St Paul st Gallery AUT

Exhibitions

Field Recordings

Guo Zixuan, Li Xiaofei, Tu Rapana Neill, Jim Speers and Clinton Watkins

Galleries One and Two

23 February 2018 - 6 April 2018


Field Recordings: roomsheet


Field Recordings, Xiao Pudong (production still), 2017. HD video, single channel, 31:00 minutes.

“The ocean is one of capitalism’s mysterious elements,” narrates Mr Kang in one of the five video-channels in Let the Water Flow (2017). Each channel follows a narrative relating to the workers living on boats and along the banks of the Suzhou and Chang Jiang Rivers in Shanghai, and travelling to Hengsha Island. This multi-narrative form is central to Field Recordings’ video work as a collective. Rather than attempting to present an omniscient view of Shanghai, this documentary practice constantly reveals its own limits, and the impossibility of narrative coherence across the numerous perspectives and sites that constitute a city. The consistent undercurrent is water—a physical, political and economic barrier that exists between those making a living on the rivers, and the skyscrapers that represent the proliferation of wealth in the city.

Here in Tāmaki Makaurau, a port city like Shanghai, the sight of shipping containers and urban development is familiar. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has written, “Globalisation takes place only in capital and data. Everything else is damage control.”[1] The shipping containers transfer capital and data between the two cities as if unencumbered, and along with them moves ‘everything else’. What does it mean, then, to encounter this work here in Tāmaki Makaurau, in the recognition that ‘here’ is unique to each viewer? It may be possible to record Aotearoa’s relationship with China in economic terms, on the basis of capital transaction and data, but we ourselves, each of us and our lives, are not ‘global’. We are differently located, always situated in and working from a specific place and perspective. Everything we see in these works is in a state of constant movement; the city will no more stay still than the waterways that move through it.

This exhibition is accompanied by a publication, including essays by Emma Ng, Michael Wilson and Hsieh Feng-Rong, which will be launched on 20 March 2018 with a floor-talk by Li Xiaofei. See Facebook for details.

[1] Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2011), 1.

Field Recordings is presented in association with Auckland Arts Festival 2018.



Guo Zixuan

From left: Guo Zixuan, The Nine Days, 2019. HD video, single channel, 8:00 minutes; Right: Li Xiaofei, Argentum, 2016. HD video, single channel, 13:15 minutes. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Zixuan Guo, video still

Guo Zixuan, The Nine Days (production still), 2017. HD video, single channel, 9:00 minutes.

Li Xiaofei

Li Xiaofei, Argentum, 2016. HD video, single channel, 13:15 minutes. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Jim Speers and Clinton Watkins

From left: Jim Speers, Baoshan District, 2016. HD video, single channel, 8:00 minutes; Right: Clinton Watkins, Locations, 2017. HD video, single channel, 10:00 minutes. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Clinton Watkins, video still

Clinton Watkins, Locations (production still), 2017. HD video, single channel, 10:00 minutes.

Field Recordings Let the Water Flow

Field Recordings, Let the Water Flow, 2016. HD video, multi channel, various durations. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Field Recordings Let the Water Flow

Field Recordings, Let the Water Flow, 2016. HD video, multi channel, various durations. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Field Recordings, foyer

Foyer view for Field Recordings. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Field Recordings Let the Water Flow

Field Recordings, Let the Water Flow, 2016. HD video, multi channel, various durations. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

Field Recordings Xiao Pudong

Field Recordings, Xiao Pudong, 2017. HD video, single channel, 20:00 minutes. Photo: artsdiary.co.nz.

Field Recordings Xiao Pudong

Field Recordings, Xiao Pudong, 2017. HD video, single channel, 20:00 minutes.Photo: artsdiary.co.nz.

Xiao Pudong, video sill

Field Recordings, Xiao Pudong (production still), 2017. HD video, single channel, 20:00 minutes.