Critics’ Picks

Zhu Jia, It’s Beyond My Control, 2014, two-channel video projection. Installation view.

Zhu Jia, It’s Beyond My Control, 2014, two-channel video projection. Installation view.

Shanghai

“LANDSEASKY”

OCAT Shanghai | OCAT上海馆
30 Wen An Road, Shanghai
April 20–June 15, 2014

This exhibition of video artwork by seventeen international artists takes the horizon line as its subject, using Jan Dibbets’s included filmic series of sea and sky, “Horizon – Sea,” 1971, as cue. Shanghai might be an ideal setting in which to contemplate the concept: The exhibition title’s elision could also refer to the city’s dissolving horizon line, where buildings across the Huangpu River still appear faint in the distance.

In Kimsooja’s reflection of Nigeria, titled Bottari-Alfa Beach, 2000, for example, the sea has been flipped above the sky much in the same way Dibbets’s work tilts perspective. Giovanni Ozzola’s video, Garage—Sometimes You Can See Much More, 2009–11, displayed on a wall of an empty room, depicts a life-size garage door opening up onto an open sea, changing our line of sight while also blurring the lines of the gallery space.

Some works also stretch the concept of worldly delineations to those that move laterally, inwardly, or even without direction. In Wang Gongxin’s The Other Rule in Ping Pong, 2014, a ping-pong table is deconstructed and reconstituted into three screens: A tabletop screen projects each side of the table while two upright screens show unlikely opponents, such as a man’s mouth, which spits out the white ball and another man hitting it with a shovel. And in Zhu Jia’s It’s Beyond My Control, 2014, a looped video shows a hand faintly penciling in the edges of a corner of the gallery. Here the border between art viewing and art making dissolves. Like a horizon line, the demarcation suggests a kind of infinity.