For our first solo exhibition in China in a decade, titled “What Came to Pass,” the artists present two projects consisting of large scale video installations and digital collages - Allegoria Sacra (2011-2013) and Inverso Mundus (2015-2017). The exhibition is a retrospective self-reflection on these two large bodies of work that psychoanalyzed the state of humanity at the start and in the middle of the decade respectively.
Allegoria Sacra, inspired by Giovanni Bellini’s mysterious painting of the same title, depicts a surreal world suspended in time, where passengers stuck in a futuristic airport drift into one another’s dreams. With a myriad of references to Bellini’s painting, as well as to global history and pop culture, the work allegorically uses the airport to refer to purgatory, where people from many walks of life congregate as they await their fate.
Inverso Mundus is based on the medieval engravings of a world upside-down, a comic strip from the middle ages depicting various social roles and norms reversed. AES+F’s epic video tableaux, like the medieval engravings, depicts a world where social conventions are inverted to highlight the underlying premises that we take for granted. In a whimsical reversal of the concept of the inquisition, women clad in cocktail dresses are sensually torturing men in cages and on devices styled after IKEA furniture. An international board of directors is usurped by their impoverished doppelgangers. The poor give alms to the rich. A pig guts a butcher. Virus-like objects loom over and settle on oblivious people who are taking selfies…
Link to the exhibition