Tianzhuo Chen @ transmediale Berlin

As part of the exhibition “abandon all hope ye who enter here”, Tiantzhuo Chen presents his latest video installation “The Dust”. Together with the symposium “This is Not Anarchy, This is Chaos” at the House of World Cultures, the exhibition forms the final program of transmediale 2021-22, which has been dealing with the theme of refusal for over a year.

The Dust (2021) presents a performance video that situates farming tools and ceremonial objects as the primary protagonists, while humans remain noticeably absent. The artist’s lens shifts from the water-powered prayer wheels in Cuogao Village to the celestial burial ground at Damu Temple, telling a story from the beginning of life, evolution, and blooming desires to perishing bodies, through shots of farming and ceremonial relics. The video takes on a Sisyphean quality — the tools and relics of worship symbolize the hardships through which humans atone for original sin. A performance without the presence of human figures therefore has no social order. Romances, fights, and disasters never exist, and the only events that take place are those deriving from the original source of everything.


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