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Over and Above, Above and Beyond: Photography by Nathalie Perakis-Valat

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Over and Above, Above and Beyond: Photography by Nathalie Perakis-Valat

Exhibition Duration: January 10 to March 7, 2015
Participating Artist: Nathalie Perakis-Valat

Overhead. Overlooked. When did you last tilt your chin skyward? Do you notice that awning there, sheltering you from the pouring rain or battering sun? What lies above? What lies beyond?

Imperfect and worn, the fabric and plastic awnings of Shanghai’s traditional lilong neighborhoods are offered a Whitman-esque sense of quiet dignity, heroism, and beauty at the hands of French photographer Nathalie Perakis-Valat. Art+ Shanghai Gallery’s first exhibition of 2015, Over and Above, Above and Beyond: Photography by Nathalie Perakis-Valat, celebrates the unassuming beauty of the everyday through close-up images of awnings displayed alongside texts written by local residents and discarded objects from the neighborhoods. Through abstract-like color and texture, Over and Above, Above and Beyond speaks to the layers of a community, at once a visual and sociological study.

With a raw, natural aesthetic, Nathalie Perakis-Valat’s photography emphasizes the variety, strength, and roughness of her subject matter with very little post-production, allowing the awnings to act as synecdoches for the neighborhoods at large. From the historic and established communities of central Xintiandi to the migrant-heavy communities of Hongqiao, Perakis-Valat’s close-up images hint at what is beyond, at the sun that beats down and shines through cracks and frays, the winds and rains that torment and crumple, the nearby construction that throws dust in the air, and the lives lived beneath. There is a sense of riddles and inside jokes, of humility and anxiety, of perseverance and steadfastness. As Shanghai’s lilongs give way to modern developments, what is lost and what is gained?

Perakis-Valat gives meaning and beauty to the Shanghai lilongs. At its heart, Over and Above, Above and Beyond is a thoughtful characterization of the neighborhoods through the cracks and colors of the awnings that watch over them like mute spectators. Turn a careful eye above and wonder what stories those awnings could tell. These are the true treasures of Shanghai’s lilongs, the modern bits of utilitarian material that clash with the old façades, that go unnoticed yet contain within them the life and history of the city. Over and Above, Above and Beyond offers a sense of place, belonging, and value. Amid the frenetic energy and evolving ramshackle of Shanghai, these awnings stand over and above, hinting at what lies above and beyond.

 

举头三尺:贝灵悦摄影展

展期: 2015年1月10日至3月7日
参展艺术家Nathalie Perakis-Valat (贝灵悦)

举头三尺的距离这么近,那么远。是否还记得自己上一次翘首望向天空是什么时候?有没有发现头顶的那一方篷,正庇护着你为你遮骄阳挡暴雨?在它之上存在什么?在它之外的涵义又是什么?

在上海里弄里,法国摄影师贝灵悦发现了她的宝贝——斑驳、残缺的布质或塑料天篷,它们在摄影师的镜头下,传递出一种如惠特曼诗歌般的沉静庄重、自由英勇又平凡独特的美。艺术+ 上海画廊2015年的首个展览“举头三尺:贝灵悦摄影展”,通过近摄的天篷图片,同时展示本地居民及他们在纸板上写下的文字和存在于里弄中的废弃物品,旨在歌颂这座城市的日常生活中所从未被注意发现的美。通过抽象化的色彩与肌理,“举头三尺”是一席与社会各阶层的对话,同时也是一场视觉与社会学探讨。

秉持着原始自然的审美,贝灵悦将她的作品进行非常微小的后期处理,从而强调了拍摄对象所具有的张力、多变性与曝糙感,借用小小的天篷来比喻整个社区。从具有历史意义而后被改建的市中心新天地社区,到移居人士聚集的虹桥社区,贝灵悦的微距摄影作品暗示了一种存在于这些实物之外特殊的意义:阳光洒下来,穿过道道裂缝与破口;风吹雨打,饱受磨砺;附近建筑工地扬洒着漫天尘埃;在篷下一代代居民居住于此,生生不息。这一切包含着仿佛是仅属于他们之间的暗语与故事,关乎谦卑与渴望、关乎不屈与坚守。如今,上海里弄正在为现代发展让路,对于我们来说,丢失了什么又得到了什么?

贝灵悦赋予上海里弄独特的意义与美。“举头三尺”通过对天篷的裂缝与色彩的特写,将其刻画成静默的旁观者一般俯视着街坊邻里,七情六欲。请悉心将目光上移并尝试思考,眼前的这一方天篷,又将对你讲述一个怎样的故事。这是属于上海里弄犹为真实的宝藏——少量的塑料与布料作为现代的产物,与拥有世纪年岁的古老石库门建筑在一起时产生的冲击。这样的组合一直默默不为人所注意,却早已将城市的生活与历史,都与其紧密包含在一起。“举头三尺” 将给予您对于地点、归属以及价值的感受思考。在上海狂热饱满的活力与摇摇欲坠的过去中,这些天篷始终存在于里弄之上,暗示着在其之上及更深远的意义。

 

Art+ Shanghai Gallery 艺术+ 上海画廊
191 South Suzhou Road (near Middle Sichuan Road)
中国上海市黄浦区南苏州路191号(近四川中路)

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