THE GRAND VOYAGE - GUO XI & ZHANG JIANLING 大航海 - 郭熙&张健伶
5 pieces | Piece 1&2 200*100cm | Piece 3 100*75cm | Piece 4 80*55cm | Piece 5 60*40cm
[...] The third row displayed an ice-pick with wooden handle. The guide thought the design here was quite ingenious and saved the exhibits in the first two rows from being too plain. “Personally, I don’t really fond of converting men into specimen, however this very object reminds us to imagine how unexpected this moment was, the strength of the murderer and the depth of the wound. It also reminds us how the body was silenced after a ‘BANG’, with no more talk, hiccup or fart, and ceased all embarrassing noises. Now, Trotsky is lying quietly in the rumbles of air conditioner and our hungry stomachs. Then it’s time for lunch.” ----Quoted from Journal from the Grand Voyage
In the summer of 2014, supported by Imagokinetics, Guo Xi and Zhang Jianling began a long-term collaboration "The Grand Voyage". From March to May 2015, tracing the sensory experience and mysterious disappearance of Bas Jan Ader and Arthur Cravan, their journey searched for vanished gazes and solitary figures that once reached out to tangible infinity then disappeared in the ocean. As witnesses, the artists brought back to the continent visual testimonies that they collected along the way. In a series of exhibitions, Guo and Zhang will gradually break open the labyrinth of narration by unpacking one thousand parcels and corresponding characters dwelling in the constellation of image-evidence-text.
When the ship passed by Manzanillo, Mexico, a Milagros made of wooden heart was mailed to the continent. Literally meaning miracle in Spanish, Milagros are metal symbols which are nailed to altars and scared objects as offerings for different saints to answer particular wishes. From organs, limbs and angels to daggers, cars and villas, the symbol system never stop refreshing itself by absorbing objects from modern life and historical events. By adopting the Milagros’ method of composing images, these aluminum plates are attached with wishes to heal A Man Who Doesn’t Know Better.