photo credits Julie Bouffard

installation . 2018
presented at Xiang Xishi Center for contemporary art . Xi’an, China
as part of the Quebec-Xi’an exchange with Le Lieu and Avatar

Here comes a curious observation: without ever having set foot in China, we touched, ate, looked, used and carried things that come from there. We cohabit with these items which are made in China — migratory, international objects — we know them and utilize them. Through this ordinary process, it is rarely emphasized that the place from which these objects arrive is completely foreign to us. We do not know it. But what does knowing a place really means? In our practice lies a recurring concern, that of generating an abstraction of a place through non-representative reproduction. Our work seeks to reconstruct a place until it becomes a new place, an invented space. Here, we discovered small parts of Xi’an through wandering and slowness. Our attention was focussed: carefully considering the presence of things in their most peculiar manifestations. How do these objects behave in and out of their context? How do they provide evidence of the building process they all have been through? The objects which we have observed were audible, edible, forgotten, imposing, bidimentional, gestural. Actors of the place, they were filmed and recorded where they were found, in enigmatic compositions. Far from a documentary method or an explicit illustration, we have tried to release the abstract vibrations of these objects, to fuel their mystery. In the gallery, our process takes the form of an interdisciplinary collage in which video and sculptural assemblages coact with a composite sound environment in order to suggest a twisted overall mood. This project is the continuity of our reflexion on the indirect influence of a place, on the dreamlike interpretation of a local situation and on the contemplation of a strangeness that emerges at the edges of realism.

title’s translation: Made in China