Yao Qingmei: The Ecdysiast

  • Artist: Yao Qingmei

    Date: Jul. 7 - Aug. 20, 2017(Privateview:Jul. 7,2017)

    Magician Space is pleased to present The Ecdysiast, a second solo exhibition with the gallery by Paris-based artist Yao Qingmei. The exhibition will debut a new installation, marking for the first time a commission of work produced by the artist in China. 

    In the new work, Yao employs the apparatus of a security checkpoint as inspiration to create an absurd and satirical setting within the gallery. The installation is partitioned into three areas across the exhibition building: custom-made stanchions delineate a path from the entryway into the exhibition; an ‘x-ray machine’ awaits viewers to pass into; and a triptych of moving-image projections coerces audience members into a final theatrical space that combines burlesque performance, choral music and modern dance. Mimicking the protocols of a checkpoint, the artist highlights the linguistic and physical experiences of control as they become exerted onto the public - parodying its conventions as well as the choreographed assembly line-like procedures. 

    The Ecdysiast takes its title from a term originally coined by H.L. Mencken, meaning to ‘molt’, a word envisaged as a replacement for the word ‘stripper’. Here, the description can also be considered within the context of our contemporary condition and today’s state of affairs: the increasing scrutiny on our individuality as it becomes exposed to tighter systems of collective control. Seemingly benign in appearance, these systems operate in spaces of ambiguity where a suspension of law occurs. Behind the gentle gestures belies a logic of forced compliance, something so routine to our daily lives that its violence eventually has become imperceptible to us. Theatrical and burlesque, Yao brings to our attention the absurdity, but also the ambivalence of our tacit assent to the situation - subverting this logic by imagining a new form of play through her satirical imitations. 

    Notes to Editors 

    Yao Qingmei (b. 1982, Zhejiang Province) currently lives and works in Paris. Major solo exhibitions include: The Ecdysiast, Magician Space, Beijing, CN (2017); Professor Yao, OCAT Xi’an, Shanxi, CN (2016); Recrute mendicant / SDF pour une foire d’art contemporain, Marseilles, FR (2015); One Hour Occupy Parking Lot, Paradise, Nante, FR (2015); Professor Yao, Magician Space, Beijing, CN (2015); Vernissage Nouvelles Expos, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR (2014). Major group exhibitions include: Every Skyscraper is Built from the Ground, the 2nd Changjiang International Photography and Video Biennale, Chongqing, CN (2017); The New Normal: Art and China in 2017, UCCA, Beijing, CN (2017); HISTORICODE: Scarcity & Supply, The 3rd Nanjing International Art Festival, Baijiahu Art Museum, Nanjing, CN (2016); Not Early Not Late, Pace Beijing, Beijing, CN (2016); Yes I can! Un portrait du pouvoir, Centre d’art contemporain Walter Benjamin, Perpignan, FR (2016); JCE Biennale 2015-2017, Kunstbygningen Museum, Vra, Denmark (2016); FMAC booth, FIAC, (OFF)ICIELLE, Paris, FR (2014); Le commerce de la parole, Museum Rochechouart, Rochechouart, FR (2014); La Comedie de l’Art, Fondation de doute, Ville de Blois, FR (2014); 59e Salon de Montrouge, Ville de Montrouge, Montrouge, FR (2014).