“Defying the constraints of physics as if frozen in time and space,” four live performers appear to be floating, leaning on the air, frozen while falling, or something more. This is Xu Zhen’s In Just a Blink of an Eye at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles.
The work engages notions of the body as material, and in turn the materiality of the body, testing the limits of physical and cognitive possibilities as the viewer tries to comprehend what we see. A prolific and experimental artist, Zhen’s conceptually-driven practice encompasses a vast range of media and often employs humor, irony, and sophisticated trickery. As the audience waits for movement, for the performer to stand up, or for them to continue to follow the rules of gravity, they instead experience time and stillness as moments extend and are stretched out on through these living sculptures. Xu Zhen explores fragility and balance, literally and metaphorically, spatially and temporally.
Amanda Hunt, Director of Education and Senior Curator of Programs, describes the sculptural work in the MOCA video above. Viewable on weekends only, the live installation ran from July 27th to September 2, 2019.