Zhou Xiaohu: Crazy English

When 19 Nov 2011
1:00PM - 5:30PM
Where Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
New York, NY
United States

Zhou Xiaohu, Crazy English, 2011. Courtesy of the artist

November 19 2011, 1-2pm & 4:30-5:30pm

Press Release:

For Performa 11, Shanghai-based artist Zhou Xiaohu invites Chinese celebrity educator Li Yang of Crazy English, a company specializing in teaching the English language to thousands of Chinese students in stadiums or large open spaces, to create a unique performance. This form of teaching requires repeating sounds, words, and sentences in English along with physical gestures. In this way, Crazy English is both a performance and an effective technique that translates standard American English into theatrical movement. Concerned with Chinese social behavior that often mistranslates and misinterprets Western marketing concepts and tools, Zhou’s aim, through the simple action of bringing Crazy English to New York, is to show how something familiar can instantly be transformed into something alien and foreign, thus raising questions of legitimacy and the distorted effects of cultural imperialism.

Critical of the role and influence of visual media in everyday life, Zhou Xiaohu’s (b. 1960, Changzhou, China) practice reflects on how history is documented in a digital age where particular details may be privileged, fabricated, altered, and omitted. Working across performance, photography, installation, sculpture, video, and animation, Zhou’s work has most recently been shown at the 8th Gwangju Biennial (2010); Tate Modern, London (2010); National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2010); Long March Space, Beijing (2010); BOZAR, Brussels (2009), Walsh Gallery, Chicago (2008); Bizart (2007).

Curated by Defne Ayas and Davide Quadrio.

Presented as part of Performa 11. For more information please click here.