A Day in the Outer Ring
Gongmenkou dongcha 29
Opening Saturday August 11, 4-8 PM
Up until September 2 (Saturday, Sunday and by appointment)
I: project space presents A Day in the Outer Ring 《环外游》, an exhibit by Sponge Gourd Collective 丝瓜集团. This exhibit is part of an extended investigation into the human-scale impacts of the Chinese high-speed rail (HSR) development in theJing-Jin-Ji mega region.
Nothing Ever Happens Here《这里很无聊》 and Lunar Palpitations《月食心慌 》》 are video works comprising footage from a research trip taken in March 2018 to explore the areas surrounding new and proposed HSR stations. Nothing Ever Happens Here《这里很无聊》 creates collages in physical space by bringing green screens to various sites in Hebei with current or proposed HSR stations, and inviting local residents and objects to place themselves in the speculative space of the green screen. Lunar Palpitations《月食心慌 》 loosely depicts a dizzying pilgrimage to a sacred site of speed and rejuvenation. Sense of time distorts, and bodies hurtle forward into abysmal space. Unfilial Garden《不孝花园》is a wall painting that reproduces background elements from educational murals seen in Xitianchi Village, Handan, Hebei. Removed from their propagandistic context, the mute landscapes unfold and invite viewers to focus on their formal and affective dimensions. These works highlight the vertigo,fantasy, and anxiety inherent in the HSR’s promises of national empowerment through speed.
The opening of the exhibition will coincide with a book launch for What Do You See When You Look Out the Window《你看外面风景的时候会想到什么？》, a sticker book by Daphne Xu that interrogates the constant manipulation of landscape in the context of Chinese urban development and where agency is located in this change. Books will be available for purchase at the show opening.
Sponge Gourd Collective 丝瓜集团 is a loofah for the future, a squad of green goons, a slimy surprise. We investigate urban transformation to explore Chinese futurities. With backgrounds in visual art, photography, anthropology, community organizing, film, and literature, we develop multimedia projects that broaden popular conceptions of China, to leave more room for the blurry spaces in between.
With the support of Beijing22, we are working on The Harmonious Commute 《跳出北京看北京》, an ongoing project investigating the high-speed rail as the literal and symbolic connecting feature of the Jing-Jin-Ji mega region.
A Day in the Outer Ring 环外游 is part of the long-term curatorial research project Beijing22.