previews

Beijing

Xu Zhen: A Madein Company Production

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art UCCA当代艺术中心
798 Art Zone, No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District
January 18 - April 20

Curated by Philip Tinari and Paula Tsai

In 2009, Shanghai-based artist Xu Zhen founded MadeIn Company, trading his singular identity for a corporate brand. Now, for this sprawling survey, the bellicose prankster turns his given name into the moniker of a MadeIn subsidiary, staging recent installations and paintings by the company-cum-collective alongside earlier works from the artist-as-individual. Among the items on view: the disturbing Starving of Sudan, 2008—featuring an animatronic vulture monitoring a live child—and 8848-1.86, 2005, in which the artist, claiming to have shaved 1.86 meters off Mount Everest, presents the refrigerated peak as art. MadeIn has absorbed such actions into its corporate narrative, aiming to bend truths and disrupt hierarchies of patronage and display. In this show, look for canvases covered in thick, sugary impasto, which seems to suggest that when making art with unsettling political agendas, one can have one’s cake and eat it, too.