Para Site is delighted to present Crush, a group exhibition featuring 17 artists, that delves into the dark side of love and the complexities of unrequited emotion found. Curated by Qu Chang, Associate Curator Para Site, Crush will be on show from Saturday 15 September to Sunday 25 November at Para Site.
By tracing the injury, heartbreak, defeat and pathology that can be associated with love, the exhibition reflects upon vulnerability and the ramifications this can have on personal lives and social structures.
Unrequited love oscillates like a pendulum on an axis of passionate extremes; it is at once an epic and an epidemic, a feeling of ravishing euphoria and a perverse quest. The figure of the stalker is perhaps one of the most dramatic representations of the kind of wild obsession that one might succumb to when love is not returned. Although unrequited love is itself age old, it is contemporary life that now breeds obsession with unprecedented vigour: from the stars and celebrities who are constantly followed by groups of crazed fans, the nationalistic slogans that avidly call for unconditional patriotic love, to the hopeful romantics on omnipresent dating apps, the packaging of shop products covered in symbols of love and success, and the often-neglected emotional labour that underlies all relationships. The flow and exchange of emotions in everyday life are often regulated by the prevailing institutions of contemporary society. Owing to their ubiquity, the conflicting feelings associated with unrequited love become the rather tender avenue through which these institutions can be investigated.
Taking inspiration from the rhetoric of love and obsession, the exhibition conjures a fictive space for lyricism, tracing the sensations of euphoria and perversion while simultaneously investigating the threats of entrapment. The exhibition assembles a group of artists who make use of daily mediums and subject matter in their practice to explore emotion and its affects. Through patient and measured methods such as writing, reading and audio recording, these artists' works either personify and display an empathy toward their surroundings, or investigate the precariousness of emotion as at once an inherent need and a socio-historical construct. Together they open up a poignant space that appeals to the politics of emotion as well as the lyrical tradition in literature.
Crush proposes a shift of focus towards the pain inflicted by love, and 'outlaw emotions,' which have hitherto been neglected or deliberately shunned. One need look no further than the numerous cases of assault and harassment that have recently entered public debate, where the perpetrators' abuse of power, committed under the guise of love, belies complex emotional experiences that demand parsing with care. Echoing the anthropologist Eleanor Wilkinson, Crush urges a rethinking of the ambivalence, incoherence, and unruliness of love: how can love be both joyful and painful, enduring and transient, expansive and territorial?
Participating artists include Oscar Chan Yik Long, Chen Zhe, Chendan Dizi, South Ho, Huang Jingyuan, Sarah Lai Cheuk Wah, Lau Wai, Lee Kit, Li Jinghu, Dawn Kim, Marge Monko, Pak Sheung Chuen, Sunny Wong Wing Sang, Sound Route (Musquiqui Chihying, Shen Sum-Sum,Wu Chi-Yu), Magdalen Wong, Writing Mothers (organised by Huang Jingyuan, Wang Yamin, Feng Junhua), Cici Wu.
September 14, 2018 7:00 - 9:00pm Opening Reception
7:30pm Performance of Don’t wind it up, turn it on! directed by Marge Monko
Press release courtesy Para Site.
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