Xu Zhen

徐震
Eternity

Xu Zhen is one of the most interesting and promising artists working in China today. An irreverent artist with a voracious appetite for global information and a unique ability to produce work across multiple platforms and media.Xu Zhen is a conceptual artist whose work often takes the form of provocative sculptures, installations and interventions that confront sociopolitical taboos in contemporary China and freely manipulate western expectations of Chinese art and commerce.

Glenn Branca

Lesson Nº 1 + The Ascension
Glenn Branca has always been a musician positioned halfway between the role of avant-garde composer and that of a rock musician. A pupil and disciple of the masters of American minimalism such as La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Philip Glass and Steve Reich, he has always had to fight against prejudice and fierce criticism. His position was certainly uncomfortable, too academic for rock fans and too “politically incorrect” for academics. In fact, Branca was trying to unhinge all the limits imposed by the rigid schemes of the avant-garde, aware of the fact that those who want to be truly avant-garde should have no limits. John Cage was also able to criticize him, even calling him a fascist ( Luciano Berio also did so for all minimalists) for the excessive rigidity of his compositions, even though he recognized his innovative power. After having created his best known album, The Ascension (1981), a true monument of maximalism played with a classical rock formation (guitars, bass and drums), he tries to approach a different format, the Symphony, as always halfway between rock and academia. Branca will like the experiment and will re-propose it several times in the following decades, to date there are sixteen symphonies (not all recordings are available). Here is how young Branca’s ensemble appeared to the American composer John Adams in one of his first live performances of the First Symphony: “Branca’s event that I listened to at the Japan Center Theater in San Francisco in 1981 was one of his symphonies for guitar . The group didn’t look very different from thousands of other independent or alternative rock bands of the time: guys in jeans and worn t-shirts busy with cables while maintaining that typical distracted expression of rock musicians.

 

Anish Kapoor

Destierro
Destierro – which translates from Spanish into ‘exile’[…] features three installations that see Kapoor veering back towards his signature style of work with pigmented powder. However, unlike his previous work, the three pieces on display in Argentina shine a spotlight on the global migration crisis marking a change in direction for Kapoor who has, up until recently, shied away from making political work.

XU ZHEN

徐震是当今中国最有趣,最有前途的艺术家之一。 徐震是一位概念画家,是一位概念画家,他的作品经常采取挑衅性的雕塑,置和干预的形式,面对当代中国和中国的社会政治禁忌,这是一位顽强的艺术家,对全球信息有强烈的需求,并且具有跨多种平台和媒体制作作品的独特能力。

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Xu Zhen is one of the most interesting and promising artists in China today. Xu Zhen is a conceptual painter and a conceptual painter. His works often take the form of provocative sculptures, installations and interventions. Faced with contemporary China and China’s social and political taboos, this is a tenacious artist. There is a strong demand for global information and the unique ability to produce works across multiple platforms and media.

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Xu Zhen è uno degli artisti più interessanti e promettenti in Cina oggi. Xu Zhen è un pittore concettuale e un pittore concettuale. Le sue opere assumono spesso la forma di sculture, installazioni e interventi provocatori. Di fronte alla Cina contemporanea e ai tabù sociali e politici della Cina, questo è un artista tenace. C’è una forte richiesta di informazioni globali e la capacità unica di produrre opere su più piattaforme e media.

 

Thomas Hirschhorn

توماس هيرشهورن
托马斯·赫塞豪恩
תומס הירשהורן
トーマス·ヒルシュホルン
abschlag

Thomas Hirschhorn’s “Abschlag” installation, which occupies the first room on the main floor, offers a lesson in how not to engage with the Russian milieu: the Swiss artist constructed part of a typical Petersburg apartment block out of cardboard inside the full-height space, ripped off its façade, and deposited the refuse at its base, revealing shabby interiors lined with original avant-garde masterpieces (on loan from the nearby Russian Museum) by the likes of Malevich and El Lissitky. The references allude to a politically radical Russian past; the construction debris acts as a metaphor for history. Though Hirschhorn suggests a recovery of the revolutionary communist spirit of the 1920s, he falls prey to a historically revisionist fetish: citing the Russian avant-garde as a generative point for vanguard culture in the West, and offering it as a source for renewed progressivism in Russia. Hirschhorn seems woefully unaware of the Putin government’s branding campaign, one that aims to sell the Russian avant-guard as a nationalist movement in line with the regime’s own values (perhaps he didn’t watch the Sochi opening ceremony). Hirschhorn ultimately proves Zhilayev right — with its political pretenses, “Abschlag” aspires to make a grand gesture against conservatism, but fails because its critique has already been co-opted..
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Carlos Motta

Patriots, citizens, lovers was developed in conversation with Ukrainian journalist Maxim Ivanukha as a commission of the PinchukArtCentre’s Future Generation Art Prize 2014 and is composed of ten urgent interviews with Ukrainian LGBTI and queer activists who discuss the critical and dire situation of lesbian, gay, trans and intersex lives in Ukraine in times of war[…] Social invisibility, physical and psychological abuse, political violence, and a deeply patriarchal culture frame the context for the difficult work of LGBTI activists who denounce discrimination and demand the transformation of the system.

Mark Dorf

Contours
Contours proposes a distancing through de-familiarization of what has become concrete by way of image and language. Active contradiction and abstraction are central to the works through a mixture of variables often seen in opposition or as dis-harmonious. Through the presentation of puzzling symbols, both familiar and skewed, a legible illegibility is produced: information being transmitted, but the immediate read obscured and hidden from sight. Through this, current sight-lines are made visible allowing for critical reflection, while simultaneously revealing the flexibility of language and image in order to engender the possibility of alternative understandings of the world: a crucial consideration in context of our contemporary global social and political shifts.
video

Superflex

One Two Three Swing!
One Two Three Swing! challenges society’s apathy towards the political, environmental and economic crises of our age. The installation is experienced in three states: apathy, production and movement. The state of apathy compromises a large pendulum suspended by a 20 metre cable from ceiling and swinging above a 770 square metre carpet in a colour scheme inspired by British currency. Occupying the far end of the hall is the state of production, a factory station where swing seats are assembled, stamped and stored prior to distribution and use. Emerging from the state of production, an orange line formed of sets of interconnected, three-seated swings invite and frame the movements of users.

Liu Wa

2020 Got Me Like
As COVID-19 speeds around the world and continues to shut down more cities, people begin to consume Internet culture in order to escape the apocalyptic anxiety in 2020, allowing Internet memes to go viral across the globe. Built upon social media, this work merges everyday sentiments with classical movie scenes to deconstruct the common imagination of “apocalypse” in entertainment industry. The video also incorporates the artist’s footage during protests, turning memes into public commentary and political satire. In this eventful year, meme does more than hijacking and decontextualizing meanings, it has become a form of silent revolt against the absurd.

Zach Blas

Contra-Internet
Currently, Blas is producing a body of artwork that responds to technological control and refusals of political visibility through tactics of escape, disappearance, illegibility, and opacity.

Shu Lea Cheang

Avatar of the artist
Taiwan in Venice 2019
“For those who don’t know her, Shu Lea Cheang is a figure of Net art and the cyberfeminist movement that emerged in the 1990s. Living in New York at the time, she was also an active member of the activist video collective Paper Tiger Television (as was French filmmaker Nathalie Magnan). Since then, Cheang’s work has dealt with “concerns including sex, futures, gender, ecology, money, media, and food [to] encompass film, installation, online work, social processes, and direct intervention in the sociopolitical, technical and aesthetic systems, and the imaginaries which co-compose them,” writes Matthew Fuller

Jordan Wolfson

House with Face
“Reiterated and reworked many times, Wolfson’s cast of characters shed new light on contemporary issues. In House with face, Wolfson revisits the witch whose face is recreated in what appears to be a log cabin tied in chains. While he claims not to be a political artist, Wolfson’s work nevertheless mediates the violence in our world today, often blurring the lines between real and imaginary.” S. Ozer

Diana Thater

“Science,Fiction”

Through a combination of the temporal qualities of video and the architectural dimension of its physical installation, Thater’s work explores the artifice of its own production and its capacity to construct perception and shape the way we think about the world through its image. Natural diversity, wildlife, and conservation have been persistent themes in the artist’s work, and she has dedicated herself to an examination of the varied kinds of relationships humans have constructed with animals. While her in-depth studies of ecosystems and animal behavior propose observation as a kind of understanding in itself, her ethical position is implicit in the work, which, while subtly political, provides views of the sublime in all its incarnations—stunning, beautiful, and simultaneously terrifying.

guli silberstein

Field of Infinity

Inspired by both Italian Renaissance paintings and contemporary news broadcasts of protests at the border of Gaza with Israel – the work processes human gestures and figures in a landscape into a dark and colorful mix, opening up a series of reflections on the political image, the image of the political, the politics of the image, and the image of the image.

file sao paulo 2019 videoart

Dinh Q. Lê

Memory for Tomorrow
Vietnamese American artist Dinh Q. Lê is known for his work in photography, video, and installation. He often splices, interweaves, and distorts photographs to explore his own relationship to Vietnam’s complicated cultural and political history. Lê’s family left Vietnam when he was 10; he has returned and now lives in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).

POTLATCH

Gretchen at the Potlatch Feast

“Potlatch is a festive event within a regional exchange system among tribes of the North pacific Coast of North America, including the Salish and Kwakiutl of Washington and British Columbia.”
The potlatch takes the form of governance, economy, social status and continuing spiritual practices. A potlatch, usually involving ceremony, includes celebration of births, rites of passages, weddings, funerals, puberty,and honoring of the deceased. Through political, economic and social exchange, it is a vital part of these Indigenous people’s culture. Although protocol differs among the Indigenous nations, the potlatch could involve a feast, with music, dance, theatricality and spiritual ceremonies. The most sacred ceremonies are usually observed in the winter.
Within it, hierarchical relations within and between clans, villages, and nations, are observed and reinforced through the distribution of wealth, dance performances, and other ceremonies. Status of families are raised by those who do not have the most resources, but distribute the resources. The host demonstrates their wealth and prominence through giving away the resources gathered for the event, which in turn prominent participants reciprocate when they hold their own potlatches.
Before the arrival of the Europeans, gifts included storable food (oolichan [candle fish] oil or dried food), canoes, and slaves among the very wealthy, but otherwise not income-generating assets such as resource rights. The influx of manufactured trade goods such as blankets and sheet copper into the Pacific Northwest caused inflation in the potlatch in the late eighteenth and earlier nineteenth centuries. Some groups, such as the Kwakwaka’wakw, used the potlatch as an arena in which highly competitive contests of status took place. In rare cases, goods were actually destroyed after being received. The catastrophic mortalities due to introduced diseases laid many inherited ranks vacant or open to remote or dubious claim—providing they could be validated—with a suitable potlatch.
Sponsors of a potlatch give away many useful items such as food, blankets, worked ornamental mediums of exchange called “coppers”, and many other various items. In return, they earned prestige. To give a potlatch enhanced one’s reputation and validated social rank, the rank and requisite potlatch being proportional, both for the host and for the recipients by the gifts exchanged. Prestige increased with the lavishness of the potlatch, the value of the goods given away in it.