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Ce Jian

Scylla. A Fragment

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Ce Jian

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Scylla. A Fragment by Ce Jian

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Scylla. A Fragment

by

Ce Jian

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$ 4,800

Overview

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2019

Single channel video (color, sound)

Unique Work

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.

Artist Statement

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The video Scylla. A Fragment is a multi-layered montage that combines storytelling with the abstract camouflage of the Armada paintings. Moving detail shots from the painting series appear next to virtual sky and seascapes, artificial thunder from screen-savers and sleep videos, as well as original historical footage from World War II. A computer-generated voice reads out excerpts from Homer's Odyssey, featuring Odysseus's son Telemachos, the Spartan King Menelaos, the nymph Circe who warns Odysseus of the monster Scylla – and finally, Odysseus' tragic encounter with the monster itself. Recorded details from the Armada paintings merge dynamically with film documents from 1941, where a clash between the legendary British battleship Hood and the German Bismarck led to a military catastrophe and the eventual destruction of both ships. Tragedy, heroism, and the aesthetics of violence and victory are present in both this WWII episode and Homer's myth. Scylla becomes an emblem for death and destruction — an abstract monster whose uncontrollable dynamic is portrayed in the dynamised painterly abstraction and distortion of this moving collage, while the camera "flies" across the canvas as if mapping an imaginary topography. Along with the Armada series, this video wants to reflect on the technoaesthetics of war machines and their representation. It revolves around the question how such an event in history or mythology can be restaged — the narration is balanced between persuasive pathos and the weirdly detached, profane technological tools of today.

16'42”

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Artist Profile

Born: 1984

Hometown: China

Based in: China

Ce Jian has always been drawn to the intersecting realms of technology, knowledge and visual experience, of artistic and non-artistic image production. Usually she begins with relatively concrete concepts and digests and transforms them through the process of painting, thereby allowing the rational idea and formal structure to collide with the spontaneous expressive potential of the material medium and her own hand. The productive tension between constructive principles and destructive fragmentation or gestures is a consistent trait of her work. While she ruminates on a given work concept she set herself and the issues surrounding it, she also explores painterly details as a space for free abstraction – and on this level, she raises fundamental questions regarding painting itself and its ontology.

Ce Jian was born in 1984 in Shandong Province, China and moved to Germany in 1988. She studied at Goldsmiths College, London from 2006-2007 and graduated in 2008 from the Berlin University of the Arts in the master class of Georg Baselitz, Daniel Richter and Robert Lucander. She also earned a Magister Artium degree in Art History from the Humboldt-Universität and Freie Unversität Berlin in 2009. She received a PhD in Art and Visual History from Humboldt-Universität of Berlin in 2017. Her recent solo exhibitions include Paradise, WHITE SPACE BEIJING, Beijing, China (2021); Words of Art, Yell Space, Shanghai, China (2019); Armada, WHITE SPACE BEIJING, Beijing, China (2018); Bannermen, Gallery SU, Seoul, Korea (2018); Transeuropa, Whiteconcepts, Berlin, Germany (2017); CAPTCHA, Galerie Philine Cremer, Dusseldorf, Germany (2017); The Grand Illusion, WHITE SPACE BEIJING, Beijing, China (2016); Elephant, NON Berlin, Berlin, Germany (2016). Recent group exhibitions include Sonderlage, Lage Egal, Berlin, Germany (2021); El Lisstzky's Rooms, Surplus Space, Wuhan, China (2020); A World in a Grain of Sand: Mapping Shapes and Sites for Social Deometries, Atlantis, Sanya, China (2018); Art Patrons, Qiao Space, Shanghai, China (2018); The Second Self, Peres Projects, Berlin, Germany (2017). She currently lives and works in Berlin and Beijing.


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