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Exhibition • “Soft Power: A Self-Criticism”

2015/09/28 (Mon) - 2015/10/11 (Sun)

| Free
Works of art and literature are frequently used as diplomatic tools, and instruments of “soft power.” Creativity is a force that can push the boundaries of accepted limits. While the United States has made much use of its cultural exports internationally, it has rarely been so tolerant of its writers at home.

The US believes itself to be a country very tolerant of the freedom of the individual, and it condemns other nations which do not follow this ideal own moral code. However, the much vaunted “freedom of speech” which most US citizens believe to be their natural right, is not, and never has been, assured.

The experience of living in China has given Elizabeth Briel the opportunity to reflect on the suppression of works believed to threaten the status quo in the US. In contrast to other places, those most often moved to suppress art in the US have been the American people themselves.

Each image presented in this site-specific exhibition illustrates an aspect of a character taken from books which have been banned, censored, or suppressed in the United States — such as Ginsberg’s poem Howl, or Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, both of which have been systematically suppressed in the US. To represent these characters, the artist chose to rely on Chinese medical acupuncture models, which are structurally defined by an ancient system of meridians and patterns. While the models capture an essence of humanity, they remain featureless.

As a complement to the photo exhibition, visitors will have the chance to peruse the forbidden books which inspired the exhibition’s images.

This project is part of the Beijing Design Week 2015.

About the artist

5855060477_6e51287c07Elizabeth Briel’s cyanotypes meld painting and antique photographic techniques, art and science, iron salts and sunlight. During the past decade in Asia, Elizabeth has taught photography in Cambodia, founded a community gallery project in Hong Kong, and has researched handmade papermaking in SE Asia and China. She has exhibited in the US, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, and Beijing.
Website: ebriel.com 


Opening: Sunday, September 27th, 6 pm
Exhibition dates: September 28th to October 11th, 2015
Venue: Meridian Space

Where to find us

C&C Park, 77 Meishuguan Houjie, Dongcheng, Beijing | 北京市东城区美术馆后街77号77文创园
(0) 10-81056788 | info [at] meridian-online.com
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