June 18: 4 films by Beijing based artists Chen Zhou (27)
- Chen Zhou , I am NOT NOT NOT Chen Zhou, 2013. HD digital film, color, sound, 34 min., Courtesy of the artist and Magician Space
Uferhallen, Wednesday, June 18, 7pm
- Talk#1, 2008, 5min 20s
- Morning!, 2011, 13min (article in Leap Magazine)
- I´m not not not Chen Zhou, 34min
- My Favorite Artist – Yu Honglei, 4m 20s
Chen Zhou was born in 1987 in Zhejiang. In 2009, after having decided not to study at Hangzhou Academy, he graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing with a degree in Media Art. Chen’s latest exhibition was “I am Not Not Not Chen Zhou” at Magician Space in Beijing, where he is based. He was also part of “ON|OFF” at UCCA, and appeared in the group shows “Jungle” (Platform China) and “Get It Louder” in Beijing in 2010.
Leap Magazine on “I´m not not not Chen Zhou”: Chen Zhou holds a knife to his wrist but doesn’t press down. This event early in his new film seems to express the artist’s present state more precisely than anything else—“I want to, but I can’t.” In Chen’s previous work Spanking the Maid, the same “inability” can be found, only on this occasion, the identity of the artist has been explicitly revealed, the metaphor as a rhetorical method has been dropped, and the lead role—hitherto concealed—has been set free. Not only does he now speak directly, he chatters incessantly, repeatedly negating himself but always full of conviction—perhaps he is no longer an artist, but he’ll always be Chen Zhou. The frail interactivity between this exhibition and its audience, and its fabricated cinema-like viewing conditions together form a contradictory pair. Its content simultaneously extremely private and widely publicized, its stance is thus equivocal: at one extreme it is lofty and aloof, and at the other, it appears to actively seek admiration and participation. This contradictory and ever-wavering character persists throughout. The dialogue performed by the identical twin brothers in the film is drawn from everyday conversations between Chen Zhou and his artist friends. Chen does not conceal this fact. Several of his friends appear during the film, and in photographs in the adjacent yellow-lit room, so do their images. The dialogue is full of boredom and frustration, convincingly recreated as an exposure of the confusion and discontent of the artist—or more specifically, of the young group of artists to which Chen belongs. With this exhibition, it also seems that Chen has departed from his previous works, which relied heavily on individual emotions, tastes, and formal language. But what has the artist actually deserted? And what new things is he preparing? During the course of this “transformation,” what kind of position will he assume? From this film, we can tell that Chen Zhou’s love affair with form is ongoing; chunks of fragmented dialogue pad out gaps in conversation, and all flippant language is left in. This kind of language, alongside the doubt and disruption the artist constructs with rhetoric, generates a conflict that reveals two conflicting qualities of the film—critique and abandon …”
- Chen Zhou, Morning!, 2011, 16mm film transferred to HD Video, color, sound, 13 min.