Tides of Sand and Steel
Collaboration with Ash Moniz
Si Shang Art Museum
March 19-June 20, 2017
Reviews: Art Forum
Tides of Sand and Steel was developed during site visits in and around front-line communities impacted by desertification in China's interior, specifically in Hongsibu, Ningxia province and Shacheng, Hebei province. Throughout the research process the artists investigated state and non-state initiatives in ecology remediation and extractive economies in the arid region. This exhibition operates at the intersection of human geography and storytelling, unpacking the narrativization of disaster ecologies and the historicization of resilience through environmental management.
With a criticality towards the role of journalistic, museological, and scientific practices, this exhibition follows a self-reflective research methodology and engages with the infrastructure and logistics of environmental remediation, and the reification of anti-desertification programs. Composed of large-scale video installations, critical reconstructions, displays, and affective engagements, Tides of Sand and Steel intersects a rigorous material engagement with an articulation of sublime encounter with moving landscapes.
An Audition For Permanence 18:15, 2017
An Audition For Permanence is a video installation which positions a tiered hydroponic system as the audience for a series of auditions conducted on a 'Stage for Cultural Activities' on the outskirts of Bai Dun Cun. These auditions unpack the competing founding narratives of the valley and the thwarted plan to develop the district as a prefecture level city. Performed by the children of local shepherds who migrated to the city with their parents from the surrounding villages.
The spectacle is witnessed by an installation of Ning Tiao shrubs, which have been planted in their former villages and surrounding hillsides as an anti-desertification measure. These shrubs have paradoxically provided a much needed source of nutrition for the livestock of local shepherds and as a result has fomented tensions between ecological restoration efforts and the struggle for a livelihood.