VSW Salon, Fall 2021 Nov 18-December 3: No Time is Lost by Beina Xu
*PROOF OF VACCINATION REQUIRED FOR ENTRY. Face Masks must be worn by all participants.
This installation will be open to the public November 18th-December 3rd
11 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday in the VSW Microcinema
The single-channel video will stream on this site for the duration of the exhibition
No Time is Lost (2021)
Image and text arrangement: Beina Xu
Sound Design: Gábor Ripli
- No Time Is Lost is a multi-media installation by Chinese-American artist Beina Xu. This exhibition features an on-site selection of lantern slides from VSW’s archives as well as a single channel video that will loop during the duration of the exhibition. Taken in China at the turn of the 19th century – around the time of the Boxer Rebellion and Western domination of the country – the lantern slides comprise a colonial history and a catalog of the Western gaze. Xu features selected images in her latest single channel video, in which she reads 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. These fictional letters chronicle the events leading up to the Rebellion and subsequent foreign occupation of Beijing, the artist’s birth town. A soundscape evokes aural memories of a home that the artist—based in Berlin—can only currently access through archives of a colonial past.In the play between presence and absence, subject and object, the artist attempts to subvert a terminal, lost history in order to probe 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 texts and images—how does history feel?This event is part of the In Dialogue series, in which we invite practicing artists to engage with VSW Collections to create original works.
- Beina Xu
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.
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The VSW Salon is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the ArtWorks program of the National Endowment for the Arts.