“In our dream world, is not China precisely this privileged site of space? In our traditional imagery, the Chinese culture is the most meticulous, the most rigidly ordered, the one most deaf to temporal events, most attached to the pure delineation of space; we think of it as a civilization of dikes and dams beneath the eternal face of the sky; we see it, spread and frozen, over the entire surface of a continent surrounded by walls.” Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, 1973
Shot Through was made from footage shot in Shanghai during a residency in 2004. Not the first visit or the second to China, but still the ambiguous and ambivalent relationship felt on the first trip to ‘ancestral’ lands continues. The existence of more cars, tower block skylines, free flowing fashion, and all that the Western Press celebrated in the years post communism did little to change this very personal experience of having a relationship to an ‘unknown’ or ‘overly-known’ location. The work looks at the way in which China becomes a cipher through the written text of others. Shot Through interrogates the writings of philosophers and theorists such as Derrida, Barthe, Sontag and Kristeva who had certain fascinations with China and made short visits followed up with written interpretations, theorising and ponderings which now circulate and form part of China's global textual patina.
Format: Single Channel DVD.
Duration: 16 minutes
Shown at: Three Degrees of Separation, ChelseaFuture Space, London, Contemporary Chinoiserie, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London
Publication: Three Degrees of Separation, exhibition catalogue.