12 Jul - 24 Aug 2008

© Sun Yuan - Peng Yu
Barbarossa, 2008
mixed media

Ilya Kabakov, Sabrina Mezzaqui, Hans Op de Beeck, Kan Xuan, Sun Yuan, Peng Yu

12/07/2008 - 24/08/2008

Unmoved is the original position, the starting point, the primeval location. It is the silence, the state of concentration and the stillness that anticipates every movement. It is the stasis from which everything originates.

It is a concept in total contrast with the dynamism China has experienced in recent years. Nowadays, it rarely occurs to us to slowdown, to extrapolate ourselves from our frenetic lives, and to observe the world from a privileged position of tranquillity and immobility. 21st century humanity is characterised by a deceptive immobility, a stasis hiding behind a veneer of indifference and carelessness.

In the current exhibition, the selected artworks generate an almost uncomfortable situation where Time has atypically slowed its rhythm, to the point of almost standing still. All the artworks are either in semi-stasis, in some cases quite still, and in others in constant slow movement, inviting the viewer to stop longer in their contemplation, both on a rational and emotional level. In a way, the viewer is unconsciously waiting for something to happen or to be revealed.

In the main exhibition space, three works by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu take place. The shock value that thirteen elderly people in wheelchairs have on the viewer is undeniably intense. The “Retirement home” is the piece that first inspired the artistic exploration that formed this exhibition. A massive trash bin keeps crashing against the walls of the retirement home. The parody of Ilya Kabakov’s work gets less softly narrated and much crueller in Sun Yuan and Pengyu representation, where the viewer is still not spared any feelings of pain or discomfort. Thus, once again Sun Yuan and Peng Yu annihilate the barrier between art and public, effectively forcing the audience to become physically and emotionally involved in the work.

On the second floor, time has slowed down until it almost stops. An extremely reserved and meditative artist, Sabrina Mezzaqui presents her solitary video works focusing her attention on the most minute and sensitive things in life.

Ilya Kabakov’s representation of modern society is “frozen” on the wall; nothing apparently moves.

Bodyguards from artist Kan Xuan are shoot transmitting an intimidating feeling of besiegement.
There remains only one escape; walking up the escalator will take us to a complete overview of the exhibition.

Artist Hans Op de Beeck has turned the world into gradations of grey. We could be in heaven or hell. A silent presence had covered the world in a mental darkness. Every single piece is strongly permeated by intense sensuality, emotional and lyrical beauty.

Tags: Hans Op de Beeck, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Sabrina Mezzaqui, Kan Xuan, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Sun Yuan + Peng Yu