April 16 - May 31

April 16, 2011 – May, 31, 2011

The Dual Thread of Media Intervention into Art in The Netherlands and China

Curators: Heiner Holtappels, Li Zhenhua, Yan Xiaodong

Participating Artists: Arno Coenen, Edwin van der Heiden, Erwin Olaf, Marina Abramovic, Marnix de Nijs, Peter Leeuwerink, Julika Rudelius, Aaajiao, Li Lulu, Liao Wenfeng, Wang Luming, Wang Zhenfei, Zheng Yunhan

This project is designed to present the Dutch media art phenomenon as geographically broader, as well as relevant to the global media art scene. Correspondingly, it also explores related daily/micro/body media interventions from the perspective of China. In addition to the artworks on display, the exhibition features a rich collection of video art documentary material from The Netherlands (from the 1960s to the present) and China (from 1988 to the present). It is a combination of a bodily, video, DIY, interactive, aural and visual experience.

Artists’ intervention into public media since 1960s should be viewed as the starting point of media art in the Netherlands. After that, several media institutes were then founded, such as the Netherlands Media Art Institute (Montevideo) in 1978 and V2 Institute for the Unstable Media in 1981. From the original founders to the current executives, all have been important experimental/body performance artists, which is why Marina Abramovic has been invited to this project. Her work is a perfect illustration of media art in the Netherlands in the 1960s, when video was not only treated as a recording media but also as art per se when performance interacts with video. The important Dutch artists have made remarkable contributions in various fields. The exhibition title specifically stresses an important factor of the Netherlands’ media art and global media arts: interaction. For instance, Marnix's work about face recognition and physiognomy research is inspired by potential risks in contemporary culture, therefore it is interactive and has a special perspective towards social phenomena. The emphasis on participation is always an important feature that differentiates media artists from other artists, however it is not the main focus of this exhibition project. The project’s aim is to present the history of media art and discuss the concepts, media and genres involved in the chronological development of media art in the Netherlands.
Chinese media art began in 1988, with Zhang Peili's work "30x30" as its starting point. While Dutch artists advocated that artists should intervene in public media from the beginning, the artists employed the media rationally as a carrier of their aesthetics. This perspective doesn't come from the characteristics and concerns of the media, but from the universal role of the community. Of course, Chinese artists' understanding and use of these media are closely related to the discussions in ‘70s Europe and the whole world, namely discussions about body-related experiments and video works inspired by the recording characteristics of video. Apparently, in today's new media art, "Interact or Die" (the slogan from a 2007 publication of the V2 Institute, the Netherlands) becomes rather mainstream and proactive. However, Chinese artists intentionally circumvent the issue of Chinese-ness from traditional contemporary art and evade the mainstream trends in the field of new media. New media education in China started from 2000, and so many graduates from new media departments don't rigidly adhere to specific mediums, but expand into broader social practices.

The participation and intervention of artists from the two countries will help to define the similarities and differences in the developments on both sides. The project also looks forward to proposing issues of a more social nature, rather than simply the pre-defined discussion topics of new media. The question that we address is not only: What is new media? But also, more importantly, the following: Does new media belong to contemporary art? Is new media an inevitable trend of our current society? Is new media all around us?

New media is not about generating estrangement or creating an elite culture, but to become a part of daily life. It serves as a media and a way of communication to reinterpret the world today. New media has different visual and aesthetic developments under various cultural contexts. However, in the increasingly integrated world culture, new media eliminates the boundaries caused by cultural backgrounds and cultural differences to the largest extent. From the very beginning, new media is transnational, evoking thought on how knowledge across disciplines can interact. The interest lies in discovering knowledge in different fields. Many exhibited artists learn from visual culture, media, public media system, behavioral science and micro lives. They are exploiting the frontiers of their worlds.

The Mirror Piece, Marnix de Nijs, 2010
LSP (Laser / Sound Performance), Edwin van der Heide, Live Performance, 2011
Le Dernier Cri, Erwin Olaf, 3'31'', Single Channel Video, (sound, color), 2006
Rouge, Erwin Olaf, 3'31'', Single Channel Video (sound, color), 2005
Forever, Julika Rudelius, 16'40'', Video Installation, 2 synchronized DVDs, English Spoken, 2006
The Highest Point, Julika Rudelius, 12'30'', Video, Single Channel, 2002
8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End, Marina Abramovic, Multi Channel Video Installation, 2009
Brothers of Metal, Arno Coenen, 13'18'', Video(Sound, Color), 2010
VOC/VIP: Holland Experience! (2007 High End Edition), Arno Coenen, Peter Leeuwerink, 13'40'', Video(Sound, Color), 2007
Turritopsis nutricula , Aaajiao, Computer Generated Moving Image Installation, 2010
Pu'er Coffee, Zheng Yunhan, Installation, 2011
From here to there, Liao Wenfeng, Screen1-3: 01’30”, Screen4: 03’20”, Screen 5: 06’20”
5 Screens Video Installation, 2010
Times of The Fish, Wang Zhenfei Wang Luming, Installation, 2010

Opening: April 16, 2011, 5:00pm - 7:00pm


Apr,18, 2011
Main Meeting Room

NIMk, ART ISSUE PROJECTS, Rye Consulting Shanghai

Sponsor: Mondriaan Foundation

Supported by: Laboratory Art Beijing, CAFA Art Museum, Experimental Art Department of China Central Academy of Fine Arts

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