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Artforum Exhibition Reviews: ZHU JIA Critical Pervasion

Author: Liu Naou 2015-11-20

Critical Pervasion is full of strange atmosphere about time: it is like a historical exhibition, two spaces separately showcase artist’s previous works since 1994, and new works made by this year. The time of creation on the label is erased by purpose.

You could tell from Zhu Jia’s works about how he figures out the media language of TV series and theater video, but the artist always distracts from some details intentionally or unintentionally, since the monotone of video language and the fluctuation stirred by the monotone itself could be depicted by artist’s emphasizing. In all his established vocabulary of extending the aggressive tradition of opposite narrative, however,  when people put this basis in the HD videos condition, the original texture of the main space, like low-profile mixed information, the sense of movements by camera lens language, and the attached aesthetic interests from resonance of image and sound played by 4:3 ratio TV, is displaced by the sharp projector.

The embarrassment is about the time exchanging embarrassment. But in the fact, or to flip it around: Zhu Jia emphasis the edge position of the epistemology intendedly. It was marginalized at that time, for now it is more than that. It should be pointed out that, in Zhu Jia’s creation, the origin is anti-development, anti-progress and anti-grown-up; the language is about rejection, alienation and the blocking of dynamic video’s narrative line. Since the artist put these items belongs to ruining the iconoclastic in the core of his creation, rather than setting up a "Sisyphus challenge". At the same time, the marginality is trying to escape from the developmentalism tone like so called art career or “breakthrough” of creation and so on. Only with the setting off by time, we could find the questions raised by anti-developmentalism. If we are trying to explore how media artist nowadays understand the first generation video art, one noticeable thing is the fracture between the relationship with the dialogue of two parties: we hardly see the mutual quotations from each other; in most cases, they have totally different opinions about the imagination of the media arts. There is a saying in the circle that: the art practice of new generation is about connecting the media research with multinational capitalism, and the previous generation took media as art material, so the knowledge tool and generating aesthetic result of these two are distinct. The fracture between them, is related to the fast renewal of media. For instance, video arts in the history, are related to the popularization of household television and camera, but the rapid speed of metabolism of consumption market makes us get Instagram and GoPro brands, the language basis of handhold camera is eliminated. In other words, the knowledge structure and expression approach of associative language of web 1.0 and web 2.0 are making two different knowledge circles.

From this point of view to understand “Critical Pervasion”, you will not only observe his works from the angle as Chinese contemporary art early practice. More importantly is: How to think of the metabolism from the extensive horizon of media art? Maybe the disharmony and the moments stop people thinking make Zhu Jia’s art practice as the special case, reflecting what the loss of contemporary art world.

Related Artists:
ZHU JIA 朱加

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