Curated by Vicente Todolí, Short-circuits, is conceived as an immersive exploration within the complex artistic research of Chen Zhen, bringing together for the first time some of the artist’s most significant works from 1991 to 2000, in the 5,500 square metres of the Navate and Cubo of Pirelli HangarBicocca.
The title of the exhibition is inspired by the artist’s creative method, which he referred to as a “short-circuit phenomenon”, which is that of revealing the hidden meaning of a work of art when it is taken from the original setting for which it was created to a different place. This process led Chen Zhen to reflect on the concept of symbolic and cultural enrichment as a means of artistic creation. The idea behind the exhibition reflects this, creating original interactions between the works on display, while also shedding light on the numerous cross-references and connections that appear in the artist’s works, creating an open dialogue on a number of themes: globalisation and consumerism, overcoming the hegemony of Western values, and the coming together of different cultures.
The exhibition opens with one of Chen Zhen’s most outstanding works, Jue Chang, Dancing Body – Drumming Mind (The Last Song), (2000). This monumental installation consists of a number of chairs and beds from different parts of the world, covered in cow hides. The work is one of the few to have a performative side to it and, on certain occasions, it can be brought to life by dancers, whose body movements act as a meditative instrument, and by percussions that recall the massage technique used in traditional Chinese medicine.