This spring, Aranya Art Center and Perrotin are pleased to jointly present Just looking, Still looking, Always looking, a group exhibition featuring the representative works by Sophie Calle, Jens Fänge, Laurent Grasso, Leslie Hewitt, Izumi Kato, Jean-Michel Othoniel and Xavier Veilhan on view from March 6, 2021 through May 16, 2021.
Looking is the most direct way to understand art where both audience and works play a pivotal role. Art inspires people in the simplest yet most effective way, so it is wonder that art is so astonishing. It is out of curiosity that John Updike (1932-2009), an American writer and poet, unfolded the scroll of art and left a legacy of three art monographs, namely Just Looking, Still Looking and Always Looking. John Updike had no time to study art theories or terms, but he believed what he saw: sometimes, it is possible to capture what is out of sight simply by looking at what is in sight, and this has made art the permanent object for looking.
This exhibition includes painting, sculpture, photography, installation and other media in art creation with various characteristics to develop a visual harmony and interweaving of information teeming with possibilities of looking. Jean-Michel Othoniel and Xavier Veilhan, known for sculptures and installations in specific sites, will display a series of representative art creations; Leslie Hewitt, through photography, will create the very rhythm of reminiscence emerging out of the bottom of heart in these black shadow images, digital color photos and simplistic sculptures associated with the identity recognition of the artist and collective history in wider social and political contexts; Laurent Grasso, a contemporary artist who has always played an active role on the global stage, will present the film OttO. In this work the artist continues his attempt to represent the immaterial and his research into aesthetic, fictional and poetic variations produced on the basis of scientific utopias, theories or mythologies; and the iconic fabrics by Izumi Kato will also find a seat in the hall, sparking with glints of mysterious brilliance. Besides, there will be a special hall to present the collections of portrait- themed exhibits by Sophie Calle and Jens Fänge in response to our “looking” as outsiders with their silent gazes.
Meanwhile, the physical interaction between these masterpieces and exhibition halls provides richer contexts for “looking” from different perspectives and makes it more authentic and reliable. In 2020, people in social distancing are more than ever dependent upon the technology-nested data world. Here and now, “these views of the world are not experienced directly but on screens,” as predicted by Nicholas Mirzoeff, an American researcher of visual culture. The exhibition invites us into a non-screen world where neither art nor its incorporated personal, political, economic, spiritual, aesthetic or day-to-day views can be revised. Just looking, Still looking, Always looking may be regarded as a motto of John Updike that reminds us of looking all the time. After all, seeing is believing.
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