For this exhibition, Villela and Zhu created a presentation that resembles a stream of consciousness, with photographs of natural and built environments, of abstraction and figuration. Pinned directly on the wall, the images travel in a flow along the parallel walls of the gallery, and explode when they reach the final wall space.
The exhibition reflects upon many aspects of the human condition in the contemporary world: the rapid dissemination of information, the surplus of materials, the isolation of human beings despite increased connectivity, the blurred boundaries between the organic and the inorganic. According to Zhu and Villela: “Technology is eroding geographical borders. Information travels. Money is wired. Knowledge expands. But the human grows isolated – connected to the entire world, yet more alone than ever before. Images are consumed in less time than the shutter opened, and yet are capable of exerting impressive influence in the bigger conversation.”
Zhu rebuilds daily objects into sculptural compositions and documents them in the studio, referencing commercial imagery. He also takes that approach outside of the studio. The works manifest how photographs falls apart and are created for mass consumption in today’s visual environment. The new series is a departure from his previous projects.
Villela adopts a journalistic perspective to survey new societal developments and reveal how technological advances shape our understanding of collective experience and create new forms of social control. The back of a car enthusiast sitting on a folding chair at a Colorado car show, an illegible flight information board – the fragmented images from the street further examine the connection and alienation of human beings to themselves and the spaces they occupy. Villela will also exhibit a new video created specifically for this exhibition, featuring first-person perspective footage taken in the digital city of Los Santos from the video game Grand Theft Auto V. The video was shot and edited on Villela’s personal phone (an iPhone SE with a cracked screen). As part of the work, Villela will leave his phone in the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition – distancing himself from the pervasive object, testing the overgrown connection between human and technology.
Together, Fernando and Zhu design an installation of photographs of greatly varying sizes, arranged in contrast with Fou Gallery’s classic brownstone space, allowing for a multitude of aesthetic and social relationships to crystallize.
*The press release is written based on texts by Echo He, edited by Du Lin.
About the artists
Fernando Villela (b. 1993, São Paulo, Brazil) Graduated from Photography at School of Visual Arts, New York (B.F.A.) in 2015, Villela currently lives and works in New York. His recent shows include Photoworks, Barrett Art Center, New York (2018); Data Rush, Noorderlicht Fotofestival, Groeningen, The Netherlands (2015). He had his first solo exhibition Fernando Villela: Procedural Generation at Ateliê Alê Gallery, São Paulo (2014). Zhe Zhu and Fernando Villela: Time Flies So First Things First is his first exhibition with Fou Gallery, New York (2018).
Zhe Zhu (b.1993, Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China) Graduated from Photography at School of Visual Arts, New York (B.F.A) in 2015, Zhu currently works and lives in New York and Shanghai. He is recently awarded the Avant Guardian by Surface magazine. His recent shows include Art book in China, Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum (2016); The First Edition of Changjiang International Photography & Video Biennale, Changjiang Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing (2015); Portfolio Show Case Volume 8 Group Exhibition at The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, U.S.A. (2015); Zhe Zhu and Zhangbolong Liu: Vanitas/Traces, Carma and Fou Gallery, New York (2015). His work is included in Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai.
About the exhibition
Dates: February 16—March 18, 2018
Venue: Fou Gallery, 410 Jefferson Ave, #1, Brooklyn, New York, NY11221
Hours: Saturday 11am–6pm, or by appointment (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Courtesy of Fou Gallery, for further information please visit www.fougallery.com or contact Jiawen Song (email@example.com; 1.917.628.5668).