Opening Reception: Friday 28th May, 2010 | 6.00 - 9.00pm
Duration: 28th May to 11th July 2010
Venue: The Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences (The Old Pathological Institute)
No.2 Caine Lane, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong
Gallery opening hours: Tue – Sat 10.00am – 5.00pm | Sun and Public Holidays 1.00 - 5.00pm
Presenting a significant new group of over two-hundred drawings from LaBelle’s project, Buildings Entered 1997-ongoing, the exhibition will be held in the dispensary building of The Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, formerly the Old Pathological Institute. Selected by the artist and MobArt Gallery specifically for this exhibition, the building and its history form an important context for the drawings and for the artist’s ongoing project which examines the interrelationship of the body and architecture.
At the heart of this relationship, as LaBelle’s work reveals, is a mechanism of power- economic, political, judicial and scientific power – which collectively (and often coercively) organizes both the built-space of the world and the perceptions, ideas and subjectivities of the human beings that inhabit the world.
Focusing specifically on buildings where the body is both cared for and administered, the drawings are careful renderings of places which the artist has himself visited over the past thirteen years, places such as hospitals and clinics, dentist’s offices and barber shops, massage and acupuncture centers, funeral homes, police stations, prisons, tattoo parlors, sex shops and anonymous buildings whose relationship to the artist’s body remains unspoken.
Executed in pencil on individual pages from French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’s book, “Corpus,” the drawings literally form a “body of work” that is a meditation on the body, the space of the body, the spaces which contain the body and ultimately, the idea of the body as uncontainable: something beyond administration, control or understanding.
About Buildings Entered:
Begun thirteen years ago, Buildings Entered is an ongoing, life-time project in which Charles LaBelle documents every building he physically enters. Currently, there are over eleven thousand buildings in the archive, with additional buildings being added almost daily. Conceptual in nature, the project is both a diary and a historical document in which the artist’s own life and the space of the world intersect.
By foregrounding the act of “entering” these buildings, LaBelle’s project reveals a broader, phenomenological framework: one that investigates the relationship between architecture and the body, between urban space and the construction of the subject.
“Perusing [LaBelle’s] diary-like sketches of buildings, the passages of daily life are brought to an abrupt halt. Casual experience, normally undertaken by rote, is turned into an act of keen awareness.”
-Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times
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