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2019 Projects
The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge: An Unfinished & Incomplete Inventory of Extinctions in the People’s Republic of China | Tessa Zettel / 天朝仁学广览:中国物种灭绝的一份不完全清单 | Tessa Zette


‘Each time an existence disappears, it is a piece of the universe of sensations that fades away.’

-- Vinciane Despret, ‘Afterword: It Is an Entire World That Has Disappeared’,

in Thom van Dooren, Deborah Bird Rose and Mathew Chrulew (eds.), 2017, 

Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death, and Generations


Biologists suggest we are now entering the sixth mass extinction event since complex life evolved on earth. Extinction however, is no singular phenomenon, but rather is ‘experienced, resisted, measured, enunciated, performed and narrated in a variety of ways to which we must attend’ (van Dooren, Rose and Chrulew). With increasing heat, pollution and toxicity putting pressure unevenly on all forms of life, how might we now learn ‘to live and die well with each other in a thick present’, as Donna Haraway puts it? What does it mean to cohabit with other species in such a thick, entangled present, where multiple times overlap and intersect, and those of many entities and assemblages as we know them are approaching an end? What are the politics, poetics and affects of more-than-human finitude? And how to collectively acknowledge or commemorate the loss to our own ‘universe of sensations’ when one piece of it disappears?


During six months in residence at IFP, Australian artist Tessa Zettel has hosted an extinction club study group as a way to think together with local participants on these and other questions. Over a series of irregular meetings and field trips, the group recorded a mini-cassette library of their extinction-related readings – covering amongst other things fossil nihilism, passenger pigeons, database aesthetics, de-extinction and cosmoecologies – that is now ready to be shared.


The Extinction Club Reading Group forms part of research for a longer-term project by the artist to make a handmade, riso-printed book + cassette about extinctions in China, telling speculative stories of a variety of nonhuman (animals, birds, gastropods) but also technologies, language sand ways of living) facing permanent erasure. Many curious tales of past and impending loss weave through this rapidly transforming landscape, like the 80-million-year-old pangolin (the most illegally-trafficked and only fully-scaled mammal); the functionally extinct baiji or Yangtze river dolphin, and the Père David deer, once extinct in China but today flourishing again in Beijing’s Nanhaizi Park. Borrowing its title and categories from the fictional Chinese encyclopedia in Jorge Luis Borges’s short story, ‘The Analytical Language of John Wilkins’, the book is a kind of delirious compendium describing how different beings, ecologies and histories are entangled together in webs that are both material and ethical, and borne across time and space by the dynamics of colonization, extraction and exchange. Its cassette tape component will include sound pieces by contributing artists responding to figures of extinction here in China, from the dǎkǒuor cut-out CDs (Yan Jun, China) and a certain thing (Ake, China) to the prehistoric Chinese paddlefish (Jaakko Junnila, Finland).


IFP and Tessa Zettel invite you to see and hear this collective work-in-progress at IFP’s Black Sesame Space. With tea, texts, sounds and black sesame snacks.


Project blog:


This project was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.



——Vinciane Despret,“后记:消失的是整个世界”,

收录于Thom van Dooren,Deborah Bird Rose和Mathew Chrulew(编)



生物学家认为,我们正在进入自地球上演化出复杂生命形态以来的第六次生物集群灭绝。然而,灭绝不是单一的现象,而是以种种我们必须到场的方式被“经验、抵御、计量、声明、表演和讲述”(van Dooren,Rose和Chrulew)。所有的生命形式不均衡地背负着气候变暖、污染和毒性物质所造成的压力,我们如何才能学会——如唐娜·哈拉维(Donna Haraway)所说——“在厚密的现实中彼此相安地生活和死去”? 在如此厚密、纠缠的当下——多重的时间相交叠和交叉,我们所知道的许多生命实体和组合正在走向灭亡——与其它物种共栖意味着什么?超越人类界限的政治、诗学与影响是什么?以及,当其中一个切片消失时,我们如何集体承认或纪念我们自身“感官宇宙”的缺失?


在IFP驻地的六个月中,澳大利亚艺术家Tessa Zettel主持了一个灭绝俱乐部阅读小组,以这种方式与本地参与者一同思考这些问题或其它。在一系列不定期的聚会和田野调查中,该小组录制完成了一个迷你磁带库,其中收录了他们一起读过的灭绝相关的文本——主要涵盖了化石虚无主义、旅鸽、数据库美学、去灭绝与宇宙生态学。



该长期项目将制作一本关于中国物种灭绝的孔板印刷(risograph)的手工书,附一个磁带,思辨性地讲述关于各种面临灭迹的非人类物种(动物、鸟类、腹足动物)以及技术、语言和生活方式的故事。许多奇妙故事和即将到来的消亡在这一剧烈变化的风景中穿梭,像有着八千万年历史的穿山甲(被非法贩运最多的、也是唯一全身批鳞的哺乳动物);功能性灭绝的白暨豚或长江豚,以及曾经在中国绝迹,如今在北京的南海子公园重获新生的麋鹿。借用博尔赫斯短篇小说《约翰·威尔金斯的分析语言》(The Analytical Language of John Wilkins)中虚构的中国百科全书的标题和目录,这本书将是一种谵妄的概略,描述不同的物种、生态和历史如何在物质与伦理的网络中纠缠,承受重重殖民、攫取和交换。随附的磁带将收录参与项目的艺术家们对于中国的灭绝情形的回应,从打口碟(颜峻)、某物(Ake,中国)到史前中国白鲟(Jaakko Junnila,芬兰)。


IFP和Tessa Zettel邀请您来黑芝麻空间,观看和聆听这一进行中的集体项目。茶、文本、声音和黑芝麻点心。






It is very difficult to be an island of perfection in a sea of misery, but please, do not doubt our sincerity - notes on Simon Wald-Lasowski's works

“在不幸的海洋中造一座完美岛屿实属不易,但请不要怀疑我们的诚意” 关于Simon Wald-Laswski 作品的一些琐记

simon wald

Perhaps we can start with some thoughts on “obscenity”. During a recent conversation, Simon admitted to me that most of his works have an obscene nature. Born in a French intellectual family, Simon would sneak in his father’s library as child to peek into deviant ‘perverted’ 18th century erotic engravings. This might be one of many explanations for his appetite for irony and subversion. 

An extravagant orgy - from a drinking fountain to a urinal fountain

If you’re given the choice between going to an orgy or a symposium, be careful you don’t make the wrong choice. The sedate-sounding ‘symposium’ of the Ancient Greeks frequently descended into debauchery and even riot. 

On the contrary, imperial Roman orgies were comparatively sedate affairs. The rich were expected to hold frequent, extravagant parties - the more extravagant, the greater your status. Hundreds of strangers, of all classes, would be invited at random; but as ever, attractive, fashionably dressed people would be generously supplied, as would entertainment from dancers, musicians, and prostitutes of all genders. There was no “orgy sex” at orgies.


Coincidentally, the broad social spectrum of the orgy seems to be a good match with Simon’s fountain - a wine-bottle holder animal fountain, in which different ‘creatures’ are hierarchically displayed on a steel platform, sucking alcohol in excess with greedy unfulfilled quench. For Simon, this is a perfect metaphor of our commodity society. The egocentric individual and the mass stuck in a visceral infinite (∞) loop of consumption/excretion from mouth to genitals and back. On one hand, this refers to Simon’s ongoing research on Dr Infinity – an obscure self-love guru who promoted swallowing one’s own semen through auto-fellatio (sucking one’s own cock) as a mean to regenerate energy, become sexually/emotionally independent and immortal. On the other hand, it is also a historical journey from a Mongol Khan’s ornate alcoholic fountain in the 13th century to Duchamp’s 20th century readymade urinal Fountain. The top-down trend of liquid arises the imagination of golden shower fetish.

Please allow me to have a flâneur’s moment drifting in the past and the present, anachronistically. Simon refuses to be moralistic with his works, “I work more like a flâneur”, he excitedly pointed out. And that’s true. The notes he hands me contain about 80 keywords and are mixed up, somehow I doubt that I can interpret this as a sign of trust. This probably one of the key reasons that I decide to write as a flâneur (or ragpicker as Benjamin writes), wandering through the notes he throws out.

The Flâneur's 'cabinet of curiosities' 

If we consider wandering in arcades* a direct access to commodity society, could hoarding, collecting, rag picking, and hunting in a flea market be seen as a detour towards the commodity society as well? In Francois Jullien’s Detour and Access, the two approaches of being direct and oblique are not only discussed on the methodological level, but also on the level of symbolic meaning. Through observations, conversations and chance, Simon’s flâneur approach to finding objects as perfect metaphors to talk about contemporary social issues seems to be rooted in oblique indirect and allusive strategies. He is not interested in strong linear statements, and rather creates disarmingly simple work, with the aim to allow for multiple perspectives and variations.


Although Simon enjoys looking through trash in search of neglected products with the aim of reactivating their potential meaning; his work is ingrained in the spending power of white middle class consumerism. The combination of these archetypes reminds me of the tradition of the cabinet of curiosities. Those private displayed collections of scientific curiosa, fine arts, relics and looted ethnographic artifacts. The cabinet raises issues of privilege, ownership and colonialism. Let’s think about the cabinet exemplifying a world through the eye of Guy Debord’s The Society of Spectacle from 1967. As Debord argues, with modernity, the commodity has taken on the role of colonising all social life, supporting a capitalist structure of violence, which does not impact upon everyone in the same manner. 


If we consider Simon’s collection, which contains objects with different values as a cabinet of curiosities, the display of all these objects leads to a kind of universal marketing display in his making. By using accessible symbols, intense colors and pop culture aesthetics in his work, Simon seduces the viewers into embracing or questioning their own commodity fetishism. 


Yiwu as the arcade! Protesting speed  

For Benjamin, the environment of the city, in particular the arcades of Paris in the 19th century provided the means to provoke lost memories of times past. However, for Simon, Yiwu functions as a 21st century arcade. The largest commodity market in the world, with its endless mazes of products, unifies consumers in their private and collective memories.


As a flâneur, Simon doesn’t challenge the shock experience of modern life directly. But the role of an observer can lead us, by detour, towards an ‘awakening’, which is the moment according to Benjamin in which the past and the present recognize each other. The tool for archiving this is called empathy, Benjamin continues: 


“Empathy with the commodity is fundamentally empathy with the exchange value itself. The flâneur is the virtuoso of this empathy”. (Walter Benjamin, ‘The Arcades Project’)

As the flâneur who walks idly through the city, Simon’s two films present a soft meditation-like rotation towards both the exterior and the interior: respectively presenting a panorama of commodity kingdom in Yiwu and an extremely slow motion of a ‘brainstorm’ in the transparent plastic head of a toy that Simon accidentally found on the street. Watching the films put one in a shock-induced daydream about the overwhelming sensory bombardment of life in a modern city. Letting time pass by, endlessly, is a luxury for an individual in such a speeded-up society. This approach could be interpreted as an ode to idleness or an attempt to protest speed - a political methodology? How to read these consumer objects as clues for a radical political critique?


“In commodity society all of us are prostitutes, selling ourselves to strangers; and all of us are collectors of things” argues Susan Buck-Morss in her book about the arcades. When Heineken was accused of conniving sexual harassment and low pay on their female employees in Africa, one of the head staff of the company claimed: “It is very difficult to be an island of perfection in a sea of misery, but please, do not doubt our sincerity”.


Enjoy your beer at the opening.



“酒池肉林” — 从饮用泉到小便池 







碰巧的是,纵酒狂欢会在更广泛的社会层面上的意义似乎与Simon的喷泉的指涉很好地匹配——一个由多种动物形象的红酒架组成的大喷泉。其中不同的“动物”在钢制的架台上按等级划分,贪婪地、从不满足地吸吮过量的酒精。对Simon来说,这是对我们商品社会的完美比喻。自我中心的个体和群体被困于一个本能的无限的(∞) 消耗、排泄循环系统中,从口到生殖器再倒流回去。一方面,这指向了Simon正在进行的对“无限博士”(Dr Infinity)的研究——一位神秘的自爱大师,他通过自主口交(吸吮自己的阴茎)吞下自己的精液,作为能量再生产的方式,完成其成为社交性、性行为和情感层面上的独立和不朽。另一方面,这种从口到生殖器的循环也是历史性的,比如从13世纪蒙古汗的华丽酒精喷泉(共饮)到20世纪杜尚现成品的小便池喷泉。液体自上而下滴落的动势也唤起了对“金色沐浴”的恋物癖想象。




如果我们把在拱廊街*中徘徊看作是对商品社会的直接进入的话,那么收藏、拾荒和在二手市场上淘货是否也能被视为向商品社会靠拢的绕道迂回?在弗朗索瓦·于连(Francois Jullien)的《迂回与进入》(Detour and Access)中,直接和隐晦这两种方法不仅存在于方法层面上,而且也在事物的象征意义层面上进行了讨论。通过观察、对话和偶发,Simon像闲逛者一样将物体作为完美的隐喻来讨论当代社会问题似乎植根于隐晦的、间接的和用典的策略之中。他的兴趣点并不在于强烈的线性叙述上,而是创造坦诚的、易进入的作品,并希望保留多种观点和变化的空间。

虽然Simon喜欢通过“垃圾”来寻找被忽视的物品并希望重新激活它们的潜在意义; 他的工作从本质上又难以脱离白人中产阶级消费主义的扩张。这两者的结合让我想起了珍宝箱的传统。那些私人展示的科学珍品、艺术品、遗物和民族的战利品等。珍宝箱唤起了特权、所有权和殖民的问题。让我们通过居依德波1967年的《景观社会》的视角去思考这个珍宝箱的问题。如德波所说,在现代性之下商品已经占据了所有的社会生活,并支持资本主义的暴力结构,以同样的方式对每个人产生影响。 





“对商品的共情从根本上是对交换价值本身的共情。闲逛者是这种共情的鉴赏家。”(Walter Benjamin,《拱廊街计划》) 


“在商品社会中,我们所有人都是娼妓,把自己卖给陌生人;同时我们所有人也都是物品的收藏者”,Susan Buck-Morss在她关于拱廊的书中写道。去年,喜力啤酒公司对于其非洲女性员工遭受性骚扰和收入剥削一事的不作为态度受到公众指责,该公司高层的一名负责人对外回应称:“在不幸的海洋中造一座完美岛屿实属不易,但请不要怀疑我们的诚意”。 



Installation View / 展览现场

"I Want To Build A Rocket" | Monika Czyzyk " / "我要造火箭” | Monika Czyzyk

Institute for Provocation welcomes you to the Open Studio of our residential artist, Monika Czyzyk.


The Open Studio is under the title, I Want To Build A Rocket. 

The space will be activated on 20.06. The exhibition will be on view until 7.07.  On a weekly basis the public will see the interior display change. As well, there will be several events planned inside the gallery.            


For the opening we will serve special outer space coffee located within a conceptual bamboo rocket sculpture. 

The public will see a video installation, that Monika was researching in April. She was looking for comparisions and analogies to ones own cultural background. Haunting the past that one has not lived in. Wandering and lost within the forest of “bamboozle”. Works in the show are inspired by Polish movies and music during the Soviet times of influence, including Mis from S Bareja, Polish radio experimental studio PRES.


Scenes include visits to Beijing’s night market searching for historical art clues amidst piles of paper fragments, letters and poster art from decades in the past. Another scene revolves around documenting saturated glowing screens at an LED factory in Shenzhen. Further scenes we see Monika accompanied by a social worker, witnessing  a rural Chinese village under a special revitalization program. As there are no young people in the village, thoughts have turned on exciting ways of keeping the village alive and attractive. It’s a very complex situation linking gentrification, history, community, colonization, and thinking about future.


She finds these experiences are full of contrasts and potentials for future digital stories…

激发研究所邀请您于本周四晚造访C5CNM空间,参加我们的驻地艺术家Monika Czyzyk的Open Studio“我要造火箭”开幕活动。




此次公开展示的一件影像装置来自于Monika今年四月的研究。她试图找寻可以与她自身的文化背景相比较或类比的东西。被自身从未亲历的过去所缠绕,徘徊并迷失在“忽悠的竹林”(bamboozle)中。展览中的作品受到苏联时期的波兰电影和音乐的启发,包括Stanislaw Bareja的《玩具熊》(Miś),以及波兰实验电台PRES。


Installation View / 展览现场

tim woodward
8 Soups | Tim Woodward / 八汤 | Tim Woodward

One thing that brings me deep satisfaction is successfully coordinating travel arrangements for a single pork mince gyoza. The joy of marshalling warm snacks from one side of town to the other is unparalleled in my book. And I really don't care which method. Taxi is OK, or strapped to an electric scooter, or under the arm of a sweaty nerve-battered cyclist boy. I'll call a Nutella crêpe on a journey as far'n' fast as can be, and I'll say "Bienvenue ma douce, you floppy little shit!" as it winds toward me like a heat seeking missile whispered into the night. I'll order 2 x Wood Ear fungus, travelling from a suburb I've never visited, just to have them arrive at my door hours later clothed in waxed paper, or sweating in their cracked doner boxes. Packaging is fearfully unpredictable. A head of steamed broccoli once arrived with a chilli oil sachet, stowed away like a vagabond thief! But we were glad (this one time only) to have the extra company, and said "Welcome welcome, rest your oily feet".

Tim Woodward presents 8 Soups, a one day open studio event presented at the conclusion of a three month residency at Institute For Provocation. Utilising the studio and rooftop spaces of IFP, 8 Soups consists of two spatial and performative situations that engage with the ordering and transportation of objects. The live presentation of these new works reflect Woodward's ongoing engagement with platform economies, the accelerated movement of goods via real-time logistics industries, and the concept of an aspirational body. Through a time-based choreography of delivered food objects, Woodward poetically addresses the spatial codes of platform consumption and the material bodies they animate.


Incorporating real-time logistics industries, 8 Soups will unfold over the duration of four hours (2pm - 6pm), as a residency presentation that is both 'by-demand' and 'just-in-time'. In acknowledging IFP’s unapologetic resistance to auratic methods of display (the notable absence of white walls common to so many of its 798 neighbours), Woodward embraces the atypical exhibition spaces of IFP and treats the 'institute' as a kind of office headquarters, or depot. In this way his work engages with these spaces as administrative and social locations, spaces where objects can be sent to, or sent from.




Tim Woodward呈现“八汤”,这是他在三个月的激发研究所驻留项目的尾声带来的一场单日的开放工作室活动。通过利用激发研究所的工作室和天台空间,“八汤”由关于物品的订购与运输的两个空间与表演情境构成。这些新作品的现场展示反映了艺术家 Woodward 与平台经济的互动、实时物流业带来的物品加速流通以及励志体的概念。通过对外卖食物做一番基于时间的编排,Woodward诗性地呈现了平台消费及其物质机体所构制的空间属性。



Installation View / 展览现场

goeun bae
Of Whom The World is Not Worthy | Goeun Bae / 世外高人 | Goeun Bae

In this exhibition, Goeun Bae presents newly completed video works in the Grey Box space, as well as some objects and origami sculptures scattered in the building of Goethe Institut. In one of the video works, the artist composes entangled questions about relationship with her father, socioeconomic issues, the political stance of the artist, and the direction of trivial life. The project originated from her memories of her father who loved watching Chinese martial art movies as a refuge for economic struggling in reality. In addition, She conducts an animal fairy tale performance for children focusing on animal movements, one of the characteristics of Chinese martial arts. In the performance, following the structure of "Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art " and borrowing the tone of the communistic speech, the artist implies political stances with a twist of fairy imagination. This performance will be performed at the exhibition opening.


Bae has been working on research about martial arts during 6-month residency program at Institute for Provocation supported by Mondriaan Funds. She has traveled both as an observer and practitioner, witnessing the system and historical struggles of Chinese society through the research of Chinese martial arts.


In addition to theoretical research, she is simultaneously conducting physical and mental research through the process of learning Wing Chun.

此次展览中,Goeun Bae将会在北京歌德学院的灰盒子空间里呈现她最新完成的录像作品,以及散落在建筑物内部的一些物件装置和折纸雕塑。在其中的一件录像作品中,艺术家梳理了她与父亲之间的亲情关系,以及穿插其中的社会经济问题,艺术家的政治立场和琐碎的“世俗”生活等问题。该作品源于艺术家对自己父亲的记忆。她父亲喜欢看中国武术电影,并把它看作是对现实生活中经济困境的慰藉。除此之外,艺术家还导演了一场动物童话故事的表演,聚焦在中国武术其中的一个特征上 - 动物的动作(象形拳)。在表演中,艺术家按照《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》的文本以及对共产主义演讲的语气的借用,通过童话想象的反转暗示其政治态度和立场。这个表演也会在展览开幕当天发生。


在由蒙德里安基金会(Mondriaan Funds)支持的在激发研究所(Institute for Provocation)的六个月驻留期间,Goeun Bae一直致力于研究武术和它的社会条件。她更像一个观察者或实践者,通过对武术的研究这一视角来目睹中国社会的制度和不同阶段的历史困境。除了理论方面,她还在学习咏春的过程中同时进行身心研究和修炼。

Installation View / 展览现场

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