LOCATION ONE: art - talk - technology - music

Wednesday 12 February
7 pm

You are cordially invited to join Chinese artist Xu Tan and Nathalie Anglès, Director of Location One's International Residency Program, for a special screening Natease join us for a special screof the video “Concert Hall of Zhen Daoxing” which premieres next week at the contemporary arts festival, ArtSheffield08, and for a viewing of Xu Tan's installation “Keywords” in our main gallery. more information

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the artist. This is also your last chance to see Xu Tan’s installation

In his video ‘Concert Hall of Zheng Daoxing’, Xu Tan presents the documentation of a concert performance of Mr Zheng Daoxing, of Yangjiang County, China, which he organized. Accompanying himself on a self-built electric guitar, Mr Zheng sings songs about his life, mixing his own tunes with revolutionary songs and traditional Chinese motifs. The story of his life is a convoluted tale about work: he has been a farmer, soldier, and truck driver. During the Chinese economic reforms of the 1980s, he established his own transportation company which went bankrupt during the 1997 economic crisis, whereupon he became a singer, touring the country at the age of 60.

It has often been observed that under the ‘flexible’ and precarious working conditions imposed by current forms of turbo-capitalism, professional careers have become disjointed.

Since the life-long employment that used to provide the connecting thread in people’s biography is no longer the norm, the stories of their lives come to sound like an arbitrary collage of fragments.

The story of Mr Zheng’s life on the one hand seems to be precisely such a fragmented biography. On the other hand, however, it is through his very particular performance that he strings the fragments together again in his songs. Taking matters into his own hands, Mr Zheng creates a revolutionary form of new folklore, merging the tunes of the past with the improvised songs of the present into a hybrid form that, even and especially in its most bizarre moments, seems perfectly suited for telling the story of contemporary working biographies. In presenting Mr Zheng as an example, Xu Tan seems to suggest that it is from his songwriting that we could learn how to, now and in the future, tell the story of our lives.

LOCATION ONE: art - talk - technology - music
Xu Tan ‘Concert Hall of Zheng Daoxing’ (2005). Image courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou.

About the Artist
Xu Tan was born in Wuhan, Hubei Province in 1957 and currently lives in Shanghai and Guangzhou. In the early 1990s he joined the “Big Tail Elephant Group” in Guangzhou with Lin Yinlin, Chen Shaoxiong and Liang Juhui. The aim of this group is to develop critical strategies for negotiating the rapidly changing economic and cultural life in China. He was among the first artists to participate in Location One’s International Residency Program in 2002, and his work has been shown around the world including P.S.1 in New York, Biennale di Venezia, Berlin Biennial, Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane, Australia, Guangzhou Triennial, Taipei Biennial, De Appel in Amsterdam. Recent solo shows were held at the DAAD Gallery in Berlin, at the Vitamin Creative Space in Guangzhou, at BizArt is Shanghai. 

Location One acknowledges Vitamin Creative Space for support and maintenance of the
website www.xutan-keywords.com and thanks Made in Mirror Foundation for their contribution.

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LOCATION ONE is a not-for-profit organization devoted to convergence between visual, performing and digital arts in a time of rapidly changing technology. We invite artists from different disciplines and from different countries to work in our studios. We ask them to experiment with the new technologies of artistic creation, interaction and delivery. We urge them to collaborate in creating new works and give them virtual Internet spaces and physical gallery space to exhibit the results. Our goals are to foster the creation of new work, new forms of expression, and new capabilities in artists, and to advance new awareness in all those we reach.
LOCATION ONE: art - talk - technology - music