Installation view, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
Curated by Lu Pingyuan
Inventing Ritual is a MadeIn Company production that questions the relationship between contemporary art and the notion of ritual through the presentation of the works of some twenty artists, including performances and videos, textes, peintures, sculptures et installations.
Major installations by Xu, He An, Zhang Hui and others, displayed symmetricallyon either side of a central space, formed a kind of stage on which the performance took place. A single projection screen hung from the ceiling at centre stage, flanked by two smaller monitors, with a circle of unlit candles placed on the ground.
A cast of performers interpreted works individually or in groups, synchronized with video or photographic pieces shown on the three screens. Notablevideos included Concentration Training Camp (2007–08) by Zhou Xiaohu, in which actors, filmed upside-down, go through the cult-like training tactics for Amway sales representatives, and Yang Zhenzhong’s classic I Will Die (2000–05), which documents people saying ‘I will die’ to the camera in their own language. The latter was shown with Xu’s Physique of Consciousness (2011/2015), a tai-chi-like physical exercise consisting of religious gestures from all over the world. The large central screen was sometimes flanked by a different video work on the monitors, which, in turn, were joined by one or two thematically relevant performances. At the end of each section of the performance, an actor would use Wang Sishun’s Truth (2015) – a gaslight that Wang aims to keep alight for the rest of his life – to light one of the unlit candles.