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EMERGENCY EXIT · AFFECTIONATELY YOURS

Curator:Wang Kaimei

 

Artists:COCA, Fu Xiaodong, Jin Feng, Ju Anqi, Li Xiangwei, Wang Banyu, Wu Xiaochuan, Xu Zhe, Xuan Chenhao, Yu Aijun, Zhang Yehong, Zhao Bang  


Opening:  15:00 - 18:00 · 2020.4.18

Dates:  2020.4.18 - 5.10

 

 

Gallery 55 is pleased to announce that “Emergency Exit · Affectionately Yours”, a group show specially curated by independent curator/critic Wang Kaimei will open on the 18th of April, 2020. The participating artists include: COCA, Fu Xiaodong, Jin Feng, Ju Anqi, Li Xiangwei, Wang Banyu, Wu Xiaochuan, Xu Zhe, Xuan Chenhao, Yu Aijun, Zhang Yehong and Zhao Bang. The show will end on the 10th of May.

 

April 2020, suddenly the whole world comes to a pause. This new sensation of time has brought many changes in our life. Some rather unusual vocabularies have become everyday use, like the words lockdown, quarantine and social-distance. The fact is that Covid-19 has also enlightened us some rather rare knowledge, like Patient Zero, Aerosol Transmission and Flock Immunity. But this new pandemic is not an accident in the history of mankind. Through looking back at the Black Death of the Medieval Age, the Spanish Flu in the early 20th century and the SARS epidemic for merely 17 years ago, let us try to come in terms with the world we are now. Meanwhile the pandemic also reveals how we access to knowledge and how we handle the truth. In a world where human activities are restricted indoors these days, some natural wonders also surprise us with awe, like the return of the wild swans on the Venice canals and a bird family nesting on the abandoned construction site in city center. We are reminded that humans are not the only masters on our planet earth.

 

Covid-19 hits us in a way that globalization couldn’t have achieved under so short time . We are all affected instantaneously. The global outbreak of Covid-19 attacks both the stock markets and the international supply chain for medical supplies. We are seeing a system collapsing and the impossibilities of the vision of reviving the Western power through building walls and quitting international collaborations. With the increasing numbers of the infected patients daily and with the accelerated transmission of information, true or fake, on internet and social media, fear is established as a global environment. What the French sociologist Paul Virilio warned us after the 9.11 attack feels very déjà-vu. “We are facing the emergence of a real collective madness reinforced by the synchronization of emotions: the sudden globalization of affects in real time that hits all of humanity at the same time. Emergency Exit: We have entered a time of general panic.”

 

How do artists react in this very special Covid-19 time? How do artist collectives deal with panic, administrate fear, manage life and reflect over being-in-the-world ? Are we experiencing a temporary abnormal situation interrupting our normal well being? Or if the abnormal will be the new norm and is here to stay? Contemporary art is dealing with both temporary time and events, as much as the eternity per se. The American writer Alan Lightman who is often reflecting time over the cosmic disorder and dream construction finds artists to be the right persons to deal with the chaos. “In this world, artists are joyous. Unpredictability is the life of their paintings, their music, their novels. They delight in events not forecasted, happenings without explanation, retrospective.”

 

This exhibition presents artworks by 12 artists. Their arts show their attitude in dealing with normality and exception. Regard it as a journey in a tunnel led by these 12 artists who will assist us finding the emergency exit. Outside the tunnel, a bright spring world is waving.