Opening March 26. at 7 pm
March 26. - April 13. : days of production
Extra opening hours
The End of Travelling (Trip to Asiatown and Back)
THE END OF TRAVELLING
HEMAN CHONG /ISABELLE CORNARO
[ Introduction ]
We are trying to understand the meaning of the increasing interest in Asian artists with European curators, namely with the importance of the political in their works, their attitudes concerning their country's art history and relationships with international markets. Finally, we want to question the significance of the strong presence of Asian students in European art colleges.
The video-documentary comprises of interviews with several established artists, conducted during a trip to Asia in November 2001 as well as footage filmed in the different capital cities where they reside.
[ Origins ]
The central themes of urban chaos in art, architecture and film were the main paradigms of this massive project. It was essentially a show that focussed on the varied practices that existed in contemporary artistic practices in Asia. The basis of the travelling show structure was to enable the next exhibition to be an extension of previous exhibitions. The purpose of the curators was to suggest a scene in Asia that is perpetually on the move.
While "Cities on the Move" travelled, exhibitions presenting young Asian artists flourished everywhere in Europe. Exhibitions that functioned as reflections on cultural exchange, migration, globalisation and other similar current themes became very popular with both audiences and museums. Among others "Paris pour escale" curated by Hou Hanru and Evelyne Jouanneau at the ARC (Paris, 1998) and "Next Generation" curated by Michel Nuridsay at the "Passage de Retz" (Paris, 2001).
Similarly, there has been a
sharp increase of mega-exhibitions, art fairs and biennales of
contemporary art organised by countries or cities as an act to
claim status as international cultural centers. Each event shows
the same desire to present a wide panorama of contemporary creations
made by artists from the largest spectrum of countries and backgrounds.
[ Work Process ]
The theme of urban chaos and of the city remained to be the main essential context for our contemporary creation: how cities are investigated by artists and transformed by them, how its future shape is influenced by the works and issues arising from contemporary art, and in which proportion museums and galleries attempt to evolve into spaces of production rather than just merely a site for consumption.
Responding to the crucial issues of cultural exchange, globalisation and migrations, we have decided to embark on a road movie - a process of temporary migration while realising the various images and interviews with the artists.
[ Work structure and shape ]
The interviews trigger the issues concerning the nature and form of their works, which primarily focuses on the importance of the political. For example, the concept of migration is explored with Ken Lum, a Canadian artist who is ethnically chinese, discussing his friendship with Chen Zhen, a Chinese artist emigrant in Paris. Through this interview, various questions and problems of identity were raised.
We have chosen to adapt a theory defined by Rem Koolhaas as a structure for the editing of the video-documentary: A City of Exacerbated Difference : "A city that does not imply the stability of a definitive configuration because each part is fixed, unstable and in a state of perpetual mutual adjustment defining themselves in relation to all other parts." "...what counts for the COED is not the methodical creation of the ideal, but the opportunistic exploitation of flukes, accidents and imperfections." Through this, we have employed images from several different sources-- sequences from travelling in the cities, clips from previous works, and others out of the context of the documentary which is included to form new meanings (e.g. Sequences from television, digital stills, etc).
The usage of very different and contemporary media is voluntary. It is relative to the essential role of media in the phenomenon of the reduction of distances (a simultaneous access of mass information).
In fact, in a global world where distances are annihilated, frontiers are dissolving, cultural differences are becoming more and more important. They have transformed into a major political and economical issue, as they are potentially disappearing.
Heman Chong / Isabelle Cornaro
[ Review ]
"It is this critique then, of retinalized difference, of the Other induced to an image stereotype that is palatable and digestible, that two or three practitioners who are showing here at the Transmediale 3.0, Heman Chong and Isabelle Cornaro, for example, in their project, The End of Travelling, which is so suggestive of Michel Houellebecq's Platform, which concerns travel. Travelling the world to find that it is the same all round. Both these artists come together in this project The End of Travelling to examine what it is to produce today, in which the production of the self can only be acceptable to the optical system of the museum art gallery, that sees what it terms of Identity-Nation-Tribe category. How then to carry out a critique of multiculturalism when multiculturalism has been debased into an aesthetic notion of the Other as a retinalized entity?"
Sarat Maharaj (Cultural Theorist
/ Co-curator, Documenta11)
[ Public Exhibitions/Screenings Chart ]
01 : Work-in-progress 01: January
02 : Installation 01, Group
: : June 2002
03 : Screening 01, Group : September
04 : Installation 02, Solo :
05 : Work-in-progress 02 : January
06 : Screening 02 : February
07 : Screening 03 : February
08 : Installation 03, Group
: March 2003
09 : Installation 04, Solo :
10 : Installation 04, Group
(Pending) : August 2003
Special Thanks to :
All who were interviewed in this work process