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Un/limited Space-Zhou Tiehai


In the 1990's avant garde artists had only limited possibilties to show their works in China. To provides opportunities to the artists, some foreign consulates openend their premises for art exhibitions. However the access to these 'exteritorial' places was very limited - not everybody could enter the consulates - the works were shown and still not seen. In 1998, the German cultural attache had the idea to use a display case on the outside walls of consulate for art exhibitions. The vitrine (where normally infos on the country and visa regulations etc were displayed) was just a small 1x2 meter exhibition space, but everybody passing by on the street could see the artworks without limiation.  The space was called "Un/Limited Space". Zhou Tiehai was the third artist selected to held an exhibition at "Un/Limited Space". Upon hearing that the consul got the idea for this exhibition venue while he was taking a shower, Zhou Tiehai deciced to install a shower on the outside wall of the consulate so "everybody could take a shower and have Un/limited ideas". However Zhou Tiehai's work, he covered the official display case with tiles and installed a water pipe and shower head, left 'the consular territory' for some centimeters on each side and the work had to be dismantled by the local authority.


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