CAN’T SEE STRAIGHT? US NEITHER.
LEAP LABS, in collaboration with Beijing’s time-honored LGBT club Destination, presents “Conditions,” an exhibition that explores the anonymity and anxiety of desire experienced in the self-recognition, social patterns, and sexual relations that comprise queer/non-heterosexual identities.
VENUE: 3/F,Destination Beijing
VIP Opening: August 23 (RSVP only)
DURATION: 8:00pm – 11:00pm daily, August 24 – September 6, 2014
Sun-Thurs: Free entry
Fri-Sat: Entry subject to Destination door policies
CURATOR: Li Qi
ARTISTS: Chen Tianzhuo, Guo Hongwei, Kim Kyung Mook, Lu Yang, Ming Wong, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Trevor Yeung, Double Fly Art Center
Co-organized by Destination and LEAP LABS
Special thanks to Leo Xu Projects and Vitamin Creative Space
Inspired by the cover feature of the June 2014 issue of LEAP, titled “Queer”, “Conditions” explores the anonymity and anxiety of desire experienced in the self-recognition, social patterns, and sexual relations that comprise queer/non-heterosexual identities.
The exhibition title, “Conditions,” refers to a term employed at the beginning of cyber conversations between two anonymous individuals, essentially an inquiry into the opposite party’s physical attributes, including height, weight, age, sex position (top, bottom, or versatile), and sometimes,the dimension of one’s genitals (i.e. 177/67/25/0.5/18). These “conditions” reduce identity to an faceless and efficient index of one’s body that, should it fulfill mutual sexual preferences and agendas, usually leads to a no-strings-attached sexual encounter. In other cruising circumstances, especially in gay clubs, individuals submerge themselves into a collectively anonymous setting by taking up specific dress codes and bearings, putting prioritizing physical conditions over daily and social identity.
The exhibition takes place on the third floor of Destination, right above the lively and crowded party scene downstairs. The dim corridor and dark rooms mimic a potential scenario for the release and exchange of anxieties and desires, a spatial setting for the “conditions” of anonymous identity. Nevertheless, here actual physical exchanges are replaced by the context of the featured artworks. South Korean film director Kim Kyung Mook’s Faceless Things frankly scrutinizes the anonymity of one-off sexual encounters; Thai video artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul presents a virtuoso study of wordlessness, and of the tension of longing; Berlin-based Singaporean artist Ming Wong enacts actions of desire doomed for tragic failure… Theses works, mostly videos, are each shown in their own respective room. Guided by the light of the monitors and projections, the audience themselves are enveloped by the exploration of anonymity.
LEAP is the international art magazine of contemporary China. Published six times a year in Chinese and English, it presents a winning mix of contemporary art coverage and cultural commentary from the cutting edge of the Chinese art scene. Part specialist journal, part handbook of transnational style, it is the voice of the new Chinese art scene.
ABOUT LEAP LABS
LEAP LABS are a laboratory, a generator, and a catalyst of artistic endeavor. LEAP LABS serve to contextualize the discourse of LEAP magazine, directly enabling its realization in the form of lectures,forums, workshops, film screenings, and even curatorial strategy, producing a series of experiential bodies open to external participation, communication, and evolution—a constructive interface between the art world and the outside.
Located on the South end of Gongti Xilu, the very hub of the city’s nightlife and entertainment, Destination is the most celebrated and time-honored LGBT club in Beijing, founded in 2004. The weekend theme parties at Destination have become an essential component of the local and international LGBT community in China’s capital city, and a celebration of liberation and pride. Destination also constantly devotes to the community’s social welfare by hosting various art and cultural programs, establishing itself as the terminal of diversity and beyond.