||The Whitechapel Gallery presents the UK premiere of film and video work by Ali Kazma and Wang Jianwei
From May – November 2008, the Whitechapel’s Laboratory programme in partnership with museums in China, Europe, Latin America and North America brings together emerging international film and video artists.
Programmed by the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, Wang Jianwei is one of China’s best-known contemporary artists. Working on panoramic multi-media projects that combine elements of theatre, performance and music, Jianwei explores the presence of history and relationships of power within China’s rapidly changing social and economic environment. The exhibition will premiere in the UK one of his most recent works, Symptom, 2007, a highly-orchestrated series of tableaux examining the role of the individual and organised collective activity in contemporary society.
Programmed by The Institute for the Readjustment of Clocks, Istanbul, Ali Kazma makes closely observed films of local skilled workers – from clockmakers to factory machinists and doctors. They detail the mechanics of micro-activities involving the protection, repair and maintenance of both the body and the fabric of social well-being. The Whitechapel premieres in the UK three recent films which enter the sites of production of a slaughterhouse, designer jeans factory and hospital surgery room, raising questions about the modes of mass consumption and - similarly to Wang Jianwei - the place of the individual in globalised society.
Notes for Editors
• Wang Jianwei was born in 1958 in Sichuan Province, China, He lives and works in Beijing. He has solo exhibitions at Cultural Palace of Nationalities, Beijing, China (1991), Hong Kong Art Center, Hong Kong (1992), Accomplish Circulation-Sowing and Harvesting, Sichuan Province, China (1993), Walker Art Center, USA (2003), Giant Steps, Asia-Australia Arts Centre , Sydney , Australia (2004), Chambers Fine Art, New York, USA (2005), ARARIO, Beijing, China (2006), Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai China (2006), Today Art Museum, Beijing, China (2006), Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin, Germany (2007), Chambers Fine Art, New York, USA (2007).
• Ali Kazma was born in 1971, Istanbul. He is a video artist who received his MA degree from The New School in New York City. In 2000, he returned to Istanbul, where he still resides. He exhibited his work in Istanbul Biennial (2001), Tokyo Opera City (2001), Platform Center for Contemporary Art, Istanbul (2004), Cetinje Biennial (2004), Istanbul Modern (2004), 9th Havana Biennial (2006), San Francisco Art Institute (2006), and Lyon Biennial (2007) among others.
• Participating venues in the Whitechapel Laboratory touring programme are; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas; Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo; Henie Onstad Kunstcentre, Oslo; Fundacion PROA, Buenos Aires; The Institute for the Readjustment of Clocks, Istanbu; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Kunsthaus, Zurich.
• The Whitechapel has entered the most exciting phase of its 100 year history: an ambitious expansion into the former library building adjacent to the Gallery.
• During the 18-month construction phase the Whitechapel has become the Whitechapel Laboratory with exhibitions, live music, poetry, talks and film via a new entrance at Angel Alley. The expanded Whitechapel is due to re-open in spring 2009.
• Preview opening, Wednesday 9 July, 6.30 - 9pm.
Via a new visitor entrance at Angel Alley during the 18-month construction phase of the Gallery’s expansion open Weds – Sun 11am – 6pm. Thursdays until 9pm with talks, events, poetry and music. Admission free.
Whitechapel, Whitechapel High Street London E1. Nearest tube Aldgate East. T +44 (0) 20 7522 7888 www.whitechapel.org
Elizabeth Flanagan on 020 7522 7871 or email