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Body Media
body media O Art Centre
Sculpture Art Centre, Shanghai, China
15 July - 12 August 2007


Jean Michel Bruyère / LFKs - Si poteris narrare, licet (EVE Interactive Cinema)
Du Zhenjun - I Erase your Trace
Dumb Type - Voyages
Granular Synthesis - Modell 5
Kurt Hentschläger - Karma / Cell
Theo Jansen - Beach Animals
Ulf Langheinrich - Perm (EVE Interactive Cinema)
Julien Maire - Digit
Christian Partos - Strip Tease, Spaarljus
Jeffrey Shaw - EVE Interactive Cinema
Time's Up - Gravitron
Miguel Rothschild - Killer Tears

Curators: Richard Castelli (Epidemic) & Gong Yan (O Art Centre)

"Art doesn’t need realism, it needs truth."

"It’s the first time that I have seen a film with my body."
(Raul Ruiz, French-Chilean film director, after his voyage in the EVE Interactive Cinema).

New media are often associated with virtuality (or with virtual reality) as if traditional art had nothing virtual about it. It is interesting to see that over and above the natural virtuality any other art form, electronic arts and modern technologies do allow for a greater physical involvement of the audience and the “truth” of their own bodies.


Three chapters will be covered:

The body as an actor or revelation of the artwork:

In several installations shown in this exhibition, the visitors’ presence or actions enable them to participate in or to reveal the artworks.

We can experience “the body as an actor of the artwork” in the pieces by Jean Michel Bruyère and Ulf Langheinrich, both developed for Jeffrey Shaw’s EVE Interactive Cinema, where the visitor’s glance reveals what they wish to see within the “film”.

In I Erase your Trace by Du Zhenjun, the actual presence of the visitors creates numerous self-portraits of Du Zhenjun dedicated to erasing their traces.

By travelling in Voyages by Dumb Type and following the mobile projectors in this artwork, the visitors can reveal a new cartography of space and time.

In Digit by Julien Maire, by moving a finger, one can print poetry in Latin letters or in Chinese ideograms.

By using their hands or more precisely their thumb, visitors will be able to discover the 73 movie flipbooks by Miguel Rothschild.

In the Gravitron by Time’s Up, the visitors’ unbalance influences the movement of the celestial elements on a gravitational grid.


The body represented in the artwork:

It is likely that the first artistic event in the prehistoric caves was the handprint of "the artist" followed by his negative made by pulverizing his hand with paint. Thus the representation of the body has always been related to Art. New media are equally attracted to this form.

Aside from Jean Michel Bruyère and Du Zhenjun who have been presented above, visitors will see work which has never been seen before: Modell 5 by GRANULAR-SYNTHESIS, the time-space voyage inside the face of a young Japanese woman, a voyage not only within her image but also in her every moment; Karma / Cellby Kurt Hentschläger, a world inhabited by humanoids in a state of levitation reproducing like our bodily cells by schizogenesis. Another way to reveal the presence of a body is to paradoxically reveal its absence. This is what Christian Partos presents in Striptease. In this work, the invisible body of the striptease artist will still produce two shadows when it is illuminated.


The artwork as a body:

One of the artists introduced in this exhibition conceives his artworks as creatures themselves.

Theo Jansen applies the theory of Darwin by allowing these creatures to move, develop and perfect themselves in the wind and then disappear through the natural selection process.

All these art works exhibited for the first time in China prove that new media are not automatically isolated from human bodies but are able to play with and push the limits of our bodies, as new media are able to push the boundaries of Art.

Richard Castelli