11 March – 2 August 2020
AND NOW. The second decade of the White Rabbit Collection
With a penchant for obscure metaphors and cryptic imagery, the “Misty Poets” were a little-known movement that flourished in China during the turbulent years between 1979 and 1989. Challenging Maoist artistic ideology, their poems, like the clouds themselves, were veiled and nebulous. Today, as creative restrictions continue to expand and contract in China, their legacy of ambiguity and oblique condemnation endures.
Gone are the bold declarations and audacious iconoclasm that once characterised contemporary Chinese art. The artists in AND NOW represent the vanguard of global contemporary art, their works no longer merely reflect the transformation of China but, instead, echo an entire world in flux. Eco-anxiety, governmental crackdowns, digital imprisonment disguised as liberation – it’s a brave new world that we share.
AND NOW features works from the second decade of Judith Neilson’s White Rabbit Collection. Here, nothing is as it seems. A lone figure washes the body of a dead whale, atoning for destruction wrought by man; rolls of flesh become an omen of relentless progress; diaphanous flags offer the invitation of passage only to deny it moments later; despair is written in salt; glass masquerades as stone; and, with a touch of futility, silkworms enshroud ancient wood as though to stay the hand of ecological collapse.
Profound and multifaceted, quiet and melancholy, the artists speak of transformation, redemption and loss. Their shared language is one of allegory; time resides here in poetry.
AND NOW is drawn completely from Judith Neilson’s renowned White Rabbit Collection.
CURATOR: David Williams
Please click on the artists’ names below to discover more information about each artist and their work.
The Endless Walkway, 2016,
lace flags, electric motors,
control system, steel,
LCD monitor dimensions variable
Death Has Been My Dream for a Long Time, 2015,
video 16 minutes 51 seconds Himalayan salt bricks, dim variable
Heavy Clouds 2, 2014,
silk, wood cocoons, 85 x 180 x 45 cm
Heavy Clouds 3, 2014,
silk, wood cocoons, 90 x 445 x 85 cm
Heavy Clouds 4, 2014,
silk, wood cocoons, 59 x 240 x 46 cm