The Details Are Invented

Xiaowen Zhu: The Details Are Invented as one of the exhibitions of Passen-gers, which is a site-specific exhibition series within the Brunswick Centre, is presented from 14 July to 13 August. The private view is on 14 July,  from 18:00 to 21:00.

Passen-gers is a site-specific exhibition series that explores the historical, social and material context of the Brunswick Centre. Artists present work sequentially to explore the real and imaginative associations of the site. The title references the 1975 film The Passenger by Michelangelo Antonioni that uses the Brunswick Centre as a powerful and otherworldly mise-en-scène. This notion of a ‘passenger’ as someone who inhabits transient identities and spaces, relates to how each artist is rendered a passenger within the larger exhibition structure – a structure that is generative and multi-directional, allowing different ideas, themes and narratives to emerge, overlap and intersect, creating dialogue over time.

The Details Are Invented. Invented Details 2 channel still 1

Xiaowen Zhu is an artist, filmmaker and writer. Described as a visual poet, social critic, and aesthetic researcher, she uses film, photography, performance, installation and mixed media as platforms to communicate the complex experience of being a diasporic person and to wrestle with the notion of a disembodied identity. Born and raised in Shanghai, Zhu is currently based in London. She has received numerous awards, and also her work has been widely shown internationally.

As French philosopher Gaston Bachelard said, ‘Our house is our corner of the world.’ Inspired by Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space, artist Xiaowen Zhu presents a new moving image work, The Details Are Invented. This multi-channel film is a poetic probing of the space of the Brunswick Centre, an iconic modernist, residential and commercial complex in Central London with a parallel observation of Hackney Wick and Stratford – areas of rapid gentrification in East London.

Exploring these places by following the character of a flâneur– a ‘foreigner’ who strolls the city like a walking camera, Zhu seamlessly connects public and private space, collected texts and marketing language, personal narrative and critical reflection. At a time during the ongoing housing crisis and urban regeneration that is primarily focused on business and profits, Zhu combines these elements to share thoughts on how an individual – native or international – can make his or her home in ‘a city that’s always on the go, always in the middle of becoming something else’.

Combining documentary, essay film and video installation, The Details Are Invented is driven by poignant and urgent questions as well as a much wider and versatile quest: How can we learn from history and avoid making the same mistakes again and again? She subtly presents this angle by comparing Franz Hessel’s concerns about urban development in Berlin during the late 1920s with the similar pattern that emerged in 1980s London, while interview footage of an architect and resident of the Brunswick Centre reflects on the consequences of profit-driven urban regeneration.

The Details Are Invented. Windows.


法國哲學家加斯東·巴什拉在《空間詩學》中這樣講道:“我們的房子是我們在世界的角落”。深受加斯東的影響,朱曉聞在此次個展中呈現出一部全新的影像藝術作品:《無中生有的細節》。這部多屏幕電影以詩意的眼光探尋布倫瑞克中心(the Brunswick Centre)的建築空間。這座位於倫敦市的標誌性建築結合了現代主義與“粗野主義”的風格,同時也是藝術家對東倫敦士紳化(gentrification)速度最迅猛的哈克尼維克(Hackney Wick)與斯特拉福特(Stratford)兩地的對比觀察。


《無中生有的細節》糅合了紀錄片、散文電影、錄像裝置等形式,既象征了迫在眉睫的問題,也代表了更為深遠廣闊的主題:在已擁有的前車之鑒中,避免陷入重蹈覆轍的旋渦。朱曉聞通過比較弗朗茲·黑塞爾(Franz Hessel)對柏林在上世紀20年代城市發展的憂慮與倫敦自80年代以來類似的發展路線,巧妙地展現了這一角度,影片對布倫瑞克中心的建築史與居民的採訪畫面反映了浮躁的城市改造所帶來的後果。

“過客”(Passen-gers)是位於倫敦布倫瑞克中心(the Brunswick Centre)的定點系列展覽,本次特邀朱曉聞作為第六屆展覽的創作者。“過客”,顧名思義,代表著一個轉變身份與空間的個人,如同藝術家通過展覽的形式創作多維度的作品,營造不同的觀念、主題與敘事,相互碰撞,彼此交織,源源不斷的讓更多靈感湧現而來。

朱曉聞個展《無中生有的細節》(Xiaowen Zhu: The Details Are Invented)

 Time: 14 July – 13 August 2017

Private view:6-9pm, Friday, 14 July 2017

Address:110 Foundling Court, The Brunswick Centre (Entrance 3), Marchmont Street, London, WC1N 1AN

To Get There:Piccadilly地鐵站Russel Square對面,3號入口


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