Theater of illusions
4th February - 27th February 2021
24 rue de l'Échaudé, 75006 Paris
A2Z Art Gallery is pleased to present “Theater of Illusions”, Zhang Wei’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

After the “Artificial Theater” series, in which the artist composed hybrid busts of real and fictitious men and women, Zhang Wei presents his new series of black and white photographs entitled “Puppet Archive” for the first time in France. The series has just been exhibited at the Xie Zilong Photography Museum (XPM) located in Changsha, Hunan Province in China.

In the manner of a “digital exquisite corpse”, Zhang Wei photographs and collects details of Asian faces and combines them to create “meta-images”. By sliding material and mental images together with superposition, transparency and fusion in a digital way, the artist wishes to question the veracity of photography’s documentary function. He proposes a different vision of our reality, a different writing of the History of humanity.

By getting as close as possible to the faces of both historical and living personalities who have evolved in the fields of politics, science, finance, popular culture and art history, Zhang Wei takes our regard into a creative space where characters are put on the stage. These characters oscillate between illusion and disillusion, between humanity and transhumanism, between complexion and robotization.

By using archival material from historical documents, film tapes, old paintings, photographic documentaries and the Internet, Zhang Wei challenges our visual perception of History. Has the one we are told since childhood really existed ? The artist brings the observer into a new spatio-temporal scale, in the manner of a mandela effect.

In the modern world, people’s sense of identity is formed by the image conveyed by the mass media and advertising according to the artist. Our own value judgments would be measured against the (fictional) vision of artists, leaders and heroes promoted by a consumer-oriented society. Didn’t Friedrich Nietzsche see in art the necessary illusion to bear the tragic weight of existence? Who are we really ? Zhang Wei then invites us to open the doors of his theater of illusions.

继2013年《人工剧团》引发争议之后,张巍的创作再次引申了“元图像”(Metapictures, 词根“meta”源自希腊语中表“之后”或者“超越”之意的前置语,意为自我指涉、自觉与自我戏仿。)在摄影实践中的思考和运用,通过重新编码篡改和转述了图像层级的视觉结构,在画面舞台上模拟出虚构的人物、事件和行为。艺术家否定了人们对于摄影的“真实性”的迷思--并延伸至其“纪实”属性,提出对我们现实世界的不同观看之道以及对人类历史的另类书写。《人偶档案》在摧毁和重构“历史合理性”的同时也改变了观众与作品的角色关系,使得观影本身转化集体的“曼德拉效应”,这种互动使得作品与大众间的视觉转述营造出一系列合乎历史逻辑的“假象”,亦即“假象剧场”。



借用希尔达·凡·吉尔德与海伦·维斯特杰斯特所著《摄影理论-历史脉络与案例分析》中的总结,“如果我们赋予照片以真相,那是因为我们渴望这样去理解它们,而它们也满足了我们对图片的瞬时性的渴望。... ...我们越是设法相信接近了现实,我们就越是认识到这种努力是不可能实现的。实际上,我们只是感受到我们周围的‘现实’世界的表面和局部的踪迹— —照片尤其能使我们意识到这样一个局限。 ”

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