply reflect the facts of working in this environment, to which I recognise I am equally beholden as I can only obliquely refer to their meaning.

……

Stretching across the entrance to the gallery, a long tree branch attached to the wall by a spring forces visitors to divert around or push it aside to make their entry. This piece by Yang Xinguang abstracts an experience of hiking through woods, pushing aside branches to make your way, suggesting for the curator the activity of escape from one place to another. As simple as it is, the piece has a strong effect in its evocation of the thoughtless gesture of moving through an environment far from the controlled environment of the gallery space.

……

Wrapping around the main wall in front of this, Liu Ren’s Searching for a sense of security is a series of thin shelves carrying around 4,000 empty eggshells, inside each of which is handwritten vocabulary from the artist’s attempts to learn English. This mass of shells arranged in their rows are overwhelming in serial nature, their combined fragility, and the sheer amount of potential learning held on their inside surface. The shells hold their information so tentatively in the emptied casings that there is always the possibility of breakage and the loss of meaning.

……

Perhaps the most literal demonstration of “Being Absent” is Li Wei’s painted outlines of bodies on the floor – as if evidence of some mass killing. Painted in mustard-coloured oil paint just prior to the opening, these took several hours to dry, with the outlines becoming increasingly vague and disturbed by the steps of the visitors. Li commented that this process reflected the fact that there are certain events for which the evidence may disappear, but the memory will not.

……

In amongst all this an additional structure has been built, mimicking the booths that appear in art fairs around the world. This serves as the setting for Ma Yongfeng’s forget art fair that takes place within the gallery for the duration of the show. Ma is known for his critical and irreverent approach to art institutions and in this case he has followed the conventions of the international art fair circuit and created his own distinct sales space, acting as a show within “Alibi.” His curated show within a curated show perhaps marks the presence in their absence of curators themselves, hovering over their shows while attempting not to overshadow them (a delicate balancing act which only the best pull off).

……

Works inside Ma’s “fair” include the minimal white canvases of Huang Jia, who adds ridges of stitching to their featureless painted surfaces; Alessandro Rolandi’s unassuming bamboo cane made from polished stainless steel leans up against the corner of the space; and a nice work by Yang Jian of an old armchair supporting a semi-circular section of LED signage. This sign displays a continuous moving text announcing: “… Huang Lei, male, wants to leave – Chen Xiaoxia, female, wants to leave…” etc. For me this piece presented the most appropriate, sensitive and poetic response to the theme of the show. This scrolling sign arches above the absent human form in the armchair, announcing the rather sad and impotent longings of many people to simply – leave.


ֽIJ365betֽhg0088˶ijͳֳhg0088ַ¶̩ij