A screening of Shen Xin‘s Forms Escape: Prologue (2016, Color & Sound SD Video, 36’22”) and Jen Liu‘s Pink Slime Caesar Shift (2018, Color & Sound 4K Video, 24’20″), followed by discussion with artist Jen Liu and scientist Sam Hart.
Pink Slime Caesar Shift is the name of Liu’s body of work that posits the use of stem-cell hamburgers as a vehicle to covertly transmit messages of labor insurrection for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) factory workers in China. Part of this on-going project is a 2018 prospectus video, in which her speculative proposal is connected to the lived realities of SEZ workers through interweaving appropriated texts: Chinese labor activist manuals, NGO white paper reports, science equipment advertisements and documentary recordings, amongst others. The speculative is used to elucidate the legal, environmental, and safety concerns surrounding factory labor today.
Shen Xin’s Forms Escape: Prologue, on the other hand, examines the afflictions of contemporary capitalism’s relationship with power, specifically appropriation, objectification, and exploitation. Shen addresses each affliction or ‘suffering’ in three connected videos compiled from an array of online footage. The film explores these intertwining conditions as symptoms of political as well as spiritual crisis. The viewer is invited to navigate the work as a guide to the three ‘sufferings’.
Jen Liu is a New York-based artist working on topics of national identity, economy, and the re-motivating of archival artifacts. She is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow in Film/Video, and NYFA/NYSCA Gregory Millard Fellow in Digital/Electronic Media. She has presented work at The Whitney Museum, The New Museum, New York; Royal Academy and ICA London; Kunsthaus Zurich; Kunsthalle Wien; the Aspen Museum of Art; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; MUSAC, Leon; as well as the Shanghai Biennale (China).
Shen Xin lives and works between London and Amsterdam. Through moving image and performative events, Shen’s practice often aims to fabricate affective relationships, examining the techniques and effects of how emotion, judgment, and ethics circulate through individual and collective subjects. Her recent solo presentations include half-sung, half spoken, Serpentine Pavilion, London (2017); Strongholds, Lychee One, London (2017); At Home, Surplus Space, Wuhan (2016). She recently participated in group shows Songs for Sabotage, New Museum Triennial (2018), BALTIC Artists’ Award, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2017); The New Normal, UCCA, Beijing (2017). Shen is awarded the BALTIC Artists’ Award in 2017, and she’s currently an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.
Sam Hart is a scientist, publisher, and curator living in New York. As a bioinformatician at the Sloan Kettering Institute, Sam works across cancer genomics and cellular engineering, where he has contributed to The Cancer Genome Atlas and performed the first genetic characterization of numerous rare diseases. His current research focuses on the development of computational methods for the construction of novel chimeric antigen receptor therapies. Sam is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Avant.org, a distributed project space for artist research, curator of the online technical catalog, Research Tactics, and co-founder of the artist-run Cybernetics Library.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.