HUANG GUAIER & WANG RUNZHONG
646 322 9368
Guaier Huang (born 5 March 1994, China) and Runzhong Wang (born 30 April 1995, China), are an artist duo based in New York City. They met each other in 2016 and started work together since then. Their work explores the ontological meaning of photography as well as the possibilities of photography in contemporary art within the conversations of multiple fields and topics. Using various mediums including photography, video, performance, sculpture, book and digital art, Guaier & Runzhong discuss the otherness of being Asian and Chinese in the global culture and political atmospheres. On the other hand, they catch up on the latest science discoveries and technological advances to examine the dissolving verge between the virtual and the real.
BOOK (PHOTOGRAPHY) / 一本摄影书 (2016 - 2017)
Book (Photography) simulates, dismantles and re-creates the monumental work of Susan Sontag, On Photography, to discuss the dialectical relationship between presence and absence of photography. The work also takes photography to reflect on the authority and the power of discourse in contemporary art institution. The work demonstrates the statement in two methods including photobooks and large-scale prints, as they are intersubjective between each other.
222 pages in total, 5.5x8.5 inches / 13.97 x 21.59 cm.
LARGE-SCALE PRINTS VERSION
17 pieces selected from the whole project, various scales, 22x25 inches, 36x42 inches, 44x50 inches or bigger.
VERGE I / 边界 一 (2016)
The first layer
The second layer
The third layer
BOOK (DICTIONARY OF PSYCHOANALYSIS) SERIES I / 一本精神分析辞典 系列之一 (2016 - 2017)
The photos of our bodies try to confuse the boundaries of femininity and masculinity: some of the photos are hard to tell from whose body, while others have poses in gender-nonconforming ways - an intention to blur the lines of any gender. The close ups of body parts are catering all the gazes from all genders, which is related to Mulvey’s idea of voyeurism and scopophilia. However, at the same time, these close ups are also dodging any gaze by concealing the sexes and genders of the subjects and revealing confusing parts of bodies, which can be regarded as blocking voyeurism or scopophilia.
Meanwhile, our bodies create obstructions over Freud’s words, which makes the audience hard to read the text. The photos cancel the text’s authority and meanings, as well as confront and force the viewers to look at them. On the other hand, some of the photos were intentionally cut out or put into certain positions, to reveal some of the text, which makes us (the artists/subjects) to become the dominator of our own work. Moreover, the artists’ Chinese/Asian identity is used to pose questions on the Western academia’s biases and exclusions (in this case, psychology) towards minorities in the U.S. and cultures from other parts of the world.
BOOK (DICTIONARY OF PSYCHOANALYSIS) SERIES II / 一本精神分析辞典 系列之二 (2016 - 2017)
The true body is the body we feel every moment in this world. It’s neither the body as the sample of psychoanalysis, nor the body as the absolute physical/material object. The former causes a Freudian illusion upon the body, by using white, straight, cis-male as default samples for a psychological construction, to inevitably produce the discrimination and bias towards women, non-white, and queer groups. The latter makes the body a mechanical and dull piece of meat, and aggravates the binary oppositions of “subject/object” and “mind/body.” Thus, in a world that is full of possibilities and uncertainties, our life experience becomes the most precious inspirations.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty once said, that the body is a way for us to own a world. Because our bodies are the Other in the samples of Freud’s experiments, we use white tags to label everything that is sexist, homophobic and racist in Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, to make color-scanned pictures and transfer them onto our skin. Then, our body parts are scanned by a hand scanner. In this way, our bodies cancel his texts’ meaning and authority, and at the same time symbolically bear the content of the dictionary and its theoretical context. The movement of hand scanner resembles a voyeuristic view on our bodies, as well as a pan-perspective image-making process (rather than one-perspective view from a camera) to make flattened, distorted and distinguished looks. These steps are tend to use our bodies to rethink and rectify the dogmatism in Freud’s theory, and to confront the viewers to not only “peeking” at the details of our bodies, but also the damaged content of the dictionary.
Media: Aluminium Somposite Panel Mounting / 铝板裱裱褙