Shanghai

Enrique Ježik, In Hemmed-in Ground, 2018, steel, cardboard. Installation view. Photo: Jiang Wenyi.

12th Shanghai Biennale

Power Station of Art | 上海当代艺术博物馆

Enrique Ježik, In Hemmed-in Ground, 2018, steel, cardboard. Installation view. Photo: Jiang Wenyi.


EVER SINCE the Shanghai Biennale moved to the Power Station of Art in 2012, monumental works have been a mainstay of the event. Take, for example, Huang Yong Ping’s nearly sixty-foot-tall cast-iron tower in that first edition in the former coal energy plant, or MouSen+MSG’s immersive “storytelling machine,” The Great Chain of Being-Planet Trilogy, in 2016.

So it is refreshing to enter the cavernous main hall and find a relatively understated display: Enrique Ježik’s In Hemmed-in Ground, 2018. The installation consists of sixteen Chinese characters, each constructed humbly from cardboard and steel, together reading, ONE STEP FORWARD TWO STEPS BACK / TWO STEPS FORWARD ONE STEP BACK. The couplet nods to the biennial’s title, “Proregress,” a word borrowed from the American poet e. e. cummings, but it also holds particular significance for the local audience, speaking to the widely

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.