VSW Salon Series Nov 11: No Time is Lost: Lantern Slide Performance with Beina Xu
*PROOF OF VACCINATION REQUIRED FOR ENTRY. Face Masks must be worn by all participants.
- No Time Is Lost is a multi-media installation by Chinese-American artist Beina Xu. On site is a selection of lantern slides from VSW’s archives taken in China at the turn of the 19th century, around the time of the Boxer Rebellion and Western domination of the country. They comprise a colonial history and a catalog of the Western gaze, and will be projected in the traditional lantern slide-style in two ways: the image alone, and the image of the frame (with captions.) Over empty frames, the artist’s voice will be heard reciting a pre-recorded reading from The Letters Which Never Reached Him (Briefe, Die Ihn Nicht Erreichten), a 1904 epistolary novel by Elizabeth Von Heyking, wife of the German colonial governor general in Qingdao—ancestral home of the artist’s grandparents. The fictional letters chronicle the events leading up to the Rebellion and subsequent foreign occupation of Beijing, the artist’s birthtown. Images of the photographs—Chinese spaces and subjects—will be accompanied by silence. In the play between presence and absence, subject and object, the artist attempts to evoke a terminal, lost history that probes a present orientation: from where does the artist speak, and to whom? In a year of violence against her body and bodies like hers, wrought by narratives borne in these very slides, what does history mean?This event is part of the In Dialogue series, in which we invite practicing artists to engage with VSW Collections to create original works.
- Lantern Slide from the VSW Collection
Beina Xu is a writer, filmmaker, and researcher based in Berlin, Germany. Born in China and raised in the US, she studied comparative literature and visual anthropology in Europe and the United States. Her work is often situated at intersections, and examines the relation between personal and collective historiography. Her essay film Forget Alberto For Now premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2020, and has gone on to win several awards.
- Beina Xu