For the past six months, François has been collecting minutes of Chinese modern history in and around Beijing. Strange lifestyle resorts and decrepit museums have become pearls on a string of curious sites archeologically excavated and examined. Through the accretion of marginal and discarded objects, traces of human activity are remodulated into an array of materiality. The artefacts, hinged together here in the IFP studio in a choreography of substances, will become instigators of new parallel meanings.
Similarly, the smallest named creatures inhabiting the courtyard in which the IFP studio lies have become the main characters of a fetishist myth. Against a velvet background, these rugged animals are portrayed as individualized subjects, ostensibly responding to a empathetic viewer's gaze. Regardless of their status as pets or night crawlers, these creatures look back at us with an undeniable presence.
In a conclusive film we follow the artist and his compatriot on a bizarre walk through Chinese suburbia and informal settlements.The film culminates with a panoramic view of the quarries which provide Beijing with concrete, the raw material needed to construct physically imposing fragments of the Chinese Dream.
This shifting of scale from sublime constructed landscapes to portraits of hutong cats opens up a new realm of meaning in place in desperate need of it. In his role as wanderer/collector, François Dey provides an alternative retelling of a region fast-forwarding from precariousness to prosperity.
The work will be on show this Friday June 28th from 6 pm, film screening will take place around 8.
IFP Studio, Heizhima hutong 13, Dongcheng district Beijing