A hands down highlight is a solo showcase of late, great Cuban-born American artist, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, open to the public from Saturday, 1 October at Rockbound Art Museum and on show throughout the holiday.
Exploring tensions between public and private, works consist of everyday objects like strings of lights, mirrors, wall clocks and sheets of paper. Minimalist aesthetics aside, what’s interesting about this particular show is the shift in context: most works were created during the late-20th century US AIDS epidemic, of which Gonzalez-Torres himself was a victim. That’s still very, very poignant, but against a different backdrop -- Shanghai now -- works also serve as a platform for no less valid concerns: identity, relationships, and societal values.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (North) @ RAM
For something more upbeat, Jing’an International Sculpture Project is ripe for a Golden Week cultural foray, and this year centers on the theme of City Rebirth. A mostly outdoors affair, alongside the Sculpture Park’s mainstays -- those dozing bulls by Peter Woytuk, Arne Quinze's Red Beacon, and musical instruments by Arman -- are works by a bunch of established and emerging artists on show throughout the Project’s one-month duration.
New for this year’s edition is an indoor component, the most surprising of which is MadeIn’s Pixel Park. Housed in the back of the Service Center at Gate 1, it’s a rolling selection of 21 art films, all viewed from the comfort of a park bench. One of just a couple of staffed exhibits, this one’s on view Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 4pm. Works span the beautiful -- Shi Sanben’s animation, Grass, for example -- to the bizarre: Li Ming in a shopping cart for Succeeded Failure. Inside the nearby Sculpture Park Art Center is a series of works by American artist, Steve Tobin in glass, bronze, and steel. Definitely worth a visit.
Power Station of Art is also open throughout the break, with some especially awesome happenings taking place on Saturday, 1 October and Sunday, 2 October. First up is a two-day, totally free screening of American artist Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle. Comprising five feature-length films made between 1994 and 2002, it’s all dark mythology, evolution, and biology -- the male cremaster muscle in particular -- told through some downright freaky characters and an atmospheric soundtrack. A visual feast, albeit a pretty hard going one, it’s highly recommended. For a sneak peek, check the website.
The Loughton Candidate from Cycle 4, Cremaster Series @ PSA
Also at Power Station of Art on Saturday, 1 October, French street artist LUDO will be at work pasting a massive piece right outside the museum. That kicks off at 10am and winds up with a film screening, plus discussion with the man himself about his past year in China and the PSA artwork, The Dragon. He’s best known for his hybrid creatures, at once mechanical and organic, all in a signature shade of green -- here’s an interview we did with him at the start of his China sojourn last year.
LUDO, Chaos, Shanghai, 2014
It’s also business as usual at Suzhou Creek-side OCAT, where a new solo by Chinese mega-artist Geng Jianyi leaves much to the imagination. Called The Stubborn Image the show explores ideas of “non-artworks,” with temporary walls transforming the museum’s two main galleries into a kind of white-washed labyrinth. Installed onto each concrete pillar are small-scale flashlights projecting equally diminutive films and rotating flashing images. If you find yourself asking, ‘Is that it,’ that’s probably kind of the point.
Geng Jianyi, The Stubborn Image @ OCAT
Happy holidays, and for everything else check the art calendar.