Son, in modern era, is often portrayed as one who constantly strives to free himself from the Father. The modern Son is the Son that tends to forget, split, subvert and self-authorize.
Yet, Son always signals something that is outside of and superior to him, which presents itself as the Authority. Son could never truly be detached as he claims. The emancipation of modern Son, therefore, remains problematic.
Highlighting works of four artists, Yan Xing, Rafael Kelman, Ben Hagari, and Chen Zhou, who are all under 35 years old, Son: Signal of Authority investigates the situation of the concept of Son in our time, a time that the Authority, whether household or public, is believed to be precarious and obscure. Rather than justifying the emancipation of modern Son, here Son is rendered as a fluctuating signal of Authority, and a sort of contemporary culture symptom that needs to be interrogated.
Through presenting a newspaper archive about an interview of the father of Mohammed Atta, one of the 9-11 hijackers, the exhibition also probes how the alienation of modern paternal binding significantly infects the public sphere and further endangers the political realm of our time.
A never-ending voice from Shakespeare’s The Tempest haunts the exhibition space. Listening is a significant device in the show. To listen is to recall, to be re-connected with, and to receive something from beyond. It is in this listening that Son is liberated from any present bondage, and keeps opening to “the other” that is unknown and unpredictable.
Yan Xing (b.1986, Chongqing) lives and works in Beijing and Los Angeles. Yan Xing’s work combines diverse media such as performance, video, photography, and installation. His works circulate around large themes such as negativity, resistance, and order, exploring their complex interrelations. In 2012 Yan Xing won the Best Young Artist Award from Chinese Contemporary Art Award and also received a nomination for the Future Generation Art Prize from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. His recent major exhibitions include 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg (2015); 28 Chinese, Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2013); and ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013). Early this year he presented his newly commissioned performance work Performance of a Massacre at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Later this year, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University will present Yan Xing’s first museum solo show in the United States.
Rafael Kelman (b.1986, Vermont) is a New York-based artist working across sculpture, drawing, video and performance. His recent practice has largely revolved around an ongoing project titled Gigantomachy, which explores the collapse, inversion and manipulation of disparate heroic and utopian fantasies, including those of the lone wolf terrorist, the geodesic dome enthusiast and the radical mime. He received a BA at Marlboro College and an MFA from Hunter College in 2015. In New York, he has shown work at venues including the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Brooklyn Artists Alliance, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Artist’s Space Books and Talks. He was recently invited to be a part of the Drawing Center’s “Open Sessions” program for 2016–17.
Ben Hagari (b. 1981, Tel Aviv) lives and works in New York. His film, video and installation works are tragicomedies that unfold in absurdist environments that raise questions about identity and territory. Recent exhibitions include: The Rose Art Museum, Massachusetts (2016); The Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2016); SculptureCenter, New York (2015); MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art Krakow (2015); The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2014); Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (2012); KIT Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (2011). His films have been screened at Whitechapel Gallery, London; Ballroom Marfa, Texas and Anthology Film Archives, New York among others. He earned his undergraduate degree from Hamidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College (2008) and an MFA degree from Columbia University, New York (2014).
Chen Zhou (b. 1987, Zhejiang) is a Shanghai-based artist and filmmaker. He graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts. His videos and films often unfold within an incoherent narrative and paradoxical context. Chen Zhou’s solo exhibitions include Kaufman at Aike-Dellarco, Shanghai (2013); I’m not not not Chen Zhou at Magician Space, Beijing (2013); His works were also shown in OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shanghai; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Rubell Miami Gallery; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale and the 10th China Independent Film Festival.
Boliang Shen (b. 1984) is currently an MA candidate in the Program in Museum Studies at New York University. He attended the Gwangju Biennale International Curator Course in 2011. He previously worked as senior editor at Artinfo China (2010–13) and curatorial intern at SculptureCenter (New York, 2015). He organized exhibitions and events in the 4th Gwangju Design Biennale (2011), the 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012) and OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (Shenzhen, 2014). His writing has been included in Little Movements: Self-Practice in Contemporary Art (2011) andAlternatives to Ritual: Exhibition as a Medium in China (2014).
Zhanglun Dai (b. 1983) is a writer on literature and art, an organizer of contemporary art exhibitions and events. Zhanglun worked previously as an assistant curator of the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial (2008) and project manager of Art Writer & Journalist Workshop in the 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012). Her writings had been included inLittle Movements: Self-Practice in Contemporary Art (2011), artforum.com.cn, and Artinfo China. She is now based in New York.
About the exhibition
Date: May 7–28, 2016
Venue: inCube Arts
Address: 314 West 52nd St., #1 New York, NY 10019
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 12–6pm, Saturday 12–5pm