CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland
 Phase Four


Sat, 22 May 2021 - Sun, 22 August 2021


OCAT Shenzhen, China - OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) Shenzhen Enping Road, Overseas Chinese Town, Nanshan District Shenzhen, China, 518053

Further info

Cost: Free


Cooper Gallery website

Type: Exhibition

Courtesy Cooper Gallery and OCAT Shenzhen

CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland
Phase Four
Venue: OCAT Shenzhen, China

Nashashibi/Skaer: Chimera
Corin Sworn: Variations of Assembly


There is no full stop to ‘the contemporary’.

With no conclusion, not even grammatical, ‘the contemporary’ refuses to stop. No pause for breath or rest in which to catch a glimpse, an illumination of what ‘now’ might be. Instead, revelling in an associative fugue, ‘the contemporary’ is inexhaustible and all encompassing.

Shuffling and swapping, substituting and mirroring, ‘the contemporary’ upsets and disrupts what is seen, known and imagined. In this discursive frenzy, metamorphosis and transformation operate as principle and technique, calculated then deployed to efficiently and so industriously extract and unsettle.

Querying and queering historical details, cultural capital and techniques of revolutionised management Phase Four of CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland captures a passing likeness of ‘the contemporary’in all its immediate and impatient necessity.

Encompassing two exhibitions from Corin Sworn and Nashashibi/Skaer, Phase Four of CURRENT dissects the fictions and truths absorbed and transmitted by ‘the contemporary’. Juxtaposing chronologies and histories, the exhibitions critically interrupt the singular economy of ‘the contemporary’ bringing tempestuous visions of ‘now’ into a meditative pose.

Following previous iterations in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan, CURRENT: Phase Four arrives in a ‘city of the future’, Shenzhen. Resisting the appeal of that future, CURRENT seizes the inherent discursivity of ‘the contemporary’, composing a concrete reality disciplined by the circumstances and radical insights that constitute this untimely moment.

Composed of artist’s films and prints, Chimera the exhibition by Nashashibi/Skaer traverses mythology, nature, language and interpretation to elucidate the protean metamorphosis underpinning ‘the contemporary’. Examining the act of looking and the transformative potential of film, Chimera reprises Paul Nash’s evocative 1944 painting Flight of the Magnolia in Our Magnolia and blurs the distinctions between the wild and the farmed in Lamb and its sequel Bear, a newly produced film which features a soundtrack created in collaboration with Cantonese Opera singer Zhuo Peili. Bear also provides the starting point for a new woodblock print developed in collaboration with Chinese artist Xu Zhiwei.

Corin Sworn’s solo exhibition Variations of Assembly encompasses architecture, sound, video, dance and poetry to explicate the undercurrents of monitoring, movement, sincerity and drive that score ‘the contemporary’. With a new multi-media installation Habits of Assembly II and an artist’s publication Folding Vesuvius created specifically for this exhibition, Sworn appropriates 20th Century time-motion-studies to unpick the false claims to virtuousness and efficiency declared by industrial discipline. Presented in Chinese (translated by Chinese writer Chen Dongbiao) and English, the poems and images in Folding Vesuvius explore the tacit modes of assessment folded within the managerial systems of industrialised labour, offering a sensory reaching towards the world.

CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland (Phase Four), a collaborative project between Cooper Gallery DJCAD, University of Dundee in Scotland and OCAT Shenzhen, in partnership with the British Council.

CURRENT | Contemporary Art from Scotland is kindly supported by the British Council, China-UK Connections through Culture, The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Scottish Government. CURRENT is a direct result of the Research and Development Trip (January 2014) funded by Creative Scotland.


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