Unlived by What is Seen

Unlived by What is Seen is an exhibition curated by the artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu and independent curator Cui Cancan. Preparation of the project began in 2013, and after a year of in-depth communication and exploration, twenty-nine artists were selected, along with two art organizations and three artist groups.

Opening on December 13th, the exhibition will take place simultaneously at Galleria Continua, Pace Gallery Beijing and Tang Contemporary Art Center and lasts for three months. In addition, there will be four public talks presented after the opening, with an exhibition catalogue scheduled for publication in May 2015.

Unlived by What is Seen traces a new direction in Chinese contemporary art emerging since 2008. This new current is characterized by the infiltration of art practices into various social sectors and aspects of life. The goal of these practices is no longer geared toward the production of images or visual objects, but rather developing modes of existence that interrogate life itself. Arising from specific needs of the individual, it transgresses and transcends both the anxiety to enter history and the ennui of daily encounters. These unnameable needs cut into the social fiber without mediation and manifest attitudes of disengagement from which a poetics of life shines forth. In other words, the present exhibition is not interested in dealing with ossified modes of making art, but a multitude of actions taken by individuals.

As contemporary art becomes more institutionalized, Unlived by What is Seen examines what happens to art as it transforms into experiential and discursive transactions. It also questions modes of art production that cater to established, effective but effete systems of circulation. Though distancing itself from exhibitions purely driven by commercial interests, it nevertheless appropriates systems of capital in a way that fuels the movement it seeks to articulate. One significant feature is that none of the artists made their work to be housed inside the exhibition space. The most vibrant and tenacious part of the work has already been consumed by its own flame. As artists address their needs and confusion through action, what remains to be seen is evidence or crystallization of these activities that have taken place elsewhere, in another time, and under a different intensity. Consequently, the work of the curators is centered on the excavation, identification and presentation of these life practices that transpire within a dynamic social, political and interpersonal context as they push art to expand its borders. In short, they are anomalies of life whose adventurous labors will win their freedom.

Based on the unique status of these works, the curator designed an unique form of communication in which the artists were asked to narrate or recount actions, experiences and encounters that can not or need not be documented or visually represented. This also involves a process of experimentation on the part of the curators, the artists and the art organizations. It neither follows conventional standards nor seeks to draft a rubric for the future. By returning art to the actions and happenings of life, the works resist clear classifications and generalizations, yet they convene on one point: as long as viewers take what is in front of them for the whole, something gets unlived by what is seen.

There will always bean attitude that does not translate into form, but through our being in the act, it incessantly flashes before us. As art exhausts itself in the constant pursuit of the new, subtle transformations are already underway in the sphere of life.

 

 

不在图像中行动

“不在图像中行动”展览项目由艺术家孙原&彭禹和独立策展人崔灿灿共同策划。项目于2013年正式开始启动,经历了一年多的与艺术家的深度沟通和探讨,最终选定34位艺术家参展(包括两个艺术机构和三个艺术小组)。

展览将于2014年12月13日在中国北京最重要的三家艺术机构:常青画廊、佩斯北京、当代唐人艺术中心同时开幕和呈现,展期至2015年3月15日,为期三个月。同时,展览开幕后将举办4场公共研讨和讲座,并在2015年5月出版展览画册与相关文献图录。

此次展览集中展现了在2008年之后,中国当代艺术所发生的一种新的艺术方式和方向,这种方式强调个体艺术家在社会和生活中的全面实践,艺术实践不再以获得图像或是制造视觉化的物品为目的,而是在自我实践中强调生活本身的特殊方式和形态。它始终围绕个体自身的特殊需求而展开,抽身于艺术史博弈和普遍的日常经验之外,这种个体的“莫名”的需求以一种非常的应对方式回应现实,在回应和发生的过程中,不断的显现对艺术的出离态度和生活的诗学。或者说,这个展览本身所呈现的并非是固化的艺术作品,而是诸多的独特个体在生活中的种种行动,它的目的并不在于如何生产艺术品,而是选择何种生活方式以及如何发生对生活的回应。

在当代艺术系统不断体制化的今天,这个展览所针对的是艺术沦为物品被交换的知识与经验,那种因明确的、有效的、实用的艺术流通渠道应运而生的艺术生产思路。此次展览即有别于带有明确交换性质的艺术展览的运作方式,又将资本系统重新运用于对于新的艺术方向的推动。一反常规的是,此次受邀参展的34位(组)艺术家的作品并不是为迎合此次活动而创作的,它自身在现实和生活中已经发生。这三个艺术空间中所展现的只是行动遗留的证据和标本,它最为生动的部分并不是在展厅,而是在艺术家的生活和现实之中,艺术家通过行动应对了自身的需求与困惑。策展人的大量工作是对“在社会中的特殊生活实践”的挖掘、甄别与指认,它更像是对艺术的拓展。艺术家的行动更像是生活中的异端,这种异端的生活是自在的,也充满冒险的快乐。

基于这些“作品”的特殊形态,策展人在展厅中设计了一个独特的交流线索,以艺术家的第一口吻讲述那些不可记录或是无需被视觉展示的行动和经历。诚然,这样一个展览对于策展人、艺术家、艺术机构而言都是一种尝试,它既不在历史的规律之中,也不以进入未来作为标准。它将艺术重新回到个体生活的行动与发生之中,难以被明确的归纳和划分,但这些“作品”至少符合一个基本的共识:不在图像中行动。

总有一种态度无法变成形式,但它却会在行动中不断的显现,在艺术已经不能提供任何新的创造的时候,生活也许正在悄然发生变化。