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Automatic Happening

video, 2 channels, 29', sound, 16:9, 2010

Her classic "studio work" is Automatic Happening, where Fang Lu films inside a space awaiting renovation, and thus all the walls are equally uncontaminated, one can only see white walls. Even so, the performer contrasts with the empty and static space––this is the artist herself––and surrounding her are piles of household implements, cooking utensils and table tops piled high; she wears a helmet, and is dressed like a motorcycle driver, while two fixed cameras at two different perspectives capture her movements. She makes the cooking process look random and aimless, merely one movement leading to another, and the dual screens and looping emphasize this feeling. This work has no intention to ridicule the tedious nature of housework, but attempts to blur the limits between representation (artistic labor) with what is being represented (housework). Therefore the pointlessness of the action becomes the consciousness of the artist, and similarly is not expressed by revealing the characteristics of reality through various conflicts. In Fang Lu's opinion, pointless housework is "a kind of" art work, or a game. In her game, those assaulted foods ultimately return to a visual, material form: explosive bursts of red, drooping yellow, and billowing white (I rely on my own intuition in describing these colors, which might not necessarily fit with the work), sound and image drive them into our nerves, our own consciousness temporarily departs from habitual goal oriented pursuits.

-- Chen Tong, "Home, or Studio", Eclipse, Borges Libreria Contemporary Art Institute, 2011)

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