Contra-Rotations

When 20 Apr 2014 - 27 Apr 2014
Where Ran Tea House
269 Kent Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
United States

Opening Reception: Sunday, April 13, 4-7pm

“Keep objects as a system

Keep production as a mirror…

Keep yourself as an other

Keep perfection as a crime”*

Contra-Rotations is a collective project brought by seven emerging artists and curators living in New York and Chicago. In engineering, “Coaxial Contra-rotation” is a technique whereby parts of a mechanism rotate in opposite directions around a common axis to avoid the effect of “torque” and to get the maximum of the energy. As the analogy suggests, this exhibition explores the ideas of contradiction and self-refutation – present both in the making and the works – which, in the end, support and propel. Contra-Rotations intends to introduce an image of the artist who traps his left foot by the right one, and in the suspended moment before his fall, energy is generated and theatrics appear.

The collaboration between Contra-Rotations and Ran Tea House is significant in that with its multiple identities (tea house, performance venue and art space), Ran presents new works by artists who are interested in versatile, paradoxical, and overlapping spaces.

Xu Wang’s Pagoda (2013) adopts its structure from a traditional Chinese pavilion and its material from modern construction. Instead of occupying positive space by erecting boundaries as architecture does, the structure hollows the volume of itself and invites the passage of the air and vision. In the site-specific I Think of Them Driving (2014), Anastasia Douka casts the shoes of others with paper, a recurrent medium in her oeuvre. Absent are the wearers and the originals as personal items; what is left are ghostly cocoons of human presence. Planting her and others’ histories within fabricated objects and locations, Douka leaves traces in transit.

A trace is the quintessential paradox in space: it is both there and not there. In Ce Jour-ci Chez Madame Gertrude (2014), Jennyfer Haddad constructs an after-image of a crime scene. On the desk lies the contract signed between the artist and a performer, whose presence can only be found photographically on a book cover. We seem to have some clue – a clued absence, a fiction disillusioned. Jiyoung Yoon also stages a dilemmatic scenario as seen in her simultaneously inflated and shrinking Dear People Who Live Against the Hierarchy of Needs No. 2 (2014). Yoon devices a field impregnated with impetus, a field where every movement is a suppressed one.

Regarded by some as anachronic, oil on canvas is a medium that highly demands artists’ sensitivity to both the past and the present. Burger (2014) by Bing Han invites various moments in the history of painting to converse on the same canvas. Lastly, installed on the nonexistent border of the inside and the outside is Yuchen Chang’s Rain (2014). The performance of brush and ink – flowing, dripping, splashing – constitute an analogy to the movement of the natural phenomenon after which it is titled. The image is both abstract and figurative, boundless and diminutive.

*From Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories III

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

For more information, please click here.