Reality Bites- John Gerrard’s POWER.PLAY at UCCA

Curated by Philip Tinari and Guo Xi

John Gerrard’s first exhibition in China featured  Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada),  Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma) and  Exercise (Dunhuang) recently shown at UCCA in 798 , Beijing.

 1. SolarReserve photo:Niamh Cunningham1

Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada) John Gerrard, POWER.PLAY at UCCA, 798, Beijing Summer 2016

What is real and what is a real representation are some of the internal workings going on with you as you experience these huge simulated light sculptures. These ambiguous interventions are so very similar to camera work. The slow steady panning of movement is quite hypnotic and the viewer needs time to find out how they are responding to this slightly strange yet familiar world.

But there are many layers to this new media and lucky for me Gerrard is one of the most articulate artists I have come across.

These pieces of software do not exist if they’re not energized. “The works are effectively energy in transit. That’s their condition. There is no film. There is no artifact. You simply have this set of instructions, which is bundled into an executable file. Without a computer to execute it, you have nothing. So my logic around that is that this is a very pregnant way to respond to contemporary conditions, because a lot of our realities are profoundly influenced by what I would call the algorithmic turn. Investment banking, political decision-making, military decision-making, trade, supermarkets: they are modeling reality, and, on that basis, they are making decisions about how reality is formed.”

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Half the Sky

Half the Sky Front cover web

As with all other aspects of global life, China has a greater impact today than it did 30 years ago. But Chinese artists, especially the women, are still an unknown quantity. Luise Guest tries to tackle this shortfall in knowledge with an intriguing and well-presented look in her book, Half the Sky. At 224 illustrated pages the book highlights the work, sometimes bizarre, always thought-provoking, of the gender in China that Mao claimed held up half the sky. Anyone who has visited China know they do more than that and the 32 artists featured in the book keep the sky from falling in ways you can barely imagine.

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Xuan Zhi Paper series available for online purchase

 

12.11.15, monoprint Niamh Cunningham 70 x70 cm

12.11.15, monoprint Niamh Cunningham 70 x70 cm

This series of paper works are a contemplation on process, chance and reclamation. For this series I can act as fluidly and quickly as surface tension allows creating the movement of colour captured on the xuan zhi paper. Although traditional Chinese materials are being used it is very different to the traditional brush work on paper .

Some of the works here are revisits from works on canvas, some are of intended works that have yet to reach the canvas. And others are organic abstractions of life, evolving into cellular microcosms or botanical forms.

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The Knitted Pillar of Time

Niamh Cunningham and pillar of time copy 2Here is a short clip installing the ” Pillar of Time” at Dong Yue Art Museum August 2014. Many thanks to the team at CCTV – My China, a documentary which was filmed during the preparations for the solo show “An Eastward Calling”

I made “Pillar of Time” several years ago for an IRISH WAVE 2012  exhibition called   ”  Intimate Revolution” . While  travelling on long journeys by bus I would often take the beginning sections of this work to knit. Often there would be a woman next to me striking up a conversation ‘Are you making a sweater? ‘ No I would reply. ‘Are you making a scarf?’ No I  would answer ‘ I’m making a pillar’. Inevitably the conversation would dwindle down to a polite but confused silence……. another conversation lost in translation.

 

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Currently showing in Hangzhou – Inside Out- a collaborative work

It has been to New York, it has been to Beijing, now the exhibition “Intimate Transgressions ” is showing in the impressive new Hangzhou Library until April 16th 2016.

NC & FG copy

 

 

 

 

 

This collaborative work  with Fion Gunn has taken several months in the planning. Having worked with Fion for years preparing, installing and deinstalling group shows in China this was an exciting project to finally make an artwork together. The work is called “Inside Out” and on first glance is presented as a bed.

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IRISH WAVE 2016 exhibitions have arrived for the IRISH FESTIVAL in CHINA

Here is a quick look at IRISH WAVE Exhibitions  showing this weekend in 798

'When I was 11'Niamh Cunningham

Exhibition 12 March – 9 April 2016

BIRTH OF A NATION @ 798 at NING SPACE – Formal opening: 5:30-7:30pm 15 March

Collectors Talk: 2:00 – 4:00pm 12 March (please request invitation)

Website http://www.ningspace.com/ / Email ning@ningspace.com

Address: 706 North 1st Street, No.2 Jiu Xian Qiao Road, 798 Art District, Beijing

Opening Hours: Tues – Sun 10:00am – 6:00pm Exhibition runs from 12 – 20 March

IDENTITY @ 798 at Emerging Arts Research Center – Formal opening: 4-6:00pm 13 March

Followed by an informal artist’s talk & guided tour

Phone 18610317535 / Email yun@betweenartlab.com

Address: 300m walk inside Gate No.2, 798 factory, Jiu Xian Qiao Road, 798 Art District, Beijing

Opening Hours: Tues – Sun 10:00am – 6:00pm Exhibition runs from 12 – 16 March

STRUGGLE @ Sanwei Art Center – Formal Opening: 5.30 – 7:30pm 19 March

Website www.sanweiartcenter.com / Email jshjw8008@sina.com

Address: 68 Xinqiao Road, Shanghai

Opening hours Tues-Sun 10:00am – 6:00pm

Exhibition runs from 19 March – 9 April

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