Luo Fei was invited to be the residence artist in Zurich, Switzerland, from May to Aug, 2018. During his stay in Zurich, he stayed at F+F art and design school of Zurich, encountered with the art scene of Switzerland, he also did some curatorial researches through visiting spaces, activities, interviews(with Andreas Marti & Adrian Notz) and dialog with curator Daniel Morgenthaler at Helmhaus. Beside all these, he participated a live radio event at Friesenbergplatz Zurich and an informal performance event arranged by Tanja Kalt. Other performance artists were: Monica Germann, Daniel Lorenzi, Martin Chramosta and San Keller.
During his residence in Zurich, Luo Fei has been visited Auschwitz in Poland, Norway and Sweden. He did some artist talks and performances too.
After returning to China, Luo Fei held sharing lectures at CGK Kunming Contemporary Art Gallery, TCG Nordica Cultural Center and City College of Kunming University of Science and Technology. The following text is a brief introduction to the contents of the lecture:
International Residency as an Encounter State
– Luo Fei’s encounter with and observations in the Zurich Residency Project
From May to August 2018, Kunming curator and artist Luo Fei, also the director of TCG Nordica gallery was invited to participate in the Kunming-Zurich Friendship City Exchange Residency Project. This was also the first time that Luo Fei visited Switzerland. During his stay in Zurich, Luo Fei visited local art museums and galleries. Furthermore, he visited off-spaces, curators, artists, and deepened the local rich artistic ecology. Luo Fei noted that the structuralist traditions in Swiss contemporary art are ubiquitous in today’s phantom, noting the tradition of oral performances among Swiss performance artists, and the artists’ embrace and re-engineering of entertainment culture.
During nearly three months of observation and communication, Luo Fei experienced the charming city of Zurich – an ordinary, affluent, stable, and high standard of daily life. It is such daily life that shapes the “formal correctness” and “media bombing” of contemporary art today globally. It is also in such a society where everything is guaranteed, that people still express their dissatisfaction with reality. Where is the criticality of art? Political art? There, everyday life, like contemporary art, is more textual and theoretical, and any kind of “barbarous”, “self-deprecating”, “boring” or “scientific” art has become part of the vain and elegant life. It provides protection against pleasure and nothingness, and provides protection from ethical evaluation. So, what is the goal of life? What is the appeal of art?
During his stay in Zurich, in addition to visiting Italy, Norway, Sweden and other places, Luo Fei purposefully visited the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp in Krakow, Poland. With the confusion of “no poetry after Auschwitz”, Luo Fei walked in the “rural hell” that looked beautiful and rational. There, everything is beyond the imagination of man. Where has “humanity” been hidden or enlarged since the Enlightenment? What is the value of Hannah Arendt’s reflection on “the banality of evil”?
To Luo Fei, the artist resides in the project as a temporary life that constantly meets people and returns to himself. In a strange way, he does not set an expected goal. He just keeps accumulating and adjusting himself. Keep open, keep communicating, keep thinking, and keep sharing.