Opening: October 26, 2013 16:00-19:00
Exhibition Dates: October 26 – November 30, 2013
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 12:00-18:00
Boers-Li Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Fang Lu’s solo exhibition Lost Seconds on October 26th, 2013. This new exhibition features her newest work Cinema and an earlier work from 2006, Bump ’n Grind.
In her latest and exceptional work Cinema, Fang Lu explores in a meticulous yet un-dramatic — almost casual — way of how “the self” in our today’s life is a controlled and staged construction of oneself. What appears at first sight to be a not unusual performance of self-choreography, becomes at a second glance a disturbing portrait of a – female – persona brought to life under contemporary conditions of attractiveness, anxiety and narcissism.
Unlike her previous works, which duel more on the internal, surrealistic human conditions, this new seven-channel work elevates the individual relationship with its socio-political environment to a more recognizable and appealing set of behavioral actions of self-awareness and self-inflicted anguish. Cinema, as a “portrait”, is staged in the fashion of creating a self-image in the politically guarded societal arena of surveillance and social networks. In this media oriented process of constructing a self-image, one experiences over time the loss of one’s, authentic, identity. In that sense Cinema is a “melancholic” portrait.
The video shadows the actions of a woman as she applies make-up in a private dressing room, then enters an empty theater where she is given the freedom to act how she sees suitable and to use the microphone set up for her if she is so inclined. Her behavior becomes more cautious as she leaves the comfort of the dressing table and becomes more aware of the multiple lenses focusing on her. In the middle of the theater, she is facing a large projection screen; four cameras shoot at her simultaneously while she edits and controls what is displayed on the large screen. Is it the nature of the theater as a performance space, the duality of the actress’ role as both the performer and the observer, or the sense of the being watched by an unknown factor, that predetermined the actress’ uneasy and slightly posed movements and behavior? The theater itself as an environment of surveillance reflects upon the socio-political circumstances of contemporary society, especially under the local conditions in China. Is there then a Panopticon effect of control and self-censorship instated? That is all up to the spectator in the role of voyeur or critic to decide.
Similarly, the dancing couples in Bump ’n Grind are also observed by a third party; but unlike the acting stance of the actress in the theater, these dancers are much more free and indifferent to the voyeur’s gaze under the veil of darkness. Set in a nightclub in San Francisco, Fang organized a dance competition and recorded the event while processing the footage live in the similar manner as in Cinema. As lucid as both works may appear, in their structure they are complex at the same time, particularly in the way the central themes are addressed in both works—if it is profiling identity, modeling gender roles, control and/or self-control, or in the more medium-based ways such as the creator as producer as audience, performances and interactive process with moving images. They speak a multifaceted language, and what makes them even more intriguing is their ability to reference the history of video art. Fang Lu received her BFA from School of Visual Art in New York in 2005, received her MFA from San Francisco Arts Institute in 2007, and has since been working in Beijing as a professional artist. She is also one of the co-founders of Video Bureau in Beijing and Guangzhou.
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