In this series of screenings at the Grand Stair, we aim to deepen the audience's intellectual, emotional, and physical connections with objects in the M+ galleries. Artists and makers share stories and behind-the-scenes insights about their work.
Fan Ho: On the ‘Decisive Moment’ (2017)
While much of the Hong Kong of the 1950s and 1960s captured by Fan Ho no longer exists, it can still be experienced through his photographs of the time. Fan Ho’s style of photography exemplifies what the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson dubbed the ‘decisive moment’. This method—of waiting for the perfect moment to click the camera shutter—is today considered a rather old-fashioned and even purist approach to photography.
Zhang Peili: Gloves and Messy Associations (2017)
Zhang Peili takes us through the concept behind his X? series in this screening at the Grand Stair. He had aimed to produce dozens of nearly identical paintings in the series by reducing technical and compositional changes to a minimum, to make the works seem like prints. In the end, he created around ten, but also wrote a manual with rules for reproducing the series. The mechanical approach and clinical subject challenge modernist ideas of art as self-expression.
Kiri Dalena: ‘Erased Slogans' (2018)
Kiri Dalena’s work Erased Slogans consists of a series of photographic prints of protesters holding placards with the slogans removed, based on archival newspaper images of protests in Manila in the 1970s.
The images speak to a formative moment of social action and turmoil in the Philippines during the authoritarian Marcos regime (1965–1986), just before Ferdinand Marcos’s declaration of martial law in 1972, and to Dalena’s own stance as a human rights activist. The artist’s digital removal of the slogans from the placards wipes away the messaging and leaves behind only a blank white surface. The void alludes to voices of dissent that have been silenced and to the myriad forms of protest that continue today, even if not always articulated in words.