Ode to Infrastructure | frieze


Pictures from the series ‘Renmin-Huabao 2’, installation view, META Project Space, Shanghai, 2016


Ode to Infrastructure
META Project Space
29 October – 29 November
In META’s 50-square-metre exhibition space hidden in a quiet alley of Shanghai’s former French concession, Pan Lv, Zhou Xi, and Wang Bo have put on a close-knit show that grazes the politics and poetics of infrastructure with both acuity and humour. Taking the conversion of infrastructure – oftentimes cold, invisible technical systems – into a kind of lauded aesthetics that penetrate power structures as the point of departure, the trio plunges into post-1950s Chinese audio-visual materials – from the archive of the propaganda pictorial Renmin Huabao, government recordings, to politicized pop music from the early 2000s and their music videos – to trace an aestheticized infrastructure’s horizons and its ideological workings. Presented in the varied forms of photo collage, multi-channel video projections, a sound installation, and a CD mix, the exhibition subtly proposes new interpretative frameworks for historical images previously often relegated to a strictly socialist-realist reading as well as their contemporary variables whose ‘ode to infrastructure’ are often left unnoticed.