Within the context of cultural studies the relational forces instituted between the structural transformation of urban scales and the proliferation of information technologies in contemporary China are emerging into an expanded field of analysis. While the ‘continuous production’ of modernity has so far manifested into the functional integration of political economy and social growth in the time of global connectivity and homogenized media experience, the latent discourse of culture , intended as the segmenting realm of agency where locality registers its identity, increasingly takes shape in new forms of creative production and psychological consumption.On the backdrop of modernization and the inspirational economic leverage incited by the countdown to the Olympics, the changing relationship between politics and culture articulates within a process of experimentation which interrogates locality and its historicity against, on a side, the products of global consumerist culture, and on the other, the convergence of new models of spatial thinking and occupation, popular culture, social ‘neo-neo-tribalism’, corporate branding, viral marketing and hybrid libidinal economies. The perpetual nature of this predominantly visual production giving rise to new urban imaginaries speaks to the paradigmatic quality of fluid social networks, where communication is situational, metaphorically consumed in the digital time of internet and experienced in the superficial flux of moving images. Indeed the synthesis of global connectivity is not only challenging our sense of space, but also that of human presence within; while displacing the time of history in a one-dimensional media flow, it furthers brings into questions that of its immanent possibilities and “invisible” modes of existence. It is thus in the spatial convergence of our mental vocabulary/memory, one of compound narrativity and filmic character, and the digital tempo of contemporary hyper-production that opens up the measure for art to forge critical distance and innovative models of counter-representation. Artistic practices that employ moving images for the construction of architectural spaces in the rehabilitation of the viewer as both receiver and producer, become thus needful metaphors refurbishing the zone between the filmic and the bodily with new references, which by destabilizing the sovereign equation between conscious perception and illusionary simulation poignantly disclose the subversive and ritualistic power of alternative individual orders. A constructed story-telling portrayed by the experiments of 17 among international and Chinese artists, “Seduction” is a theory-fiction inspired by the homonymous book by French philosopher J. Baudrillard that will engage the public in an oblique trespassing of the fixity of reality as the place of cultural codification and stereotypical representation. Featuring diverse installation-based forms of video displaying, documentary, experimental video, and footage appropriated from personal and public archival material, CCTVs, mass media, pop culture video-clips, cinema repertory etc, the show exposes the possibility of Baudrillars’s philosophy of Seduction in the reality-fiction of the local context.The resulting juxtaposition will inform about the way new and existing forms of social consciousness and mobilization have been re-phrasing the subjective reconstruction of meaning in mediating their position in front of intense geopolitical realignments and ideological confrontations. While opening up the liminal realm of the moving images to a mirror-sphere of metaphysical agency, Seduction ludicrously play with reversal and invalidation against the cumulative transparency of the contemporary spectacle, and by doing so enters the invisible break into the economics of relations of force (between power and life) as a deliberate provocation, one enacted by suspending its momentum of political existence within the continuity of a unique aesthetic universe.
Artists : Fikret Atay, Johanna Billing, Candice Breitz, Mircea Cantor, C lin Dan , Claire Fontaine, Gao Shiqiang, Clarisse Hahn, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, Jesper Just, Mathieu Laurette, Melik Ohanian, Ou Ning & Cao Fei, Shi Qing, Ulla Von Brandemburg, Wu Wenguang, Zhang Peili .