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The Usher

Tides of Sand and Steel
Si Shang Art Museum
Beijing, China
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.

The Usher, 06:00, 2017
The Usher is a performance that takes place in the bleachers of a landing strip at the base of Luo Shan Mountain. Adjacent to this site are a series of fences that bar access to the deforested mountain which is now an ecological reserve. The fence serves as a barrier from further deforestation and overgrazing, as well as a barrier that preserves recently abandoned villages whose population was resettled as part of a 'poverty alleviation measure.' These villages become ready-made heritage sites as part of the adapted uses of the mountain for tourism and leisure economies. 06:00, 2017

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