Synthetic Types

Synthetic Types

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

The event Synthetic Types, held at the Stedelijk Museum is part of Landscape with Bear, an exhibition that investigates what has come to be known as De Appel’s Collection (Unintended), an accumulation of objects – artworks, props, leftovers, and unidentified materials – that lies within the institution’s extensive Archive. In the exhibition on view at De Appel, a single continuous topography blurs the line between the collection pieces and display. Building from the proposition that practices of collecting are part of regimes of knowledge production, this project asks, what kinds of knowledge can emerge from the fragmentary, the uncertain and the unstable?

Artist Shen Xin works through the artificial presence of language to create abstractions of inclusivity and foreignness. Arising from the collaborative framework of this project, which involves professionals from fields spanning contemporary art, curating, art history, architecture, design and archaeology, Shen Xin has developed a new performance work. Synthetic Types will take place at De Appel’s Archive, and will be streamed live into the Auditorium of the Stedelijk Museum. This work questions how access and inclusion are created or restricted through the institutional protocols of collecting. Using Japanese, Korean and Russian language, two performers interact with the unintended collection through conversations with subjects who are inaudible and out of sight, to explore how knowledge around objects and identities is produced.

A real-time English translation will be provided to the audience alongside the filmed live image.

SHEN XIN (b. 1990, Chengdu, China) lives and works in London and Amsterdam.
Shen Xin’s practice engages with film, video installation and performative events. Upholding commitment towards both risk and comfort in images presented, individuals and communities appear across different surfaces as units, and as shifting pronouns that exist in complex socio-political systems. To counter the potential of forming alternative power structures that can be oppressive, the protagonists in her works are empowered to narrate, speak and act out of their desires, maintaining the integrities to be inconsistent, discontinued and suspended. Uncompromisingly, her work fabricates the process of producing abstraction of inclusivity and foreignness, forming ways to be known to others that is reflexive of images’ representational agencies. Her recent solo presentations include To Satiate, MadeIn Gallery Shanghai (2019), Methods of Inhabiting, K11 Shanghai (2018), Sliced Units, Center for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester (2018), half-sung, half-spoken, Serpentine Pavilion, London (2017), and At Home, Surplus Space, Wuhan, China (2016). Recent group shows include New Metallurgists, Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf (2018), Songs for Sabotage, the New Museum Triennial, New York (2018), and The New Normal, UCCA, Beijing (2017). Shen was awarded the BALTIC Artists’ Award in 2017, and she is currently an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.

Actors: Lee Jeong-ha and Kang Yumi
Translators: Mire Lee, Leila Gray, Julian Ross
Sound: Yashaswini Raghunandan
Camera: Johann Arens

About the exhibition

Landscape with Bear
3 May – 1 June 2019
Wednesday – Saturday, 14:00 until 18:00, or by appointment
De Appel
Schipluidenlaan 12
1062 HE Amsterdam Nieuw West

View from the performative event, 26 May 2019:

See also