What does it mean to be in motion? in concrete terms, it refers to passing from one place to another; a displacement or modification of the medium. Reality and everything that constitutes it, including the one who conceives it, is in permanent change, in an eternal migration to another material and knowledge state. The landscape that represents the environment where we develop, is one of the most important symbolic agents of the structure of our identity, and like us, it is imbued in the course of time and space; in the same motion.
Landscapes in Motion presents a materialization of the urban development of Chinese society: a current perspective of the historic flow of a nation deeply rooted in tradition. In this set of photographic works, the artistic production of Cai Dongdong, Zhang Dali and Ji Zhou, builds a collective landscape that allows us to appreciate the mutation of the People's Republic of China in the last 50 years: one of the most radical social, political and economic transitions in human history. Between Cai Dongdong and his portraits of rural and communist China prior to the Economic Reform of 1978, and the collages of vertical cities of Ji Zhou, we find the windows that Zhang Dali opened on walls marked for oblivion, holes that frame a threshold towards transformation.
Roland Barthes noted in his text Camera Lucida that: "What photography reproduces infinitely has only taken place once: photography repeats mechanically what can never be repeated existentially" (Barthes 1990, 31). In this sense, photography gives us the illusion of a frozen reality, accessible and intelligible. However, photography also makes us aware of the change: of the irrefutable distance between epochs and the perishable condition of human beings and their creations. In this way, the photographers mentioned here intervene in the mechanical repetition of the photographic act with its interpretative specificity, giving a more organic and contemporary sense to the images. They show, in conclusion, the motion of the Chinese context in relation to their particular experience and sensitivity.
Cai Dongdong, Aiming at the camera, 2017 Silver gelatin print, camera, wood 120 x 56 x 50 cm (47 1/4 x 22 1/16 x 19 11/16 in) Edition 2/3
Zhang Dali Demolition 1998126A, 1998 C-print 60 x 90 cm (23 5/8 x 35 1/2 in) Edition 6/10
Ji Zhou, Building 3, 2017 Archival pigment print 59 x 82 5/8 inches (150 x 210 cm) Edition 1/3
Cai Dongdong Big Harvest, 2017 Silver gelatin print in artist's frame 30 x 49 cm (11 13/16 x 19 5/16 in) Edition 1/5
Ji Zhou, Greenhouse 1, 2017 Archival pigment print 47 1/5 × 70 9/10 in (120 × 180 cm)
Cai Dongdong, Big Harvest, 2017 Silver gelatin print in artist's frame 30 x 49 cm (11 13/16 x 19 5/16 in) Edition 1/5
Zhang Dali Demolition 19993A, 1999 C-print 23 5/8 x 35 1/2 inches (60 x 90 cm) Edition 8/10
Cai Dongdong, Practice Shooting, 2015. Silver gelatin print, mirror 53 × 53 × 53 cm (20 7/8 20 7/8 20 7/8 in) Edition 2/3
Zhang Dali Demolition 1998125C, 1998 C-print 60 x 90 cm (23 5/8 x 35 1/2 in) Edition 9/10
Cai Dongdong Salvage mirror, 2014. Silver gelatin print, mirror in artist's frame 15 3/8 x 22 1/2 x 1 5/8 in (39 x 57 x 4 cm) Edition 1/6