CLEAR WATER

Sylvie Bonnot—Zhu Hong—Mary Sue—Mengzhi Zheng—Boris Chouvellon

10 Jan – 28 Feb 2020

The show references TMH’s Making Things Happen cycle of 2017/18 and traces the weight of photography across other mediums. All six artists start byinterrogating spaces and collecting visual field notes on contemporary society. And in all cases the camera enters their creative process, but at different stages and for different forms of exposure. PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: SYLVIE BONNOT (1982, FR), MENGZHI ZHENG (1983, FR born CN), MARY SUE (assumed identity), BORIS CHOUVELLON (1980, France).

The title Clear Water is both a reference to the artists’ attitude to nature and clarity of vision. Fully conscious that our image-making gaze is a product of social powers and unconscious desires and not strictly optical, they masterfully redeploy photographic indexing and iconographic currency. In the process, they create works based on real experiences, which might be collectively significant or personally dear.


Sylvie Bonnot (1982, FR) is a determined photographer drawn to uncharted natural and urban landscapes; back in the studio, she makes her images rupture, volumize as sculptures, or materialize like skin. Remix highlights her new work. Zhu Hong (1975, FR born CN) and Mengzhi Zheng (1983, FR born CN) start with circumstantial photography, and the exhibition includes their Amsterdam-rooted pieces. Zhu Hong’s lens captures the visual material that our eyes would omit; she then brings it back to light in painting and drawing. Zheng’s focus is on architectural details, which he first registers in drawings and etched plates; his aims are, however, painterly three-dimensionality and architectonic color.

Mary Sue begins in reverse by drawing out the artifacts for her performances: these initial comic strips become laboriously turned out as videos, sculptures, and photographs that exploit her eponymous alter-ego. For Boris Chouvellon (1980, FR), photography takes a place on par with the rest of his output in video, sculpture, and installation on the theme of geography and environmental effects.

INSTALLATION VIEWS