Pékin Fine Arts, No.241 Cao Chang Di Village, Cui Ge Zhuang, Chaoyang District, Beijing
3 Sept – 16 Oct, 2011
Chasing Sites is a relatively sedate presentation for artist Weng Wei, focusing on her ink paintings on rectangles of paper and cutouts affixed to clearly delimited sections of the gallery walls. These new works and their installation in Pékin Fine Arts have calmed the spontaneity of her earlier appearances, and this aspect of spontaneity—instigated in part by the precarious conditions under which she was then working—she now treats with some ambivalence. This show has become a critique of those conditions, with the new works as close readings of past installations, rationalisations of the things which she looked for from those venues but which she feels were lacking.
Some are artists setting up programs for themselves or their peers, others are fully-fledged companies offering a wide range of art services. All see themselves as “alternatives,” but what do they mean by that and how do they sit in relation to the Beijing art-world?
These brief notes on some “alternatives” in Beijing (and beyond) were inspired by a visit to one of the groups mentioned, TCA, which led me to question just what it meant to be “alternative,” what is “alternative” a reaction against and how do these organisations go about positioning themselves?
Thinking about subjectivity and how it comes about. Thought of as a product, and effect(?), of objects – of Marxian commodities, the actual results of this consumptive rumination on sexuality. Thinking a lot about this and the relation between image and text that is being investigated in Wei Weng’s Antimapping project.
There are narrative fragments but there is no linear coherence. We are encouraged to read vertically, through association, across the relations of text to image, along the terms of the primary processes of condensation and displacement. No longer consumers at the margin of a finished work, we are drawn onto the site and onto the process of meaning itself. In this process our sexed subjectivity and its pleasures in representation are also implicated, and indeed become the subject matter of the work. [a discussion of the films of Victor Burgin]
TICKNER, Lisa (1984). Sexuality and/in Representation: Five British Artists. In: ed. Preziosi, Donald, The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1998, p.364.
Isn’t it embarrassing when you get the date wrong for an opening?
I went down to Paper Restaurant last night for my friends Weng Wei and Rania Ho’s evening of paper cut-outs and projections, only to find that it had happened the previous night. The paper cut-outs were still there, so I was able to get some idea of what the event was like.
There’s a certain child-like fantasy about the piece that’s quite attractive.