Lu Chunsheng's brooding films and photographs up to 2003 appear preoccupied with industrial-era and communist history. However, the stories told via his films are more mystic than nostalgic, and deal more in the narrative imagination than anything that could be verified. The young men who act out the scenarios employ only basic costume and no dialogue; the sets are more chosen for their symbolic or evocative importance than their actual historical relevance.
In Murdered Trotsky in Summer, Gentlemen in Financial Circles Got More Depressed, scenes of a modern-day corporate environment are cut with the enactment of a murder. Not following the actual circumstance of Trotsky's death, the scenes played out by the costumed young men are something more like a sketchily-remembered idea. While the bulk of the action is in black and white, a colour sequence folows in a more obviously contemporary setting; the young men walk through the streets raging and shouting. Little is resolved, and the viewer is left with the sense that they are as perplexed by the slipperiness of collective memory as they are by the murder.
Recent photographic work is arranged in triptychs that present mini-narratives of minor but remarkable events in the urban landscape. Xiao, 2005, documents an airborne broom, apparently thrown by a middle-aged woman from a block of flats. The circular framing of the image in black adds to the sense of momentary oddity in the process.
The triptych poet shopping describes the down-and-out pose of a young man as an almost incidental detail within the vast concrete expanses of crossroads, steps and walkways of Shanghai.
During his residency Lu Chunsheng presented talks, screenings, and an open studio. He also participated in a short exchange with Dartington College, visting Artist Links visiting artist Liu Ding and welcoming him to Gasworks for one week.
Lu Chunsheng studied at China National Academy of Fine Art, and currently lives and works in Shanghai.
Lu Chunsheng's residency was organised as part of the British Council's Artist Links project.
Open 29th June-2nd July 12-6pm
Sally Blenheim and Lu Chunsheng host an open studio allowing visitors to view works in progress developed during their stay at Gasworks.
The closing of the Open Studio on 2nd July will coincide with the closing of KOMPRESSOR, solo show of visiting artist Hassan Khan, who will be in conversation with independent critic and curator Francesco Manacorda. For further information, click here.
British Council and Artists Links