LONG MARCH SPACE
In his solo show “A Field of Non-field,” the Taiwanese artist Chen Chieh-jen elaborates on what he calls “dhammic leftism,” a term he’s been using for some time. The concept is based on Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka (“middle path”) school of Buddhism, in which Chen sees a kind of negative dialectic manifested through its so-called eight negations––“neither birth nor death, neither end nor permanence, neither identity nor difference, neither coming nor going.” The doctrine calls for a synthesis of strict criticism and speculative consciousness, which is also embodied on the level of visuality: The slow-motion shots in Chen’s videos remain ineffable, without any clear beginning or end, and represent a sense quite different from Bill Viola’s religious experience of awakening. But pace is not Chen’s primary concern: His long takes are anti-immersion and anti-ritual, as if in service of a
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