Exhibition “Overstep” opens July 23rd《一念之差》沈怡&雷本本作品展7月23日开幕

July 11th, 2011

Curated by Mr. Pi Li, Exhibition Overstep include recent photography and video works from artist Shen Yi Elsie and Lei Benben.

Opening on July 23, 20011 at the Siemens Art Space in 798  include:

13H00- 15H00 Discussion of artists work by several curators

15H00 Cocktail Party




叙事性是影像作为媒体出现的主要功能,也是以电视工业为主的商业影像的一个重要特征。在媒体艺术的开端中,从激浪派开始,叙事性就成为了观念和媒体艺术的敌人。但是在今天,叙事性又成为一种新的结构方式出现在艺术作品中。和传统影像不同的是它已经被肢解为了片段,或者是被改造为不同时空交错的非线性叙事集合。沈怡的《 都市哪咤》一方面是对于城市下层劳动者影像描叙,另一方面又是通过光线的拉伸将客观影像变得富有神秘感,从而消解了客观性。于是,这些影像成为客观叙事和主观叙事的一个交汇点。雷本本的《桃源三记》所依附的是一个关于乐园的文学叙事,但是这样一个封闭故事和叙事空间在影像上被泛舟、逃逸和冥想这些彼此的行为干扰,从而使得“桃源”的叙事结构从封闭走向开放,从统一走向悖论丛生。这样一个永恒的封闭历史叙事变得个人化,并也处在一个现实和虚幻的交汇点上。由此可见,在两位艺术家的共同特点是用影像本身来冲击影像叙事,从而将自身立在不同叙事的十字路口上。

Overstep 一念之差

by Pi Li

Overstep is a photography and video exhibition of works from two young artists, Lei Benben and Shen Yi Elsie. In this exhibition, we intend to address two interrelated questions. First, what sort of possibilities do narrativity and literary, as pre-modern-art language forms, have in art today? What are their characteristics? Secondly, whether or not reality is always solid and rigid? Compared to painting, to which extent can the “objective” photographic language “overstep” reality; therefore allowing us to penetrate through the world we live in?  These two questions relate closely to the characteristics of imagery writing.

Narrativity is the primary functionality of moving images as media, also an important characteristic of commercial videos dominated by the television industry. At the start of media art, since Fluxus, narrativity became the enemy of conceptual and media art. However, today narrative features re-appear in artwork with a new form, differentiating itself from that of traditional moving images; it is dismembered into fractions, or re-constructed into aggregate of non-linear narration of various intersects of time and space.  The Neon God by Shen Yi Elsie depicts and narrates images of lower class teenage migrant workers in the city; on the other hand, through the stretch of light beams, the objective photographic images become filled with mystery, dissolving the objectivity of such imagery. Hence, the cinematographic imagery becomes an intersection of objective and subjective narration. Lei Benben’s Tao Yuan San Ji is a story about paradise, it is a closed story and recounting space which is then disturbed by the action of boating, escaping and meditation, making the structure of narration from close to open, from uniform to paradoxical. Thus, a perpetual closed historical recounting becomes individual, and combines reality and fantasy. We find that these two artists share some similar characteristics, which is to use moving images themselves to destabilize the narrativity of moving images, therefore placing themselves at a junction other than classic cinematographic narration.

As the two artists impact the narratitivity to obtain the effectiveness of images, the objectivity of the moving images gets agitated. Objectivity, considered the primary advantage to traditional media at the naissance of moving images, gradually turned out to be a mere camouflage within ideology as well as industrialized entertainment.  In this era of consumerism fabricated with images and lenses, reality no longer stays solid and rigid. Therefore, we see whether it is the stretching and deformation of light rewriting documentary photography; or placing objects and figures into a traditional paradise imagery, that both artists attempt to use personalized image writing modes to construct a new space beyond the real images to fight against reality itself.  Although only a fantasy, they endeavor to suffuse it with bewitchment and conviction.

So-called “bewitchment” means still facing solid reality, yet only due to the rise of a small idea, just like in Shen’s work Breathe, or the inversion of time and space, reality starts to drift into illusion and no longer firmly detain us.

With a momentary slip, we “overstep” and excel beyond reality.

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