April 11 - May 22, 2008
Hear Earth Heart
galerie jerome de noirmont

Yi ZHOU Still Hear, Earth, Heart 02, 2008 C-Print mounted on alumimun 67,5 x 120 cm - 29 9/16 x 47 1/4 in. Edition of 3 and 1 artist´s proof

exhibition release

In springtime 2008, the young Chinese artist Yi Zhou will unveil her newest creation, a spectacular project in two phases: 1280 TOWERS, an installation shown Place Vendôme (located between the Tuileries and the Opera) in Paris from April 15 to May 15; and HEAR EARTH HEART, her third personal exhibition at the gallery, from April 11 to
May 22, created in parallel to this installation, with the latest artworks of the artist: sculptures, videos and photographs.

When the Comité Vendôme, by the end of 2006, proposed her to create a specific project for the Place Vendôme, Yi Zhou based her reflection on the symbolic of the Column that gave its name to the square. Created in response to this symbol of sovereign power, Yi Zhou’s project is composed of two 8 meter-high columns, located on a diagonal axis which central point is the Vendôme Column. Each of these two columns are composed of 1280 small towers, that are placed on a circular line next to each other, alternating emptiness and fullness. Their shape, inspired by the Chinese chopsticks, evokes the Chinese multitude and its constant growing, and refers to an induced geopolitical signification… Like a human chain in which the feminine alternates with the masculine, the fullness with the emptiness weld in a collective initiative that starts in each unity.
Built on the pattern of the infinite spiral, these columns continue the art and humanity history started with the Babel Tower and symbolized more recently by the Endless Column of Brancusi or by the Monument for the 3rd International tower of Tatline. Despite very different metaphoric significations, all these artworks symbolize the multitude, the universal, the infinite…

In parallel with the installation on Place Vendôme, two columns made of steel will be exhibited at the gallery, alongside a video entitled 1280 TOWERS projected on a plate of Carrara white polished marble, on which is incised the drawing of the towers. In opposition to the installation on Place Vendôme, where they reach for the sky, in this video the towers that form the columns break down, falling one by one, as a slow disintegration of the multitude, of the infinite.

Still in the same imaginary universe, a photograph links the 1280 Towers columns at the gallery to those of Place Vendôme, as it features a bridge, also composed out of the shapes of the towers too, with columns broken in front of it…
Here, the column has become a target: traditionally, when people break down the column and moreover the Emperor’s statue, they intend by this act to approve the victory of the revolution over the power of the monarch, and to conquer liberty. In the Baroque symbolic and iconography, for instance, the broken column was the emblem and the allegory of vanities. Within the ruins, they illustrated the ephemeral essence of civilisations, and so the weakness of each sign or symbol of power. A column that breaks reminds us that Empires always collapse, and that harmony, friendship between men remains the essential basis for the construction of the common welfare.
In a spirit still very dreamlike, Yi Zhou will present us a second video entitled Hear, Earth, Heart, also projected on a plate of Carrara white marble, with an engraved anatomic heart. This video is seen as a dream discovering a strange landscape, between real and supernatural, which aspect changes to become apocalyptic, in crescendo through flames and darkness until distress, in a very studied sonorous and luminous atmosphere (the music is specially composed by the French band AIR). This poetic and virtual trip originates from the myth of Pandora’s box, represented here at the beginning of the video by a white box that opens and divulges the mysterious landscape where the artist takes us to. However, contrary to the Greek mythology, here the story doesn’t escape from the box.

After the myth of transformation developed in the past exhibition at the gallery (Dreamscape, May 25 - June 29, 2005), Yi Zhou takes us again in her universe at the border between real and imagination, between fantasy and hyperrealism, thanks to a work that mixes drawing, sculpture, new multimedia technologies, film and installation.

PRESS CONTACT: Emmanuelle de Noirmont / Ludyvine Travers-Pitrou
IMAGES 300 dpi available on request at the gallery.