“Disaster Diaries” (灾难日记)
“Disaster Diaries” exhibition poster

When one enters a gallery or a museum, he or she is looking for clear meaning. Be it revelation, enlightenment or simply the desire to understand the displayed objects, one tends to look at the artwork to let truth reveal itself. It can be symbolism they search for, social or political criticism, you name it: artworks are oftentimes required by the viewer to say something. But in contemporary art, objects alone sometimes are just objects that need context, a powerful network of relationships where they can come alive and tell what they have to tell. And quite literally, Liu Dao’s artwork speaks in many different ways. They shout. They grab your attention and don’t let you go. Their interactive pieces react to the presence of the audiences to make them realize, in their surrounding field they are part of the artwork. Context is not only in the visitor’s head but in the physical reality of the exhibition space.
Liu Dao’s latest exhibition creates an uncanny context: the story of an unknown land, Earth after the fall of human civilization. Because, let’s face it, the world we know will end one day. And it can happen sooner than we think. It could be a natural disaster or an asteroid, an alien attack or a tsunami, and the chances that we’ll have enough time to escape are slim. There is solace in the fact that the end of humanity will most probably not mean the end of life itself and we might be leaving something intelligent behind. Would it be an AI? Liu Dao has been playing with the thought. Robotic imagery has been apparent in the collective’s work: human figures turned into pixelated images inevitably lose something from their humaneness and gain something through their machinery, as if this were the natural cycle of life on a universal scale, perhaps even the next evolutionary step.
“Disaster Diaries” does not give answers, it only raises questions. What will end our civilization? Will there be somebody or something after people are gone to make sense out of what we left on Earth? Is it going to be possible to make new context around life? If so, what if we looked into the diary of a future surveyor of the post-Apocalyptic world? This time, the visitors will have to put the puzzle together, and maybe start their own journals before it’s too late.  [FULL TEXT}
From October 14th to December 30th, 2018
András Gál & Irmantas Bortnikas
Thomas Charvériat & Nick Hersey
Tang Dashi 汤大师 & He Dashi 贺大师, Owen 欧文
Carlin Reinig
Serena Charvériat-Young 杨倩菁​​​​​​​
island6 Main Space, 50 Moganshan Road, building #6, 2/F, Shanghai
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