Opening Thursday, July 31st, from 6PM - 9PM
On view through Friday, August 1st
July 31st to August 1st 2014, 6-9pm
845 W. Washington Blvd, 4th floor, Chicago
Snow Yunxue Fu
Snow Yunxue Fu, Tie Jojima, and Nhung Walsh
“They are the men—anywhere, at any time—who have looked up at the unanswering heavens, and asked, “What and whence and why are those lights in the sky?”, who have looked down at the unanswering Earth, and asked, “What is this air I breathe that is around the Earth and within it, in its secret caves? What is Earth? And what am I?”
—Edna Kenton, The Book Of Earths (1928)
Like a collector of stars, we found the Great Dipper, Cysnus the Swan, Aquila the Eagle, and many others in the sky. But stars do not constitute themselves into constellations. We have positioned them on our maps, analyzed their effects on Earth, and learned from their movement. For thousands of years, by identifying, framing, and naming the stars, we humans have been trying to insert ourselves into the unknown, making the universe tangible and relational. Their images are framed, drawn, and connected with myths and stories that bind them to our seasons, agriculture, religion, and life.
In the Origin of German Tragic Drama (1925), Walter Benjamin asserted that “Ideas are to objects as constellations are to stars.” Just like the stars, ideas and phenomena are broken fragments reconfigured in a constellation, creating the context relative to their being. The act of framing a constellation is a process of meaning-making in which these fragments are transformed from one context to another.
Thus, a constellation, or what we think is a constellation, is result of a process of constant framing and re-framing the unknown. And yet each frame captured is also a fragile inverted layer of how we see our own images. Reconstellation is a video installation exhibition in which each artwork sparks its own light into the stories of the stars and humans. Carla Gannis and Justin Petropoulos’s
(2012) is a digital animation retells the story of Earth through the odd combination of a written mechanical algorithm of painterly images and the poem from The Book of the Earth. Gregory Bennett creates a 3-D psychological landscape in Floratopia (2013) that artificially constructed imaginary world functions in an evolved structure, fueled by its people’s enigmatic ceremonial rituals. Snow Yunxue Fu’s Obsolete (2013) and Seem (2013) explore the cosmic imagery as it is framed by the contemporary 3-D animating technology, and deconstruct and even glitched through the digital interface. And lastly, John Monteith’s Pyongyang, North Korea, June 5 101 (2012) 5:00am-5:06:48am (2012) is an obsessive image that captures the city of Pyongyang at 5am from his 32nd floor hotel window where the North Korean “utopic” city stands still in its own creation of time, where its calendar is based on the birth of Kim Il Sung temporally isolating the nation state from the Gregorian system used by the rest of the world.
The exhibition is open from July 31st to August 1st 2014, 6-9pm with artist talks at the opening night on July 31st .