Leo Xu Projects
“Reflexology,” the title of Nina Canell’s first solo exhibition in China, seemed an apt topic for a culture that has long purported the medicinal benefits of foot massage. Entering the sparse ground-floor gallery space, which was carpeted in a dingy, low-shag, wall-to-wall industrial chartreuse, one immediately noticed the imprint of the sole of a single shoe or slipper seamlessly inlaid into the carpet’s surface. At first it appeared to be a house painter’s accident, a haphazard mistake, but closer inspection revealed a tattered and well-traveled history. As the title piece to the exhibition, the work, Reflexologies, 2016, also suggested a scruffy foot map of pressure points. But where was the other foot? This lone imprint appeared like a clue to a mysterious event or an inconspicuous biography.
Metaphors of dislocation or absence, displacement, and disconnection run consistently
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