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A Man Gifted with Photographic Memory

Author: Guo Xi & Zhang Jianling 2017-01-07

A Man Gifted with Photographic Memory
(On a raining day, a landscape painter is standing in the swimming pool,
arms leaning on the edge, painting a watercolour)
I should paint it, but who would believe it?
People say, “seeing is believing”
But why is seeing the only way?
In the collarbone burning red
In the vapour among the hair
In the gap between shoes and foot arch
In the ulcer that has been long forgotten
In the confusion that has never existed
In the burst of pores
100-year-old fireworks flow out of the cochlea
I sense it with the whole of me
The sun atop the sun
The seawater beneath the seawater
Fascinated by the changing colours and shapes
It weaves through the gently moving mountains
Through thick mist
It strikes the monster in my spiritual labyrinth
The air has thus crystalized

When Theo Angelopoulos was discussing a new script with Tonino Guerra, a present arrived from Giacomo Manzù’s daughter: a sculpture of Ulysses’s head. Angelopoulos read from the letter that
her father’s “last wish was to find a way of sculpting Ulysses’ gaze because he believed this gaze contained the whole human experience.” Isn’t it the same gaze from the wanderer in the fog who
merged into the panorama of horizons and the shimmering of existential experience? From March to May 2015, tracing the sensory experience and mysterious disappearance of Bas Jan Ader and
Arthur Cravan, Guo Xi and Zhang Jianling’s world cruise is a search for vanished gazes and solitary figures that once reached out to tangible infinity then disappeared in the ocean. Will the sea level
rise for them in the subtlest way?
In 86 days cross-ocean journey, two artists have borne witness to twelve prophecies and sent back to “continents of the Known” the evidence as visuality of testimonies. The twelve prophecies not
only reflect potential routes to the theme but also serve as an index leading to infinite texts and endless interpretations. In Journal from the Grand Voyage produced along the way, the artists start
to tell stories of one thousand characters who are likened to a vine twining around prophecies accompanying them to witness the miraculous. In a series of future exhibitions, they will unpack one
thousand parcels and corresponding owners dwelling within. In the constellation of image-evidence-text, memories of the characters will be brought to light.
The Grand Voyage is supported by Imagokinetics, a non-profit art institute in Hangzhou.
Guo Xi was born in Yan Cheng, Jiangsu Province in 1988. After graduation from Department of New Media Art of China Academy of Art in 2010, he joined a two-year program at the Rijksakademie in
Netherlands as artist-in-residence. In 2015, he graduated from New York University with MA degree in Studio Art at. Zhang Jianling was born in 1986, she graduated from Wuhan University in 2008;
in 2013 she graduated with MA degree from School of Inter-media Art, China Academy of Art. She's currently living in Shanghai.

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