____ in the Room 房间里的____

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房间里的____
____ in the Room
2015.8.9 - 9.5

开幕:2015年8月8日 晚上4-7点
展览:2015年8月9日 - 9月5日
开幕表演:河野幸人 ( Yukihito Kono)
地址:视界艺术中心(上海莫干山路50号 3号楼210 & 6号楼104)

Opening reception: August 8, 2015, 4-7 PM
Duration: August 8 - September 5, 2015
Opening performance: Yukihito Kono
Venue: Venue: V ART CENTER
Address: No.50 Mo Gan Shan Rd, Shanghai, Building 3, 2nd fl & Building 6, 1st fl

参展艺术家 Artists

Jocelyn Allen
Julie Bentley
Geoff Buono
Xiaoyi Chen 陈萧伊
Jisun Choi
Imogen Freeland
Debbie Harman
Sarah Janes
Betty Ketchedjian
Yukihito Kono
Karina Lax
Wenting Liu 刘雯婷
Mels van der Mede
Zaynab Omotoyosi Odunsi
Yifan Qian 钱一帆
Alessandra Rinaudo
Veronique Rolland
Emilie Sandy
Ian Samels
Paloma Tendero
Tessa Williams
Zhanglu 章璐

策展人 Curators
何伊宁 Yining He 张涵露 Hanlu Zhang

展览支持 Special Thanks to:
瑞象馆 Ray Art Center

The title of the exhibition is inspired by the English idiom “elephant in the room”, which refers to existent situations that are overlooked or ignored, or problems too difficult to talk about; it is the emperor’s new clothes. In sociology, the phrase is used to describe conspiracy of silence. Photography as a creative form not only reinforces the visibility of things, but also leads us to their invisible facets - whether that invisibility is due to physical, psychological, or social factors.

This exhibition presents the final projects and recent works by the London College of Communication MA Photography graduates from the class of 2014. It dialectically unfolds three pairs of phrases: visibility/invisibility, surface/content, and looking/overlooking. Through the works, we discover that the reason why we often regard the medium of photography closer to truth, if there is any, is not merely because of its reality reproducing capacity, but its potential of exploring and discussing “seeing” on all levels. Their course leader Weibke Leister writes in the degree show catalog: “…where the medium of photography is heading today: still or moving, digital or analogue, based on how we continue to learn seeing and engaging with it as a cultural phenomenon.”

At the same time of investigating seeing as a cultural phenomenon, the artists in the exhibition are also concerned about the current state and ultimate potential of photography. Some post questions such as: “what is considered a serious photography”, while others tend to what photography is or can do, in an era when everyone is born a photographer. In the works presented, the seemingly contradictory qualities of visibility and invisibility collapse, exchange, reconcile, befriend, and blend. When confronting visible facts, the camera may offer the candidest response, and it may also builds up a convoluted labyrinth, perplexing and concealing.

The “surface/content” is a paradoxical opposition intrinsic to photography. Corresponding to the surface and the content it might be truth and fiction, and it can also be fiction and truth, or the subjective and the objective, fantasy and reality… Is it really like what writers such as Baudrillard claim: the flat photography has murdered the three-dimensional reality? Is indexicality the only connection between the two?

Artist from “____ in the Room” offer different answers. Several photographers discuss surface/content through the representation of the body, it as struggles between the public and the intimate, and as embodiment of certain socio-cultural convention.

In the exhibition, visual habits are subverted, social stereotypes shaken. The artists think in the image and encourage us to think through the image. Looking, in some sense, conceal the overlooked. Whether or not directly using the medium, the artists are fluent in conceiving perspectives and analytically engaging in contemporary visual and political culture. In the works presented, the elephant is nowhere to hide.

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“房间里的大象”来自英国谚语,形容人故意不看见可见之物,显然的真相被忽视了,或者一个因棘手而没人讨论的问题,皇帝的新衣。在社会学里,“房间里的大象”指向一种合谋的沉默。摄影作为当代艺术创作媒介之一不仅巩固了事物的表面、可见性、客体性,还将我们引向事物不可见的一面,无论那不可见是由于物理、心理,还是社会因素。

本次展览集结了伦敦传媒学院14届纯艺摄影硕士学位课程学生的毕业创作和近作,将围绕“可见/不可见”、“表面/内容”以及“观看/忽视”这三对词组辩证展开。在这些作品中我们发现,摄影得以靠近真相不仅仅因为它的现实复刻特性,更因为它对不同层面上“观看”的探讨和试验。导师对艺术家们的毕业寄语曾写道:“摄影这个媒介在今天何去何从:静止还是移动,数码还是底片,这些都取决于我们如何继续学习观看,以及如何将观看作为文化现象的一种去从事。”

展览中的艺术家在探索观看作为文化现象的同时,也关注摄影本身的现状和潜力。有的疑问:什么才是一张“严肃的照片”?也有的关心在这个人人皆摄影师的年代,摄影还意味着什么,能做什么。“可见和不可见”,艺术家使看似对立的两种状态碰撞,共舞,互换,交融……面对可见的事实,相机可能给出最为直接的回应,也可能搭建一个复杂的迷宫,将人困住,藏匿。

而“表面和内容”是内在于摄影的一个有机悖论。对应于表面和内容的可能是真实和虚构,也可能是虚构和真实、冷和热、主观与客观、现实和幻象……是否真的如波德里亚等人宣称的:平面的摄影谋杀了三维的现实?摄影和现实之间的关系真的只是指代这么简单?“房间里的____”的艺术家给出不同答案。其中部分摄影师通过对身体的再现来探讨“表里”关系,身体作为私密和公共和纠葛,也作为文化的化身。

在展出的作品中,视觉习惯被颠覆,社会习俗被摇撼。艺术家在图像中思考,并鼓励图像外的我们思考,通过使我们凝视来揭示被忽视的东西。这种忽视可能由于个人的亲密关系,可能是共同体合谋,也可能是政治意识形态。他们谙熟视角构建和图像语言,一边分析一边积极参与当代视觉文化,将矛头指向“房间里的大象”,以沉默打破沉默。

 

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