Aranya Plein Air Art Project: Of Three Minds. Video Selection

7 July 2023 - 8 July 2023

Aranya Art Centre, Qinhuangdao, CN

"Of Three Minds” is a video screening event of experimental animation. The phrase “of three minds” is taken from American modernist poet Wallace Stevens’ poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. Similar to Cézanne’s paintings, Stevens’ lyrics endeavour to seek a subjectivity that transcends the objective nature. Yet with the continuous pursuit and the waning materiality, the meanings cease to refer to an external thing but follow up on art per se, which remains the only being. As Fredric Jameson comments, the ideas and images of things replace the things, and finally, those irreducible are the name of the things as the ultimate sign of self-referential.

The artists we include in this screening event all choose experiment animation as the medium for their creation. Since Émile Reynaud projected hand drawings onto the screen via his Théâtre Optique, animation has enabled artists to go beyond the traditional picture frame and explore endless possibilities for narration. Anima thrives in animation through layered moving images while they can only re-materialize with the gaze of human beings. Such a cyclical self-referential and self-reproducing process parallels Stevens’ lyrics that stop seeking reference outwards but become poetry itself. Ultimately, as Taoism says, “three produces all,” animation brings alive and becomes everything with the breath of images.