ALIEN BODIES & DELUSION - Dummy 98 pages, 64 images 22 x 29 cm

In China, there is a strong belief in historical parallels and cycles. If the rebellion of the Taiping in the nineteenth century, both modernizing and anarchic, echoes the cultural revolution of Mao Zedong, then we can compare the inscription of the «Chinese Dream» of Xi Jinping in the Chinese constitution with the politics of the Emperor Wudi. Ruler of the Han dynasty, Wudi had a significant role in the growth of China’s borders while centralizing its governance. This periodic nature of historical movements creates intervening periods that are no less important. Indeed, the rise to power of Jiang Zemin, ideological successor of Deng Xiaoping, marks the end of an epoch and the beginning of a new era. This noteworthy interval offers a favorable juncture to understanding the articulations of history and their contemporary resonances.

It is in this context of transition that I discovered China.

Since 1998, I initially studied there, then worked. First, as an art school student, then curator and photographer, I accompanied in pictures the evolution of my perception of a social climate still stunned by the cultural revolution and entering the exuberance of the 2000s. Thus I have constituted a corpus of archives made up of my own photographs and documents collected here and there.

This edition is the layout of this picture set.

The title «Alien Bodies & Delusion» refers to the first underground exhibition held in Beijing on January 8, 1999. The event «Post-Sens Sensibility: Alien Bodies & Delusion», prohibited after a few hours by the authorities, expressed the climate of chronic instability in which this generation of Chinese artists had grown.

The narration, by analogy with the title and influenced by modern Chinese poetry, unfolds in a structured heterogeneity, proposing a narrative close to a direct diction open to all intuitions.


This work, born of displacement, explores the fullness of the cultures that I choose to meet in a formal set that I call "Documentary Notes".
The serie "FAITH" in India, "GREEK SALAD" in Greece and "CAILLOU" in Morocco are built in time, in a succession of journeys. A course dictated by the desire to apprehend these regions of the world through experiencing all that they have of popular, primitive or fundamental. Thus, I imagine drawing the map of an archipelago inviting the spectator to question himself in his relation to the polyphonys of the existence.

FAITH India - Dummy 35 pages, 29 images  14 x 21 cm

GREEK SALAD Greece - Dummy 35 pages, 29 images 14 x 21 cm

CAILLOU Morocco - Dummy 35 pages, 27 images  14 x 21 cm

OUBLIER - Dummy 98 pages, 43 images 22 x 29 cm

"Untitled, Oublier" simply underlines the singularity of moments that have become souvenirs...

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Michael Kern©