This exhibition has ended.
Upon Leaving the White Dust
May 13–June 21, 2020
“It perhaps will always stay at the ‘temporary state of being with,’ crude and open, as if the moment of leaving a movie theater could actually be pulled very very long.”––Cici Wu on Upon Leaving the White Dust
Presented here for the first time is a selection of storyboard images for Cici Wu’s multimedia artwork and installation Upon Leaving the White Dust (2018), a study in reconstructing memory and historical narratives through the legacy of expanded cinema––its residues and affects. Departing from Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s unfinished film White Dust From Mongolia (1980), Wu has reinterpreted Cha’s original storyboard, comprised of eighty five shots, into her own notes and sketches. On the front of each corresponding card are drawings of sculptural objects later made for the installation, and on the back are excerpted passages from Cha’s book of experimental bio-fiction, Dictee (1982).
In 2017, Wu used a small sculpture (Foreign Object No. 1, Fluffy Light, 2016) to capture light data from a thirty minute screening of Cha’s unedited footage at the Museum of Art and Design. The light data was subsequently converted into the video featured here, also a central component of Wu’s installation. For optimal viewing, we recommend playing the video in full screen in a dark room with the lights off.
Installation images of the work from her solo exhibition at 47 Canal in 2018 are available here.
An open edition publication of this special presentation, made in collaboration with are.na, is also available for print-on-demand.
“Shadows index a cinematic apparatus, yet their presence is traumatically unresolved and politically impartial, hinting towards the fleeting constitution of the dream-screen, and its entrapment of the spectatorial subject. Every so often, for a fraction of a second, the light brusquely drops as a scene changes in White Dust. The effect is quietly destabilising.”––Harry Burke, Spike
“Against a flickering projection of white light, Ms. Wu sets an assemblage of small objects that refer to images in the film: trains, an airplane, a mop, the silhouette of an urban skyline. ‘Memory, time, silence, words, and whiteness’ were the essence of Cha’s art, wrote the art historian Moira Roth, as they are of Ms. Wu’s homage.”––Holland Cotter, New York Times
“In the dimly lit gallery, one might be tempted to first refer to the space as ‘dreamy’ or ‘dream-like’. It isn’t. Instead, Wu’s pieces crackle with the presence of history and the obscure mysteries that lie within them… Here, world-historical narratives have plunged into small objects, endowing them with pasts––and futures––the present has scrambled to suppress.”––Andrew Durbin, Frieze