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2017.06.12 Mon, by Christopher Moore
Xu Zhen in Paris

Memes and power, language and sex, politics and history are all fodder for louche anthropological experiments in Xu Zhen’s first major solo show in France which recently opened at Perrotin in Paris. “Civilization Iteration” develops themes of cultural hybridity (including sexual and evolutionary) first exhibited in the exhibition in 2009 that launched his corporate alter-ego MadeIn Company, “Seeing One’s Own Eyes” at ShanghART, and subsequently expanded in exhibitions at the UCCA in Beijing in 2014, and in Xu Zhen’s solo shows in 2015 at Kunsthaus Graz and Long Museum, Shanghai. The almost photo-realist paintings of un-real pairings of traditional African and Chinese motifs are particularly unnerving in their playful pretensions and, shall we say, “alternate realities”. The show is a bravura display of presentation and the works are striking, among other things, in their extraordinary production quality (the images here do not do them justice).

XU ZHEN

XU ZHEN
“Evolution- Apsaras from the North Wall
of Mogao Cave No. 321, Iatmul Canoe
Prow Mask / 進化-莫高窟321窟主室北
壁飛天、Iatmul 獨木舟船頭面具” 2016
Oil on canvas
h. 250 x L. 166 cm | h. 98 7/16 x l. 65
3/8 in
Courtesy Perrotin. Produced by MadeIn
Company

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization Iteration » at Perrotin Paris Photo : Claire Dorn Courtsey Perrotin

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization
Iteration » at Perrotin Paris
Photo : Claire Dorn
Courtsey Perrotin

Xu Zhen at PERROTIN Paris 2017 (Chris Moore)

Xu Zhen at PERROTIN Paris 2017 (Chris Moore)

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization Iteration » at Perrotin Paris Photo : Claire Dorn Courtsey Perrotin

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization
Iteration » at Perrotin Paris
Photo : Claire Dorn
Courtsey Perrotin

Xu Zhen at PERROTIN Paris 2017 (Chris Moore)

Xu Zhen at PERROTIN Paris 2017 (Chris Moore)

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization Iteration » at Perrotin Paris Photo : Claire Dorn Courtsey Perrotin

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization
Iteration » at Perrotin Paris
Photo : Claire Dorn
Courtsey Perrotin

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization Iteration » at Perrotin Paris Photo : Claire Dorn Courtsey Perrotin

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization
Iteration » at Perrotin Paris
Photo : Claire Dorn
Courtsey Perrotin

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization Iteration » at Perrotin Paris Photo : Claire Dorn Courtsey Perrotin

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization
Iteration » at Perrotin Paris
Photo : Claire Dorn
Courtsey Perrotin

Xu Zhen at PERROTIN Paris 2017 (Chris Moore)

Xu Zhen at PERROTIN Paris 2017 (Chris Moore)

XU ZHEN

XU ZHEN
“Eternity-Six Dynasties Period Painted
Earthenware Dragon, Sleeping Muse /
永生-六朝彩繪陶龍、沉睡的繆斯” 2016
Mineral-based composite, mineral
pigments, stainless steel
h. 198 x L. 250 x l. 120 cm | h. 77 15/16
x l. 98 7/16 x w. 47 1/4 in
Courtesy Perrotin. Produced by MadeIn Company

Xu Zhen at PERROTIN Paris 2017 (Chris Moore)

Xu Zhen at PERROTIN Paris 2017 (Chris Moore)

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization Iteration » at Perrotin Paris Photo : Claire Dorn Courtsey Perrotin

View of the exhibition Xu Zhen « Civilization
Iteration » at Perrotin Paris
Photo : Claire Dorn
Courtsey Perrotin