Xu Zhifeng has developed a psychogeographic practice in which he uses his body to circumnavigate a city, recording his view as he goes (now a familiar trope with live cyclist or taxi image feeds). By relaying a live red-cyan 3D image stream to a screen on his back his body as it were disappears and the viewer sees what Xu sees, occupying his vision and his body. Xu’s body has become partially transparent. In his performance for this exhibition, Xu proposes to explore the exhibition parcours, recording as he goes, and transmitting his view onto a simple rice paper screen, which he finally encounters by breaking through it, recalling Gutai Group Murakami Saburō’s Passage (1956), a performance painting made by the artist flinging himself through taut paper screens. Variants of this performance are repeated during the course of the exhibition. His work anticipates a futuristic cyborg body in which a screen becomes part of the individual’s biological structure, just as the present day fascination with inking the body, writing on it through tattoos, turns the body’s surface into something that can be read. His use of camera and screen on his clothed body attempts an intervention in how our bodies experience contemporary art. In this interventionist sense then it is a writerly intervention, ‘scriptible’*. At the same time this work foregrounds or separates out algorithms of psychic forces that constitute subjectivity (a constantly weaving together of that illusion which is the person into a present moment which continues to dissolve as it is created) | text Mark Nash.
* ‘Scriptible’ to use Roland Barthes’ term in S / Z (Paris: Seuil, 1970).