HUANG RAN — BLITHE TRAGEDY
Space Station is pleased to present a new body of work by artist Ran Huang. Entitled ‘Blithe Tragedy’, the exhibition brings together a new video project and a conceptual slides project. The video takes off from film genre conventions, and moves into a mixture of self-generated mythology and history with extravagant use of cinematic languages. Ambiguity and complexity are the strongest sensations when experiencing this piece.
Through beautifully arresting images, the film explores the uncertainty and complicity between love, sex, violence and death, provoking a temptation of the inextricable aesthetical dislocation of contemporaneity. Further, Huang pushes this subject to a limit by using all male actors in the film rather than conventional syntax of such, which is a malicious deconstruction of power, order, regimentation and value. The outcome of film is complicated in its own beautiful superficiality; the ambiguity makes us quickly question our own feeling towards the queerness of image but also the instinctive blithe reaction to the beautiful fact of image. The viewer has to complete the story for themselves somehow, and so elicits their own desire. Huang produces an intoxication of the rationalised aesthetical irrationality of contemporaneity.
Departing from a conceptual strategy, Huang transfers the footage of Challenger space shuttle disaster and 19 century scientific engravings into stylised slides, placing the imagery between moving images and stills. More importantly, by interrupting the timing, perception is fragmented. The whole sequence illustrates a profound tragedy, but each individual is brutally beautiful as a ‘Fact’, addressing a transition between ‘quality’ aesthetics of perfection and the monstrosity.
Ran Huang was born in 1982 in Xichang, China. He lives and works in London and Beijing. 2004, he graduated from Birmingham Institue of Art and Design with a First Class BA(Hons) Fine Art degree. 2007, he gained his MFA Fine Art degree at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Huang was one of the 16 artists presented by European Media Artists in Residency Exchange (EMARE) 2009 programme, supported by European Culture Programme and Art Council England. Huang has participated in numerous group exhibitions including 7th Mercosur Biennial, Brazil (2009), .MOVE, Werkleitz, Germany (2009), Où va la vidéo 00.00.02, Fondazione March, Italy(2009).Solo exhibitions include Ran Huang, Nika Oblak & Primoz Novak, VIVID, UK (2009), Fake Action Truth, GEORGE POLKE, London, UK (2010).
More information about the artist and the show, with an essay by curator Octavio Zaya will be available to accompany the exhibition at Space Station.