commissioned by the Guangzhou 2012 International Art Triennial
Guangzhou Opera House, Sep 28th, 2012 travels to the Guangdong Art Museum Sep 28th through Dec 2012
Run is a simple shape perceived from two sides. On stage, two performers, the artist Du Yun and Claire Chase, embark on an elongated process that follows parallel trajectories: one, from an intimate space spilling into high voltage intensities; the other, its exact opposite – the mirror image, going backwards; high intensity dissolves into a stillness. At the core of rapidly increasing movement lies this stillness. The duelling dynamic of the two on-stage performers changes throughout the piece continuing to transform during and after, mutating along each trajectory. They present instantaneous disorientations and sudden abyssal faults that exist in ubiquitous routine.
Deconstructing the idea of a definitive performance, Du Yun invites the audience to undergo a visceral experience from which no one interpretation might be the ultimate result – while also offering the audience a more authoritative role. If the audience is the transmitter of the work, the performers act as the transducer and the composer provides the sound source, then who owns the authorship of the work? It offers an analytical listening in relation to the experience of the performance, in which it is as if one has been led into an enclosed space in total silence and stillness, and starts to run, as fast as possible.
Du Yun and Claire Chase performing Run at the Fourth Guangzhou Triennial
We are thrilled to bring you a review of The Theme Exhibition of the 4th Guangzhou Triennial from our partner ArtSpy, a website based in Beijing, P.R.China that is committed to establishing a platform for global artistic information. This article was originally written for ArtSpy and has been translated exclusively for DailyServing.
Michael Craig-Martin, An Oak Tree, assorted objects and printed text under glass, glass on shelf. 15 × 46 × 14 cm. 1973. Collection: National Gallery of Australia.
About the theme, as curator Jiang Jiehong said, “The Unseen is the main framework for this themed exhibition, and not a topic that it needs to revolve around. Under limited visual experience, projecting expectations that would exceed natural perceptive experience”
This themed exhibition is made up of three sections – with Guangdong Museum of Art as the main venue together with special project “Grandview Project” and the performances at the Guangzhou Opera House. The main venue is a traditional exhibition venue, every piece of work is a sense, “observing” some kind of explanation and illumination around the theme, the space seem to be in a temperate manner, contrived.
Jonathan Schipper, Slow Motion Car Crash, installation. Dimensions variable. 2006.
Giovanni Anselmo, For an Incision in an Indefinite Number of Thousands of Years, iron, rust preventive, wall inscription. 1969.
The Grandview Mall is a large general shopping center that everyone in Guangzhou is familiar with. All works presented do not have any description or label, “lurking” in the public spaces, which once again, highlight the issue of which is between the artist and the audience, between art and the public space.
Below are some thoughts expressed by the general public.
Passerby 1 – Middle-aged female customer: No, no idea what that is, don’t feel much about it.
Passerby 2 – Young male customer: (Next to Date and Left Right Left) why is there so many of these February 28th? And these lights. Is it meant to turn this place into some sort of city landscape? This is a theme, right? (Blushes) And so it can’t leave. The city itself is a work of art. (If you weren’t told that this is a work of art) I think it’s cool. (About this lurking display) Also quite good, but you must really pay attention.
Passerby 3 – general media worker: (facing Aiolos) This must be some kind of sales technique. I don’t think it’s art, I’ve done something like this in the studio. Some much absurdity in contemporary art, if the message is too clear it wouldn’t be contemporary art.
Passerby 4 – McDonalds employee: (About I’m lovin’ It) I’m sorry, we can’t answer your questions.
Passerby 5 – Male customer: (Real Estate 24-hour Elevator Scence) To see this in this kind of busy city is rare, very calming, contemporary. Not that I really understand it, it’s just a feeling I guess.
Passerby 6 – Female customer: I like it a lot, to see something new. I will pay attention, would like to look for similar kind of works. It’s elegant here, the only thing that I don’t really like is that there’re too many McDonald signs. The 2013 next to that is way too big, doesn’t look good in photos. What are your thoughts behind the theme? It should really stand out in the crowd, “The Unseen” shouldn’t be so eye-catching.
Passerby 7 – Female: (Near Never Forever) I saw this and I thought it’s a sign from the installation, probably got something to with how insensitive I am with this kind of things, it honestly didn’t cross my mind that it was a work of art.
Passerby 8 – Student of journalism: Don’t ask me, I don’t get this sort of thing.
Passerby 9 – Young shopkeeper: Is it that McDonalds is going out of business on February 28th 2013? It looks like an ad, but not really, many customers asked me about it. Can’t really imagine it being an art work… If I weren’t an employee here and I see this sign outside the mall I’d come in to check it out as well, but I wouldn’t know where to ask about it.
Passerby 10 – Worker in the mall: (Facing Throwing Exercise, Turning and Property) That guy throwing over there is so stupid. I think that bike looks like an art work, looks like its about to burst out, I really want to yank it down and ride off with it. It’s interesting that they’d appear here. I’d like to look around for the others in the mall, but I’ve got to go to work, if it’s art I guess I’ll spend more time looking.
Passerby 11 – Cleaner: This is a prop for taking photos isn’t it.
Passerby 12 – (Next to Safe House) Toy isn’t it? An Event in the mall? Don’t think it’s art.
It is apparent that art works at the venue have faded into the environment by going unnoticed. Especially in an environment where concentration is rapidly shifted, the “borderline” is hard to grasp, there is a sense of uncertainty and doubt, which again draws us back to the An Oak Tree – “What precisely is the artwork? That glass of water?”
As a journalist, a writer who communicates with the audience, being a communicative media, has inevitably become part of the exhibition.
John Cage, 4′ 33”, Played by Du Yun.
The Guangdong Opera House is the venue focused on performance. There was a one-off performance on the second day of the opening ceremony especially for the guests and media. In the first scene, artist Du Yun reenacted John Cage’s 4’33”, just as the title of the “song” implies, she sat in silence for 4 minutes and 33 seconds; “performed” Katie Paterson’s Earth-Moon-Earth on the piano, echoing the gramophone that the artist had placed in the main exhibition hall. The performance of Run by Du Yun and Claire Chase is emotionally charged, powerful. The work by artist group TASHWEESH of “the temporary resonating spaces related to spatial politics, subjectivity, narrative and reality, imagination and memories” is vivid, accompanied by an intense soundtrack and lasted for 40 minutes. Boikutt’s soft singing on the side makes this piece of work seem even more organic, rich and more imbued with the environment.
September 13, 2012
The Unseen: the Fourth Guangzhou Triennial 28 September–16 December 2012
Guangdong Museum of Art 38 Yanyu Road, Er-sha Island, 510105 Guangzhou, China Hours: Tue–Sun, 9–5pm. Free entry
The Guangdong Museum of Modern Art presents theUnseen, the theme exhibition of the4th Guangzhou Triennial. The Guangzhou Triennial is one of the biggest art events in China and this year exhibits work by up to 75 international artists from 24 countries and areas. Curated by Jiang Jiehong and Jonathan Watkins, the Triennial will take place across three venues, from 28 September to 16 December 2012.
The theme of the Triennial is straight forward, despite its suggestion of obscurity. Its title, the Unseen, a simple term with easy access, is a point of departure for a vast range of possible meanings that touch on the complexity of ways of seeing, blindness and envisaging, especially with respect to visual art. The Unseen refers to the limitations of our sensory organs, the narrow confines of human perception on the one hand; on the other, paradoxically, it gives rise to observations that transcend familiar experience.
The Fourth Guangzhou Triennial is set in three different areas, each area serving a different function: the Guangdong Museum of Art, as an exhibition space, the Guangzhou Opera House, as a performance space, and the Grandview Mall—one of the largest shopping centres in Southern China—as a public, non-museum space.
Programme: 28 September 2012 Press reception: 2–3pm Opening and private view: 4–6pm
The Guangdong Museum of Art 38 Yanyu Road, Er-sha Island, 510105 Guangzhou, China
Artists: Ignasi Aballi, Giovanni Anselmo, Vladimir Arkhipov, Angie Atmadjaja, Felice Beato, Thomas Bewick, Alice Cattaneo, Chen Chieh-Jen, Ruth Claxton, Michael Craig-Martin, Du Yun, Marcel Dzama, Harold Edgerton, Dan Flavin, Ceal Floyer, Yukio Fujimoto, Gao Shiqiang, Franz Gertsch, Graham Gussin, Ham Jin, Ham Kyungah, Han Kyung Woo, Hu Yun, Huang Ran, Sofia Hulten, Ann Veronica Janssens, Jiang Zhi, Tim Johnson, Kan Xuan, On Kawara, Lee Seungae, Leung Chiwo, Liu Wei, Li Wei, Vladimir Logutov, Lu Yang, Lutz and Guggisberg, Madein Company, Miao Xiaochun, Francois Morellet, Kingsley Ng, Timur Novikov, Trevor Paglen, Cornelia Parker, Katie Paterson, Giuseppe Penone, Susan Philipsz, The Propeller Group, Josef Robakowski, Jadwiga Sawicka, Jonathan Schipper, Shen Shaomin, Shi Jinsong, Dayanita Singh, Sui Jianguo, Tan Ping, Ron Terada, Amikam Toren, Tu Weizheng, Rikuo Ueda, Wang Yuyang, Xiao Yu, Zhang Dali, Zhuang Hui
29 September 2012 The Grand View project Private view: 10:30–12pm Grandview Mall Tianhe Road No. 228, 510620 Guangzhou, China
Artists:Colin Chinnery, Graham Gussin, Guest, He An, Li Wei, Madein Company, The Propeller Group, Tof, Wang Jianwei, Yang Zhenzhong , Zheng Guogu, Zhou Xiaohu, Zhuang Hui and Dan’er
29 September 2012 Opera House project Performances: 2:30–6pm Guangzhou Opera House 1 Zhujiang Xi Lu, Zhujiang New Town Tianhe District, Guanghzou Artists: John Cage, Du Yun & Claire Chase, Katie Paterson, Tashweesh