Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition

【Academic】 Opening Lecture

Speaker: Dong Bingfeng, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jiahao, Lu Mingjun

 

Date: 2016.9.22

Venue: Hall 1, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA)

 

About the lecture: Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA), CAFA Art Museum and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum join up to organize “Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition”. It was curated by Caitlín Doherty, Dong Bingfeng and Wang Chunchen, which would be opened in Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA), September, 22nd 2016, when artists, like Dong Bingfeng, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jiahao and Lu Mingjun and so on would participate in academic events.

【Academic】 Wang Gongxin: There is Nothing to See —— From “ Sky of Brookyln ”

Speaker: Wang Gongxin

 

Date: 2016.10.23

Venue: Hall 1, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA)

 

About the lecture: In this lecture, the artist Wang Gongxin introduced the thought process of finding the main line from the original, and discussed with the audience the possibility of using the language of the image to penetrate into the real life. Sharing the reality and perception of artists' creation, nihility and existence, the problem of the fracture between viewing and blocking.

 

About the speaker:Wang Gongxin, 1960 born in Beijing China, as the pioneer and one of the representatives for Video Art in China. Wang was admitted to the Capital Normal University academy of Fine Arts in 1978, and took the teaching post after graduation in 1982. In 1987, he went to State University of New York as a visiting scholar for master degree studying. In 2013, Wang nominated as Olivier Award for XL video award for best set design. In 2014, Honorary Doctoral degree in SUNY.  

 

Wang exhibited his work in his studio as the form of 'Open studio' in 1994 when he was back to China, he put forward the idea of the 'apartment art' in the middle of the 1990s in China. In 1995, he open studio again for his first video installation work: 'The sky of Brooklyn' in his courtyard house in Beijing. In 1996 in Hangzhou, Wang participated the first 'China Video Art' exhibition which was considered to be a historical significance. Wang founded 'Loft New Media Art Space' in 1999, and as its art director. 'Loft New Media Art Space' was the earliest nonprofit art space in China, and also the far-reaching significance for Avant-garde art, Art exchange and development for Chinese Video art. From 1996 to Now, lived and worked in New York.

 

Wang's works were exhibited in San Paulo Biennale, Taipei Biennial, Shanghai Biennial . National Art Museum of China, UCCA,Beijing. MOMA PS1, New York. Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Tate Liverpool in UK . National Gallery of Victoria in Australia . SFMOMA,USA .Guggenheim Museum,NY and White Cube Gallery, HK.

Wang Gongxin | The Sky of Brooklyn — digging a hole in Beijing | 1995

RMCA Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition Exhibition Work

 

WANG GONGXIN COMPLETED The Sky of Brooklyn in 1995, perhaps invigorated by his return to Beijing from New York that year. He hired laborers to dig a three-meter pit inside his small house in the Dongsi neighborhood of Beijing. At the bottom of the pit he placed a video monitor showing a recording of the Brooklyn sky filmed from the roof of his old New York apartment. In China of the 1990s, when video was not yet widespread as an art form, the technical language of this artwork was very simple. Yet, since Wang used his own home to make the work site-specific, it demonstrates a strict conceptual logic that ingeniously combines the elements of the geographical relationship between New York and Beijing, a transplanted site, and a switch in the artist’s location and identity. 

Wang Gongxin | The Sky of Brooklyn — digging a hole in Beijing | 1995

RMCA Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition Exhibition Work

 

Beijing did not yet have commercial galleries and art museums, so digging a hole at home was more a necessity than a choice. But it was this necessity that led Wang Gongxin to introduce site as a concept: what is the difference between a well dug at one’s own home and one dug in an exhibition space? Of course, in the case of this particular artwork, the two are not interchangeable. If I remember correctly, The Sky of Brooklyn was the first work to make the conceptual shift from an unspecified space to a particular site, and to begin paying attention to the identity and memory the place itself holds. (Not long after this, the Chinese word xianchang [locale or liveness], which is similar to changyu [site], began to appear regularly in criticism.) The shift in thinking from space to site represents the product of a typical conceptual art education, putting it at odds with the spontaneous language of art in China, which at that time most valued expressiveness and intuition.

 

Wang Gongxin | The Sky of Brooklyn — digging a hole in Beijing | 1995

RMCA Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition Exhibition Work

Perhaps because it was based so fully on the idea of site, The Sky of Brooklyn can never be reproduced, and, if we rely on visual documentation, we forget the voice that comes from the bottom of the well:

“What do you think you’re looking at? There’s nothing to see.” “There are a few clouds in the sky…” “There’s nothing to see.”

This a recording of the artist’s own voice; it sounds like he’s talking to himself. In the United States, when children play at digging holes, parents often joke that “If you keep digging you’ll get to China,” or, if a child is being naughty, they might tell him or her to “Go and dig a hole to China”—clearly China is a place to burn off energy. In China, on the other hand, we have the fable of the frog in the well, whose understanding of the world is limited by his view of the sky; the saying mixes together feelings of discomfort and boredom. There are many contradictions between the two, but these twin sensations are always present in Wang Gongxin’s work.

 

Wang Gongxin | Blood Stained Auction | 2015

Wang Gongxin | Blood Stained Auction | 2015
The audible installation consisting of five large screens presents an “overlapping” or “disordered” “viewing” site that renders into a scene of Blood Stained Auction. Resembling the “old flicks” montaged with archival fragments, various scenes, objects and the personas of various periods, are presented on the five screens in order, the figures and scenes of the famous sketch Blood Stained Shirt are slowly revealed. Blood Stained Shirt is an epic “revolutionary realist” painting by the Chinese artist Wang Shikuo from the 1950s, it recreated the scene of “struggling against the landlord” at the farmers’ gathering in the new China. Wang Gongxin mixes and reorganizes the prominent figures and compositional elements with the scene of an art auction of the present. The class struggle, the angered masses and the woman making an accusation in Blood Stained Shirt translate into the anxious audience at an art auction. With the “mix-up” of this non-linear narrative, and the representational aesthetics of the “old flick” rendered with archival footages from old films, the artwork slowly becomes an overlapping scene of familiar yet bewildering “history” and the “present”. The five videos plays synchronously while the details of the segmented scenes and objects are switched in a timely fashion. As the viewer steps into the exhibition space, the artist attempts to create a “presence” of “a state of mind”.

 

【Academic】 Feng Mengbo: Apple Diary

Speaker: Feng Mengbo

 

Date: 2017.1.14

Venue: Hall 1, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA)

 

About the lecture:Artist Feng Mengbo since his first personal computers started to speak, back to his early slide show, movie and drama, the influence of video, computer and network to his meaning, how about a from the electronic game otaku grow into the artist's story, and audience to discuss the possibility of video and media art in the future and its questions to them.

About the speaker:

When I went to Beijing in 1993 to write about Chinese contemporary art, I was told about a group of painters who represented the apogee of romanticism, about some formalists, about some politicos, and about the nerds.  Feng Mengbo was the king of the nerds.  What has been interesting to observe since then is that he is also, in fact, both a romantic and a formalist, and that while most of his art is not explicitly about politics, a political consciousness peeks through it.  Feng Mengbo’s intelligence compasses not only varied styles, but also varied sensibilities.  He can deposit longing in the cold aesthetics of the computer age; he can suffuse a vision of the future with the nostalgia of history. Even when his work is about killing and mayhem, it remains tinged with a residual sweetness. Even when it is about achieving and relinquishing power, it remains self-deprecating.  The work may vaunt; the gloss of the automatic, but Feng Mengbo is always in it, explicitly or implicitly, sometimes a captive in his own video game, holographically transplanted into the hostile terrain of virtual monsters and enemy combatants, and sometimes only the author of such dark, heroic worlds.  "

——Excerpt from  the article Feng Mengbo,1-bit

written by  Andrew Solomon in 2009

Works:

Feng Mengbo | Apple Diary | 1994

RMCA Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition Exhibition Work | E9 Gallery

 

Apple Diary (1994)

Artist Statement on Apple Diary:

In autumn 1993, I bought my first personal computer, an Apple LCII, and the next day I bought a Korg M1. I later used Aldus Persuasion, the only software on the computer, to practice painting and master the techniques of multi-layered electronic slides. I also taught myself to play the M1 and use a multi-track MIDI editor; I used a four-track tape recorder and a MiniDisc to practice recording and mixing music. In 1994, the forty-two panel painting Game Over: Long March was shown at Hanart TZ in a solo exhibition of the same name. The piece was collected by Guy and Myriam Ullens. The digital projection of the piece was carried on two 1.44 MB floppy disks and a MiniDisc, and presented using two Apple computers and a MiniDisc player. In the exhibition preface and interview, I claimed that this was a draft for a video game I wanted to make in the future. The interactive installation Long March: Restart was finally completed fourteen years later in 2008 and exhibited at the UCCA. While I was making Game Over, I used my computer to make Apple Diary, recording bits of daily life, including painting, eating, watching cartoons, playing on the computer, browsing music, being awakened by fire trucks in the middle of the night, and the bizarre dreamland in which Chairman Mao stands at an intersection trying to flag down a taxi.

 

Feng Mengbo | My Private Album | 1996

RMCA Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition Exhibition Work | E9 Gallery

Feng Mengbo | Q4U | 2002

 

Feng Mengbo | Long March: Restart | 2008

 

Feng Mengbo | 195806 | 2015

Collection of RMCA

 “ I have numerous wall charts in my collection. One of them is about atomic bombs, which does particularly appeal to me.

China once saw divided opinion about atomic bombs. Until China’s first ever launch of an atomic bomb in Lop Nur at 3 p.m., Oct. 16th, 1964, Chinese were against atom bombs. However, they did not oppose the Soviet Union’s plan of using atom bombs to contend against the United States.

Based on the Wall Chart For Residents against Atomic Weapons, I have made a film called 195806, named after the publication date of the chart.

I am also intrigued by the localization of those Soviet images, which was basically the history of fine arts in modern China.

The film only features several images of the wall chart, which I used to turn days into nights. Although between every two images are only 4-minute intervals, they may seem unbearably long for the audience. The character, hiding in the shade, falls into a eternal sleep. The pedals of a fallen bicycle in the farmland has stopped spinning. Black smoke comes out of the chimney afar. Rain in front of the camera keeps washing everything in the world in vain, filled with the aroma of the soil.” 

Feng Mengbo | Short Wave | From 2015 till now

【Academic】Dong Bingfeng: Video Art in China: From a Critical Perspective

Speaker: Dong Bingfeng

 

Date: March, 4th 2017

Venue: Hall 1, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA)

 

About the lecture:录像艺术在中国的发展已近三十年。至今,己有为数众多的主题性展览和个案研究,如国内的深圳OCT当代艺术中心丶上海民生现代美术馆和北京中央美院美术馆等,都在近年举办过大型的录像艺术的历史回顾及专题展览。这些项目都具有相当的历史学术视野及不同研究论点的创造性。包括非盈利机构-录像局,对录像艺术的文献整理与档案保存丶在国内的传播推广,对研究与公众认知更具深远意义。

 

但录像艺术在中国的发展,也并非一直表现为一种明晰的概念范畴或历史脉络,而是自发生起,即与同期兴起的独立电影丶纪录运动和新媒体艺术等个人化或当代艺术的影像实践,一直互为影响和在一些问题视角下可互为转换。一方面,作为纪实与观念实践的录像艺术,既开放了社会议题与艺术创作的美学形变;另一方面也不断挑战翻转了固化的视觉观看机制与经验感知。

 

本次讲座,以“屏幕测试"展览为材料讨论背景,尝试讨论以下4组议题:1、中国录像艺术的历史与问题;2、作为当代艺术的录像实践;3、1990年代以来的"个人影像方式";4、录像行动:公民影像与艺术行动主义;以此来拓展录像艺术在中国演进的文化指向和艺术研究命题。

 

About the speaker:现为中国美院跨媒体艺术学院研究员。曾先后担任广东美术馆与尤伦斯当代艺术中心策展人丶伊比利亚当代艺术中心副馆长丶栗宪庭电影基金艺术总监与OCAT研究中心学术总监,同时他也担任多个艺术机构与艺术刊物的学术委员。董冰峰曾获“CCAA中国当代艺术评论奖"(2013)和“《YISHU》典藏国际版中国当代艺术评论奖"(2015)。

 

董冰峰的研究领域包括影像艺术丶独立电影丶中国当代艺术史丶展览史与当代批评理论。2000年以来,董冰峰参与策划和主编了大量的艺术展览丶学术活动以及当代艺术理论出版项目。他的主要策展活动包括“从极地到铁西区:东北当代艺术1985-2006"丶“艺术高速公路"丶“从电影看:当代艺术的电影痕迹与自我建构"丶“第2届深圳独立动画双年展"丶“生命文献:沈阳地下音乐1995-2002"和正在广州红专厂当代艺术馆展出的“屏幕测试:1980年代以来的华人录像艺术"等。董冰峰也是“第2届广州三年展"的学术秘书和“85新潮:中国第一次当代艺术运动"的助理策展人。

【Tour】Curator:Dong Bingfeng

 

【Tour】Museum Tour

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