Body Media II

Curator Gong Yan
Artist Wu Juehui、Aaajiao 、Susanne Wagner、François Willème、Paul Harrison、John Wood
Organizer PSA

Body Media II

Body Media II has incorporated the industrial architecture of the Power Station of Art – a fragment of modernity – into the exhibition as a “cold body.” This cold body will be infused with warm languages and heated narratives that allow the audiences’ bodies to move and circulate within it like the flow of blood, testing whether the space, the works, andthe audiences can act in accordance with each other. Throughout the process we will, encounter exhausted bodies, contrasting bodies, moving bodies, and illusionary bodies; see how the body can become a substitute for time; discuss the relationship between the body and identity in the virtual world; experience how the body is documented, extracted, readjusted, and reprogrammed; trace how photographic and videographic techniques have transformed our perceptions of the world; and as well discover how bodies, in their representations, can intrude and affect our relation to the real.

This exhibition is a sequel to an exhibition of the same name held in 2007. Ten years ago, Body Media was held in two fully enclosed black boxes, where the sense of space was deliberately taken away, turning the audiences’ bodies into keys that could open up the works through time. At the time, we were anticipating new interfaces and cross-disciplinary collaborations that would circumvent the power centers that formed the patterns for contemporary art production. Ten years later, the ubiquity of self-media and mobile terminals has caused the body and media to surpass a mutually mirroring and collaborative relation. The body is like an interface that every human carries that is of the same scale – an other that is at once both familiar and strange; new media technologies have given it a stage to play and perform, and slowed down its aging, just like how the same technologies are altering the past limitations of art. 

——Gong Yan

Artworks Preview

▲《 3D Water Matrix》,Ulf Langheinrich,Christian Partos,Shiro Takatani,2017,Installation with water and light

The 3D Water Matrix is composed of 900 electrovalves, each computer controlled, which form a square grid with 30 streams of water on each side. The result is a “liquid” video display where drops replace pixels, with a very low resolution (30 by 30 pixels/drops) but one to which gravity imparts a “real” third dimension.

The Matrix itself is not the work of art; it is rather the medium or the interface for the making of liquid creations. Thanks to this robotic machine, Christian Partos becomes a water sculptor and Shiro Takatani, a filmmaker, who creates animations using water drops that defy gravity. A new piece designed by Ulf Langheinrich completes the repertoire, and is based on a three dimensional recording of a real body in movement.

▲《 ZEE》,Kurt Hentschläger,2008,Immersive installation with light and fog

ZEE proposes a state of “Tabula Rasa” (Latin for blank slate), where one’s perceptual framework is first reset and then recalibrated. The audience will enter a space filled with extremely dense fog. Stroboscopic and pulse light filters through the fog in a soft and evenly dispersed manner, creating kinetic structures in constant flux. The audience can freely roam the ZEE space. The nature of the work instills an almost automatic process of slow motion. Suspended flexible ropes mark the available space and lead into and out of ZEE.

▲《Shanghai Time》,Mark Formanek,2007-2017,Performance and video installation

Shanghai Time is a performance lasting exactly 24 hours and is recorded on film. However, this film is much more than just the recording of an action – the recording of something that has taken place in the past – it is also a clock. A clock for use right now and for use in the future which, as each day goes by, extends further into the past, but is still up-to-date and punctual. It’s constructed in real time over a 24-hour period by 59 workers, taking 30 boards and 1,611 changes to complete.

About Curators

Gong Yan

Artist, Curator

Director of Power Station of Art

Chief-Editor of Art World magazine

After graduated from Ecole national superieur des Beaux Arts in Paris, Gong Yan returned to China and established “O Art Center”in Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts. O Art Center focuses on unstable media art and city research, provides a dynamic platform for young talented artists and curators. In 2002 and 2006,Gong Yan’s work had participated in Shanghai Biennial. In 2007,she was nominated artistic director of Shanghai E-Arts Festival, in 2008,she was invited as jury member of Ars Electronica Linz Austria. Gong Yan had curated exhibitions, such as “Utopies Realisable—Exhibition of Yona Friedman”(2007), “Body Media-International Interactive Art Exhibition ”(2007),“Power—Thonik Design Exhibition”(2008), “Ordinary Architecture—The Chinese Pavilion in the 11th International Architecture Venice Biennale”(2008),“Electric fields :Surrealism and beyond—La collection du Centre Pompidou” (2012-2013), “Andy Warhol :15 Minutes Eternal”(2013),Snacks(2016) and etc.

Richard Castelli

Richard Castelli is the director of Epidemic and is the curator of several exhibitions among others in Berlin (Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Martin-Gropius-Bau), in Shanghai (Zendai MoMA, Sculpture Art Centre, Science and Technology Museum), in Roma (three exhibitions with Romaeuropa, the last one at MACRO and now Digitalife every year at Palazzo delle Esposizioni), in Istanbul (twice in Borusan Foundation) and in France (last one in Paris in 2014-2015 on Robotic Art). He is also the producer of artists as: Bruyère, Du, Dumb Type, Granular Synthesis, Hentschläger, Langheinrich, Lepage, Shaw, Takatani and Teshigawara. He produced or co-produced several 360°, immersive, interactive or stereoscopic films and installations. He directed several films broadcast worldwide and got several awards including Golden Award of Rio de Janeiro Festival (Brazil) and 1st prize of Estavar Festival (Spain). From 1999 to 2007, Richard Castelli was the Senior Curator of Lille 2004 Cultural Capital of Europe.