Shen Xin’s work Provocation of the Nightingale (2017) consists of four videos playing on four screens in a cube-like formation. On one screen, a Buddhist and a manager of a genetic testing company discuss life, science, and faith on a stage. On another, motion-capture technology records the facial expressions of people who share the results of their genetic tests in voiceover.
On one of the inward-facing screens, a male dancer and a female dancer face each other. They are gradually soaked with sweat as background music highlights their confrontation. The same music plays in the video opposite, in which a monitor on a stage plays a collection of video clips about religion. The apparently unrelated content of the four videos is connected through a shared scenography and references to texts, images, and music. Shen Xin creates a multilayered narrative structure, unveiling the tensions and conflicts between genes, cultures, faiths, and sciences that define a crisis of identity.
This video was originally published on M+ Stories.
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