News / Events
PERFORMA 07
Artist Xu Zhen presents In Just a Blink of an Eye at James Cohan Gallery

Opening Wednesday, November 7, from 6-8pm at James Cohan Gallery, Chinese artist Xu Zhen will produce In Just a Blink of an Eye, as part of PERFORMA07. The performances continue through November 10, beginning at 12pm noon and ending at 6pm.Leading conceptual artist Xu Zhen will produce In Just a Blink of an Eye, a work that at first sight appears to defy possibility. In an empty room at James Cohan Gallery people appear tilted, frozen in time and space, as if ready to topple. Although an optical illusion, this work serves to create anxiety within the viewer that is at once exhilarating, as if the viewer has been liberated from constraints of time and space; while also debilitating in the failure to see the presumed action resolved. The work is performed by migrants recruited from Chinatown, pointing at their liminal status within an undefined space. Their migration has been frozen and trapped. At the same time, the viewer's subjectivity is called into question, acknowledging the power to freeze and create a snap shot, as if in the blink of an eye, while at the same time filled with anxiety for the need for resolution. Will the person stand up, or will they fall over - or will they remain stuck forever?

Xu Zhen (b.1977) Born and based in Shanghai, Xu Zhen has become one of China's youngest artistic pioneers whose prolific conceptual practice employs performance, installation, photography and video. As an artist and curator, his aesthetic pranks provocatively challenge ideas of human ambition and socio-political taboo, expanding the assumed meaning accorded to cultural signs and symbols through an articulate mastery of humor. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions internationally such as The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China, Tate Liverpool, UK; 2nd Guangzhou Triennale, China; Mahjong, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; Follow Me!, Mori Art Museum, Japan; and the 49th and 51st Venice Biennale.

LONG MARCH PROJECT Initiated in 1999, and begun in 2002, the Long March Project is a complex, multi-platform, international arts organization and ongoing art project, that can be simultaneously considered a gallery space; a publishing house; a curatorial lab; an artistic collection; a meeting place; a consultancy; a commissioning and production atelier, artistic facilitator, and author. From a critical distance, all of these avenues of production aim to provocatively construct, and in turn renew, presumed action and thinking concerning 'contemporary art'. www.longmarchspace.com

PERFORMA 07 PERFORMA07 (October 27-November 20, 2007) is the second biennial of new visual art performance presented by PERFORMA, a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. www.performa-arts.org

For further information about the performances at James Cohan Gallery please call 212-714-9500 or email info@jamescohan.com