Curtain

Date
May 15 – Jul 25
Location
Para Site & Soho House Hong Kong
Opening Reception
Opening 14 May

Chantal Akerman, Xyza Cruz Bacani, Leigh Bowery, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Cao Guimarães, Ho Sin Tung, Hu Yinping, Hu Yun, Derek Jarman, Shuang Li, Minouk Lim, Gustav Metzger, Ocean & Wavz, Jacolby Satterwhite, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Tan Jing, Robel Temesgen, Jason Wee, Cici Wu, Wu Jiaru, Stella Zhang, Jasphy Zheng, and Zhou Tao

 

Curators: Cosmin Costinas, Larys Frogier, Celia Ho, Anqi Li, Billy Tang, and Xu Tiantian
Collaborators: Biljana Ciric and Mathieu Copeland

 

Curtain the ob/scene

or what can happen
beyond the scene
besides the eye
before language
beneath the skin
below the image
on the surface

Curtain unfolded

allowing passages or separations
filtering light, voices
clothing bodies and furniture
ornamenting a house, a skin
absorbing smells, sounds
reflecting shadows
flowing with the wind
breathing

 

Para Site and Rockbund Art Museum are thrilled to continue their fruitful collaboration with the new exhibition, Curtain, opening on 14 May 2021 at Para Site’s home and on 15 May 2021 at the institution’s temporary venue in Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan. Curtain is a continuation of the unique dialogue and partnership between the two institutions, which began in 2019 with An Opera for Animals that premiered at Para Site, with a jointly curated edition travelling to Rockbund Art Museum subsequently.

Presented across two venues in Hong Kong, the exhibition includes existing and newly commissioned works as well as site-specific interventions by 24 artists, offering a multi-layered experience that responds to the fluid concept of ‘curtain’. The exhibition makes artistic and conceptual references to passages, frontiers, separations, connections, occupations, circulations, and localities by drawing upon the mundane materiality of the curtain as a domestic object and its scenographic functions in various cultural contexts, and exploring its qualities of porosity and opacity and its contemporary adaptations in electronic devices. Conceived as a framework to disrupt our usual habits of consuming visual culture, the exhibition also activates the viewer’s senses through acts of crawling into, lifting, peeking through, being guided by smell and sound, or that of reading, writing, and feeling a space.

Many artworks in the exhibition subtly unveil forgotten histories and raise critical questions in the age of surveillance by examining the production of the image and its instrumentalization in social media, science, art, and political regimes as seen in newspapers and photographic documents. In addition to exploring issues related to the visible and invisible in technology platforms and social structures today, other works look at smaller-scale ecologies and cultures on the periphery of the mainstream, attempting to understand the interdependence of different localities and the importance of transnational exchange from overlooked perspectives. In yet other artworks, ‘curtain’ not only serves as the physical partition in the exhibition space, but expands into the discussion of technology and the boundary of the screen. As people become more dependent on digital devices, the relationship between humanity and the world has also experienced a major shift, with digital devices becoming the main means for humans to learn about the world and themselves. Many of the works also focus on the performative dynamic between individual and collective forms of identity, and deepen the inquiry into how humanity perceives and differentiates the Other from oneself. For the practitioners featured in Curtain, each work represents a retracing of memories or a path beyond the future, with the anticipation to influence informational infrastructures that govern or haunt a post-COVID-19 pandemic world.

Curtain the transitional object

a fetish
a missed self
the other

Curtain performed

as a scenographic material for
theater
opera
dance
exhibition
cinema
music
puppet show
TV news and entertainment

 

 

Lead Supporter: Shane Akeroyd

Headline Sponsor of Public & Digital Programmes: S. H. Ho Foundation

Venue Partner: Soho House Hong Kong

Logistics Partner: Brinks Fine Art Services

Alongside artist fees to all participating artists, Para Site is offering medical and dental insurance coverage for Hong Kong artists in the exhibition, generously made possible by Jacobo Garcia Gil.

Para Site Art Space is financially supported by the Art Development Matching Grants Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the exhibition only, but does not otherwise take part in it. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the materials/activities (or by members of the Para Site’s team) are those of the organisers of the exhibition only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 

Selected works