Long Museum West Bund
15 Rooms, is a major live-art exhibition curated by Klaus Biesenbach— Director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large at The Museum of Modern Art—and Hans Ulrich Obrist—co-director of the Serpentine Gallery—the exhibition features performative works by artists spanning different generations and continents.
For the 2015 edition, one more work than the previous edition at Art Basel will be presented in the architectural environment conceived by Herzog & de Meuron.
For the 2015 edition, curators will invite 15 international and Chinese artists to activate a room each, exploring the relationship between space, time and physicality with an artwork which uses human beings as ‘material’. Giving visitors an insight into a more performative and interactive practice, visitors encounter a new situation inside each of the 15 rooms, engaging in a diverse series of immersive and intimate experiences.
By bringing to Shanghai this singular project, the Long Museum West Bound reflects on the blurring of the line between audience and artwork, while embracing the belief that visual artists can just as well create their artworks by working with human beings as by deploying bronze, canvas, inkjet, oil paints, video or any other method of physical production.
As the curators declared, the concept for the show developed from the idea that live art can also be sculpture and have a duration similar to that of a physical object; that is, last from morning to night, throughout the opening hours of the museum. But when the last visitors leave, when the gallery closes its doors for the evening, the sculpture will all walk out as well.
15 Rooms also reflects on how performative art can create the possibility of an exhibition that might be restaged later, of something that can be reproduced endlessly. Art can travel over time not just through objects and not just through documentation. Paintings have always been a lasting, valued art form. Instructional art creates a valid possibility for art to travel and last. 15 Rooms is like this: from the basic text it can be restaged in different places all over the world and it can also take place again in 50 years’ time, or when we will all be dead in 100 years time.
Slowness it is not only important for the curatorial process but also for the experience of the 15 Rooms exhibition. The experience of 15 Rooms creates the opposite of the acceleration that characterise the way in which visitors pass through exhibition: it is a deceleration. Movement is slowed down by the fact that you have to open the door—it’s like entering into somebody house.
It is an intimate encounter.
Herzog & de Meuron’s purpose built architecture plays a crucial role in shaping the exhibition, serving as the interstitial structure tying together a series of intimate experiences in the space of the Museum. The idea is not only focused on what happens in the exhibition, but also on what occurs around an exhibition. What interested the curators and the architects was the idea of opening up towards the outside, the creation of public spaces, and how it is possible to create such spaces.
First presented as 11 Rooms in July 2011 as part of Manchester International Festival, the exhibition was originally commissioned by Manchester International Festival, the International Arts Festival RUHRTRIENNALE 2012-2014 and Manchester Art Gallery. The project was then shown as ‘12 Rooms’ at the International Arts Festival RUHRTRIENNALE 2012-2014, as ‘13 Rooms' by Kaldor Public Art Projects at Pier 2/3 in Sydney’s Walsh Bay in April 2013, and as ‘14 Rooms’ by Art Basel in June 2014. For each edition, the artists list partially changed.
Ticket Price: 100RMB/person
Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968, Zurich, Switzerland) is Co-director of the Serpentine Galleries, London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris. Since his first show “World Soup” (The Kitchen Show) in 1991 he has curated more than 250 shows.
Klaus Biesenbach is Director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where he has curated groundbreaking retrospectives like Kraftwerk: Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (2012) and Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present (2010) both at MoMA. Prior to this he co-founded the Kunst-Werke (KW) Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (1991) and the Berlin Biennale (1996).
Herzog & de Meuron established in 1978, is now a partnership led by five senior partners – Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler and Stefan Marbach. Herzog & de Meuron designed a wide range of projects from the small scale of a private home to the large scale of urban design. While many of their projects are highly recognized public facilities, such as their stadiums and museums, they have also completed several distinguished private projects including apartment buildings, offices and factories. The practice has been awarded numerous prizes including The Pritzker Architecture Prize (USA) in 2001.
【ALLORA AND CALZADILLA】
Jennifer Allora: Born 1974, Pennsylvania.
Lives in San Juan.
Guillermo Calzadilla: Born 1971, Havana.
Lives in San Juan.
Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadillahavebeencollaboratingas an artist duo for twentyyears(since1995).Throughtheirexperimentalcombinationof performance, sculpture, video and sound they explore the histories and meanings embedded in culture, reconfiguring and recontextualizingvariouselements—from architecture and objects to music and bodilymovement—to create theirpoeticartworks.
Born 1941, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Lives in New Mexico.
Bruce Nauman is one of the most versatile and influential artists to emerge from his generation. He works in a variety of materials including film, video, performance, interactive environments,neon, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. In pursuit of his MFA at UC Davis, Nauman started to develop an oeuvre that was characterized by its research into the physicality of the body, the psychological aspects of expression, and the ambivalent power that language holds. In his work Nauman further investigated different forms and materials that could heighten the notions of what art and the role of the artist could be.
Born 1978, Guangzhou.
Lives in Beijing.
Cao Fei is one of the most significant and innovative young artists to have emerged on the international scene from China. Her multimedia projects explore the lost dreams of the young Chinese generation and their strategies for overcoming and escaping reality. She mixes social commentary, popular aesthetics, references to Surrealism, and documentary conventions in her films and installations. Her works reflect on the rapid and chaotic changes that are occurring in Chinese society today.
Born 1965, Strasbourg.
Lives in Paris and Rio de Janeiro.
Since the late 1980s, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster has created a wonderfully subtle yet complex oeuvre including films, installations, and performances which often discuss the dimensions of space and time. She focuses on urban structures and the world of architecture and theater and, withthe eye of a scenographer, creates mise-en-scène-like installations that portray multidimensional narratives. For the artist, “the most powerful moment in art is that of heterogeneity. It’s not characterized by one style, one signature, or one idea.”——Artist statement, taken from an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist (accessed May 2014).
【DOUBLE FLY ART CENTER】
Est. 2008, China
Members live in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou
Double Fly Art Center is a collective of nine male Chinese artists founded in 2008. Their satirical and often outrageous works explore a range of media, including performance, video, participatory events, sculptural installations and public action projects. Their work challenges the state of the contemporary art world and society at large. Self-described as “China’s most famous young artists group,” Double Fly defies social norms with their brazen works, suffused with sex, and themes related to gender and body politics. Double Fly has received international recognition with their participation in the 2014 Armory Show in New York City.
Born 1983, Guang Dong.
Lives in Beijing.
Hu Xiangqian (b. 1983, Guangdong), graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2007, currently lives and works in Beijing. Hu Xiangqian's artistic practice tends toward performance-based video inspired by his immediate surroundings and his own artistic contemplation of what it means to be an artist. With a keen eye for the absurd, he skilfully highlights the contrasts in our society and amplifies minor incidents into major social signifiers.
Born 1936, New York City.
Lives in New York City.
Joan Jonas is an acclaimed and influential multimedia artist working with performance, video, drawing, and sculptural installation. After studying art history and sculpture she continued to work with the medium of sculpture while exploring performativeactions with the body in relation to film, video, and space in the late 1960s. Jonas found that performance and movement allowed her greater scope to represent image and gesture. Her pioneering works draw inspiration from the fields of film, literature, visual art, contemporary theatre, dance, and traditional Japanese theater.
Born 1971, Minas Gerais.
Lives in Rio de Janeiro.
Since the early 1990s Lima has involved live beings in durational work that runs continuously throughout gallery opening hours, under the equation Man=flesh/Woman=flesh. The artist has constructed a personal glossary to discuss the nature of her works, thus avoiding terms such as “performance” or “performer.” She never appears herself, instructing others to present pieces she has developed. Shehas worked with children, old people, men, women, and animals to extract an image out of their existential meaning, investigating the boundaries of autonomy and dependence in human action. Lima explains: “I am interested in the intricate social relationships, the exchange of behaviors that in time serves to alter our perception of language and life.”—— Lima in correspondence with Kaldor Public Art Projects, February 2013.
Born 1946, Belgrade.
Lives in New York.
Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade in the early 1970s, Marina Abramović has pioneered performance as a visualart form. The body has always been both her subject and her medium. Exploring her physical and mental limits in works that ritualize simple actions, Abramović has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in her quest for emotional and spiritual transformation.
Born 1974, Kano, Nigeria.
Lives and works in Antwerp.
Since early 2000, OtobongNkanga has been working in a variety of media including drawing, photography, installation, and performance art. She observes social and topographical changes in her environment, the complexities that are embedded in these experiences, and how such things as resources, soil, earth, and its potential worth are subjected to regionaland cultural scrutiny. “Her work often invites the viewer to engage in a dialogue about the intangibility of identity, memory, perception, observing how these change when presented through a specific arrangement and narration,”* through language and her own body. Nkanga was born in Nigeria where she also began her art studies at the ObafemiAwolowo University in Ile-Ife, she continued at the EcoleNationaleSupérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris and in 2008 obtained a Master’s Degree in Performing Arts from Dasarts, Amsterdam.—— Berliner Künstlerprogramm (accessed May 2014).
Born 1966, Žilina.
Lives in Bratislava.
Roman Ondák takes the familiar elements of everyday life and reframes them to surprise our expectations and perspectives. He investigates social codes, conventions, rituals, and forms of exchangeby discreetly dislocating objects, ideas, and actions from their usual settings. His installations, performances, and interventions are sometimes scarcely distinguishable from the context in which they are presented. Often humorous, they provoke a double take by viewers, making them question their preconceptions and modes of interaction. In a number of performances Ondák has asked participants to follow his instructions while also inviting them to use their creativity. The resulting works are controlled studies of collective imagination.
Born 1976, London.
Lives in Berlin.
Born 1977, Shanghai.
Lives in Shanghai.
A prolific and controversial artist, Xu Zhen’s conceptually-driven practice encompasses a vast range of media and often employs humor, irony, and sophisticated trickery. For In Just a Blink of an Eye (2005), presented in 14 Rooms, a breathing body floats mysteriously in mid-air, frozen in time and space as if defying the constraints of physics.
The work engages with the notions of the body as material and the materiality of the body, testing the limits of physical and cognitive possibilities as we try to comprehend what we see. We wait for movement, for the performer to stand up or to continue falling, but instead time seems to stretch on impossibly and there is no resolution. In previous iterations of the work, Zhen employed members of marginalized communities, such as migrant workers, to undertake the performance. In these instances the literal suspension became a metaphor for liminal civil status.
Born 1933, Tokyo.
Lives in New York.
For over five decades, Yoko Ono has been a challenging artist, poet, and musician, as well as a video and performance artist. By examining the complexity of human emotions from loss and conflict to harmony and love, she experiments with her audience’s conception of art and the worldin general. In her prolific career she has embraced a wide range of media, constantly creating new forms of artistic expression, challenging the relationship between artist and spectator. She moved to New York in the early 1950s and, being a pioneer in conceptual art, became part of the vibrantavant-garde. It was there she began herinstruction series. In 1961 she created instruction paintings where, initially, canvases with various materials and verbal or written instructions were exhibited.The following year she exhibited only the written instructions for the paintings for others to executein their minds. Around the same time, she staged a series of ground-breaking performances around movement and sounds, and in 1964 she performed Cut Piece in Kyoto and Tokyo, a seminal piece which showed the artist kneeling motionless on the floor. The audience was then invited to come up on stage and to cut off Ono’s clothing with scissors. This act not only raised questions around gender and identity but also symbolized the internal suffering people experience on a daily basis.
Born 1965, China.
Lives in Shanghai.
Zhang Huan, born in Anyang, Henan Province in 1965, currently works and lives in Shanghai. He focused on performance art in Beijing in the 1990’s and was considered one of the foremost avant-garde artists in the nation. In 1998, he relocated to New York, where he gained international recognition. In 2005, he returned to Shanghai and established Zhang Huan Studio.
Zhang Huan expresses his thoughts on the daily life, Buddhism doctrines, traditional culture and the current spiritual and physical environment. Besides oil painting, he adopts new media such as ash painting, ox-hide sculptures, door carvingsand feather woodcuts, etc.