This article will examine Wang Gongxin's and Zhang Peili's moving-image installations, critically reviewing their relationships with spaces they inhabit and are inhabited by as a dominant issue in these works. I argue that both artists are globally engaged and art-historically informed agent, fully aware of the complexity of their living spaces in their transcultural and historical entanglements and therefore that these artworks are constituted by interrogations of art's critical capacities. Wang and Zhang seem to scrutinize and compare the critical potential of a representational understanding of art that places its emphasis on objectification. In doing so, a distanced and analytic spectatorship is challenged in favour of a performative concept that emphasizes the mediating quality of art through a participant viewer. Their artistic interventions implicitly propose the concept of the artist and the viewer as embodied participants and constituents of the artwork, as opposed to a dualistic and distanced relationship.

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Journal of Visual Art Practice
School for Studies in Art and Culture

Hopfener, B. (2012). ‘Embodied Criticality’ in Moving-image Installations by Wang Gongxin and Zhang Peili. Journal of Visual Art Practice, 11(2-3), 193–208. doi:10.1386/jvap.11.2-3.193_1