The Shape of Things to Come - 140 sqm
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[楼主] art-pa-pa 2009-08-27 12:57:39

140平方米 | 140sqm gallery



艺术家:何  晓飞 孙逊



You are cordially invited To the new group exhibition: 


Artists: Elaine W. Ho, Liang Shuo, Qiu Xiaofei, Sun Xun

Curator: Beatrice Leanza


览时间200998-- 1031

DurationSeptember 8 - October 31, 2009

幕酒200998 星期二 15:00 -- 19:00

OpeningSeptember 8, 2009 Tuesday 15:00 -- 19:00


上海市复兴中路133126 近汾

1331 Fuxing zhong lu, Room 26, near Fenyang lu

Shanghai  200031

86 21 6431 6216


[沙发:1楼] art-pa-pa 2009-08-27 13:02:41

The Shape of Things to Come
Artists: Ho W. Elaine, Liang Shuo, Qiu Xiaofei, Sun Xun
Curator: Beatrice Leanza
Venue: 140sqm gallery
Date: September 8 – October 31, 2009
Opening: September 8, 2009 Tuesday 15:00-19:00

“…all about a kind of door. To envision us approaching and pounding on this door, increasingly hard, pounding and pounding, not just wanting admission but needing it; we don’t know what it is but we can feel it, this total desperation to enter, pounding and ramming and kicking. That, finally, the door opens, and it opens outward --- we’ve been inside what we wanted all along. Das ist komish”
David Foster Wallace

The Shape of Things to Come is an experimental project bringing together four artists and one curator to test the ground of contemporary art in a time ‘other than’ the present. Conceived in reminiscence of a Wunderkammer, or Cabinet of Curiosity, the exhibition engages the task of exposing the status of artistic objects to scientific self-inspection. It does so by stretching the visual narratives and spatial extents of the creative process past its extinction, into the realm of a possible future. As the Cabinet contained an object-ified reservoir of history, this project deliberately captures itself and the works toward a latent new aesthetic order.

Written in 1933 at the peak of the Great Depression, the novel by H.G.Wells from which this exhibition takes its name provides an account of world history up to 2105; in a disastrous unraveling of ominous predictions towards global collapse, Well’s imagination purges the traces of the present with no regret for its oblivious passing away. Adapting an expression from F. Jameson’s essay Future City, Wells certainly makes best use of “the secret method of this genre [science-fiction]: which in the absence of a future focuses on a single baleful tendency, one that it expands and expands until the tendency itself becomes apocalyptic and explodes the world in which we are trapped into innumerable shards and atoms”.

What then, if we were able to test-drive the deflagration of our aesthetic universe? Manufactured in the conceptual size of a table-game, what parcels of history, relics of the contemporary, would be left as a visual repository of our present times, and in what new semiotic order would they re-awaken so that by way of an exhilarating expansion, stretched between experience and premonition, they’d frame the possibility of a hopeful artistic prophecy beyond its predictable end.

Such is seemingly the quest of the current age. How to jumpstart history?
Can we avoid a critical conflation of artistic paradigms, that is, a totalizing erasure of things past, their identity and difference, and still break through a concrete future?
The project’s participants use the site and economics of the exhibition to play out such a fantastic threat.

As in a Memory Theatre where timelines are confused and overlapping in an associative map of symbols and places, this show wishes to expose the processes of observation constitutive of the works presented, that is the aesthetic strategies subtending new conceptual trajectories of research in the space of the local and its hidden, uncontrollable forms of dialogue with the present.

By activating memory and recollection into a continuous revision of what dwells between visibility and invisibility, they subtly reveal the organizational structures we employ to discern the truth of things and the material phenomena which help us making sense of our time, space and position within it.
Somehow between wonder and belief, the natural and the man-made, there appears the resemblance of a common present. Out of this partial, ambivalent, unaesthetic sense of belonging we can always re-form the shape of things to come.
Site-specifically devised for the 140sqm Gallery, The Shape of Things to Come presents a series of interlocking installations and textual interventions where boundaries continue to be tested and stripped down. Some of the leftovers have already made it somewhere into this text.
The invitation and visual identity produced for the exhibition are part of Elaine W. Ho’s contribution to the show, and a ‘tool’ complementary to her installation in the gallery.

For more information, please contact us.
Add: 1331 Fuxing Zhonglu Room 26 Near Fenyanglu Shanghai, China
Tel : + 86 21 6431 6216
[板凳:2楼] art-pa-pa 2009-08-27 13:03:39
Unspecified Curatorial Notes
“-- to be out of place with punctuality and precision”
Miwon Kwon

The Shape of Things to Come is accompanied by a somehow hazardous insistence that among the many crises of meaning we experience today, one particularly seems to affect our visual welfare.

It manifests itself as an optical disorder, where the historical indeterminacy of the contemporary is short-circuited in a dialogical intercourse without translation.
The practice of translation suggested here leans on Homi Bhabha’s idea of the act of “holding – a thought, a tone, a note”, a “momentary stillness” of common belonging in which the “(linguistic) sign continuously shifts from being an object of intention to becoming a mode of intention – the cultural and discursive specificity of the sign as a repertoire (and reservoir) of meaning”.

This exhibition project wishes to reflect on the possibility of lending itself to the realm of scientific knowledge, jumpstart the sense of history by casting the analytical gaze of criticism and therefore our subjective judgment, between the here-and-now and its apocalyptic collapse.

Liberated in the uneven geography of radical difference, the agency of translation is today cast onto a system of movement where the ‘relational specificity’ of meaning is always unmade continuous, fractured, schizophrenic. Predicated on an aesthetics of broken narratives, approximated stories and incomplete vistas, the jouissance of the ever-changing, continuous production of the contemporary seems to break down to an idiosyncratic resistance to align its dystopian specificities onto a cultural and discursive horizon of liberating exhaustion; a theorization of ‘ending’ not intended as totalizing synthesis but, to refrain Jameson’s words, as a “breaking out of the windless present of the postmodern, […] so that it begins again to transmit feeble signals of time, of otherness, of change, of Utopia”. That is, the knowledge of identity and difference is as much “a question of epistemology and history, as it is a perceptual and phenomenological problem that relates to how we see and from where we look”. (H. Bhahba)

This project looks thus at experimenting with the spatial and temporal possibility of such an aspectival perspective where scientific accuracy and subjective wisdom coexist; authorship, the intentional articulation of knowledge from object to modality, is made available to the viewer to freely engage with in a mystique of play and divertissement – here the aesthetic object is no longer mine or yours, it reawakens in another life and point in time in common belonging.

To this extent the gallery is recaptured in its original function as a space-for-viewing, where the constituent relationships framing the ‘discourse’ of the exhibition are subverted and confounded, to reopen the specificity of signification of artistic objects - the cultural thickness embedded in their being visual repository of the contemporary - to their oblique positioning. Within memory and history they are ever to be found out of place, yet with punctuality and precision.

Beatrice Leanza is an independent curator and art writer active in China since 2002; former curator and managing director of CAAW (艺术文件仓库) in Beijing, she has written extensively for catalogues and different international publications (Flash Art, Yishu Journal, Abitare, etc), and is co-founder of BAO Atelier, a creative studio for integrated research in editorial, curatorial and design practice. Her research focuses on the investigation of specific ‘cultures of space’ in contemporary Asia - collaborative-oriented processes, interdisciplinary practices and site-specificity.
[地板:3楼] guest 2010-11-04 14:29:30
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