Zhou Tao, Mutual Exercise, Video, Color, Sound, 10’54”, 2009

Mutual exercise is some practices and experiences in a mutual way between my friend and me in the public space. We provide each other with our bodies to move forward mutually and to rehearse different kinds of common actions, according to the unostentatious and interesting scenes and objects. When we are still, it seems that we were just the same as all those ordinary people around.

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Wang Jianwei, Production, single channel, color, stereo sound, 60’, 1996

Production was the work of art Wang Jianwei presented on the 10th Documenta in Kassel. This work could be both considered as a documentary film and a video work. Wang filmed a few groups of people in the public spaces of Sichuan. In this 60-min clip without any traces of interviews, large sections its dialogues and monologues did not build up a central narrative, on the contrary, its discontinuous empty shots and its intentionally added artificial noise done in post-production engendered a kind of ambiguous and mixed – either politically or aesthetically – visual presence. Likewise, the title of the artwork equally embraces this bewildering character. “Production” is both a terminology rich in every day and local experiences, and a technical term with critical and theoretical implications. In all, this work is not only prescient for Wang Jianwei’s ongoing ambivalent attitude and approach thereafter, but also underscores the wavering conditions between “left and right” for contemporary Chinese art.

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