Michael Dean: “Analogue LOL” at ShanghART, Shanghai | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Michael Dean: “Analogue LOL” at ShanghART, Shanghai

"Analogue Series (Not Yet Titled), 2018 Michael Dean Ink stained publication, cable ties; 20*56*30cm, Sculpture
(Courtesy: Artist and ShanghART M50)

An artistic analysis of the shift in twenty-first century communication is found in a new solo exhibition by British artist Michael Dean. ShanghART gallery is hosting the display of new works, which is titled “Analogue LOL”. Modern means of communicating are explored and discussed in this fascinating show, which runs in Shanghai until May 13, 2018.

"Analogue LOL" is the first solo exhibition by the artist in China. The exhibited works in this show are stamped with the character and concrete syntax of public spaces. There is also a prominence of pictorial language and the text-based communication of emotion via our digital devices. Dean likes to explore how the ambiguity of these has enabled them to take on a range of culturally specific meanings and spaces beyond their intended use. The exhibition was developed through a year-long discussion between curator Victor Wang and artist Michael Dean. It is centred on the construction of common spaces and the evolution of the acronym LOL (laughing out loud), along with the recent development into the emoji officially known as “Face with Tears of Joy”. It is in the space between picture and word, where in 2015 the emoticon became the first pictograph to be named “word of the year” by Oxford Dictionaries, signalling a shift in the application, use and reception of language.

The layout of "Analogue LOL" begins with a single page: blank, with slightly curved edges, its flat white face becoming the unmarked vinyl floor. Dean’s work is often described as sculpture, but it is not sculpture in a traditional sense. The artist traces the restlessness of inner-city living and the human emotions that spring from its cracked concrete surfaces. Artworks in "Analogue LOL" have words and emotions that have shed their skin, distorted by misuse and rearrangement, much like the posture of a minimum-wage employee moulded by the unrestrained hands of the city. There are torn pages and hand mixed-hand placed coloured concrete, the exhibition opens up a space between language, social space, and the pictorial transformation of both.

The exhibition is on view through May 13, 2018 at ShanghART Gallery, Westbund, 2555-10 Longteng Avenue, Xuhui District, Shanghai.

For details, visit: http://www.blouinartinfo.com/galleryguide/shanghart-gallery-and-h-space/overview

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.

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Founder: Louise Blouin