Critical Spatial Practice

Visible vs Invisible, (2022–)
  • Yafei Wang | Wuhan and London

  • Visible vs Invisible, (2022–)
  • Yafei Wang | Wuhan and London
  • ‘No longer were there individual destinies; only a collective destiny, made of plague and emotions shared by all.’ — Albert Camus, The Plague, (1947)


    Visible vs. Invisible is rooted in Wuhan, China – the world’s first city to be locked down due to COVID-19. As a Wuhan citizen, I experienced personally the world’s first COVID-19 lockdown and I have incorporated this experience into my research. Visible vs. Invisible sets out to interrogate the simplistic narrative in which Wuhan becomes the guilty epicentre of a global health crisis.

    This work builds on the ongoing and important work of eco-feminist and anthropological writers and artists such as Rachel Carson, Margaret Atwood, Donna Haraway, Fei Cao, amongst others.

    The project is presented as a pair – consisting of an artist’s book and situated video. The book draws on Donna Haraway’s concept of ‘situated knowledge’ to celebrate and recognize the importance of situated personal experience, and to examine the broader concepts around the construction of myths through media discourse and to explore the relationship between humans and non-human species. The film contains two key spaces: the Huanan Seafood Market and the isolated interior spaces of the home. By using the coupling technique of the double screen, I constantly switch between my fantasies and the real spatial situation, and in this way create a narrative in which the Huanan seafood market enters my interior life. Using a combination of personal experience and the sound of media coverage I have created a mixed and fluid narrative of the event of the pandemic, while also exploring the multi-spatial boundaries between image and sonic landscapes. My aim is to inspire audiences to rethink their understandings of the pandemic and its origin and to encourage them to participate and create their own collective memories.


    Biography

    Yafei Wang is an artist and researcher based between Wuhan and London. She completed her Bachelors degree in Environmental Design at SCFAI, and is a graduate from the MA Situated Practice programme at UCL where she took the Site-Writing module. And she plans to develop a PhD project in the future.

    As an artist, Yafei’s work has been exhibited in London, Wuhan and Chongqing. Yafei is currently working on research into London’s Natural History Museum and Billingsgate Market, in which she attempts to explore the poetry of death and the materiality of dead non-human species, and to explore new understandings of architecture, material culture, and biodiversity by thinking about the relationship between human and non-human species.


    Practices

    Yafei uses experimental film and situated testimony as a spatial practice, providing partial perspectives like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. She seeks to counter the crisis of neoliberalism by taking an interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and to the conservation of biodiversity in architectures and environments drawn from the theory and practice of visual arts, and anthropology, as well as architecture. 


    Keywords
    critical spatial practice, eco-feminism, non-human species, material culture, queer death study

    References

    Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015).

    Cao Fei, Isle of Instability, (2020).

    Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Duke University Press, 2016).

    Hector Macdonald, Truth: How the Many Sides to Every Story Shape Our Reality (Bantam Press, 2018).

    Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood (Nan A. Talese, 2009).


    Other projects
  • Visible vs Invisible, (2022–)
  • Naisten Kaupunki – Työkaluja oman tilan valtaamiseen, (City of Women — Tools for Occupying Space) (2022) 
  • Moonfuture: Migration, Images and the Geological Interior (2022)
  • Dissolving the Dwelling (2021–2)
  • Washing White (2021)
  • Um Slaim Collective (2021)
  • Sonic Acts of Noticing (2021)
  • MGM_OurStarterCulture_5
    Our Starter Culture, (2021)
  • Making Map I: Animals and Anachronistic Architectures, development in progress (2021–)
  • Collateral (2021)
  • The Wandsworth Food Bus, (2020)
  • Progetto Minore. Alla ricerca della minorità nel progetto archiettonico ed urbanistico (2020)
  • 1-DMZ
    Architecture and Co-Existence: DMZ as Site, (2020)
  • Time on Site (2019)
  • Stori Mwd (A Story of Mud), (2019)
  • not nothing (August 2019)
  • Hungry Mothers, En La Frontera (2019 – present)
  • Exchanging Values at Bank (18 October 2019)
  • Cybiog: locating the digital self, (2019/20, 2 mins 45 secs)
  • Civic Pedagogy, learning as critical spatial practice (2019)
  • An Independent and Flexible and Precarious and Overworked Rehearsal, (January – December 2019)
  • An environmental history of La Guajira (2019)
  • A Weird-Tender in progress (2019)
  • Cecilie Sachs Olsen
    A walk in your words (25.01.2019)
  • Portal Zaryadye: A Portal Not Only to Heaven, But Aslo To Hell (24 July – 12 August 2018)
  • Text-isles: sowing an idea, October (2018)
  • Gilly-image-1
    Silent Conversation, (2018 – ongoing)
  • Objects removed for study (2018)
  • Female Futures Lexicon on Space (2018/2019)
  • 5, Big Bang 2 / Mid Graemetruby
    Bank Job, (2018–2020 and beyond)
  • Natalia Irina Roman, Tick Tack, Berlin (2019). Photographer: Natalia Irina Roman
    Along the Lines (2018–)
  • windwoundweatherwovenwirewoman [performance] (2017)
  • Viscous Myths (2017/2018)
  • The Pass (October 2017 – June 2018)
  • The House Alice Built (2017/2019)
  • Productive Withdrawals: Art Strikes, Art Worlds, and Art as a Practice of Freedom (December 2017)
  • Request for the unrequested voluntary interlinguisticality (2017)
  • Caring for Communities (2017 – 2019)
  • Bodies + Borders (2017 – present)
  • a place called … (Spring 2017)
  • Uppland (2016 – 18)
  • Music for Masterplanning (2016 – 17)
  • P | A | N – Proyecto Amasandería Nacional (2016)
  • Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces (2016)
  • Island Icarus (2016–2019)
  • In My Mothers’ Garden: Memories and practices of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp (2016)
  • Having not felt like eating, but eaten, I sat down to eat / tea … (2016)
  • Desiring the Dark: Feminist Scenographies, the City and the Night, (2016–2019)
  • Bamboo dialogues (2016)
  • ASSET ARREST (2016)
  • Alternative Arrangements: Walking the Border in Ireland (2016 – ongoing)
  • Matter of the Manor (2015 – 19)
  • The First World Congress of the Missing Things (2014)
  • Private Choices, Public Spaces (2014)
  • Hanging Matters (2014)
  • Act#5 & Act#6: What does Mai Mai Mean? (March 2014 – December 2016)
  • 03-FLATS (2014)
  • (small memorials), 2013–15
  • Mount Patawerta
    Gardening for Untold Ecologies: A Manual for Making an Arid GARDEN Out There, (2013)
  • A Game of Dominoes (2013)
  • Lina & Gio: the last humanists (February – June 2012)
  • Learning-through-Touring (2012)
  • Empty Words Build Empty Homes (2012)
  • Ridley’s (2011)
  • Hustadt project, 2008 – (2011)
  • Palimpsest Performances (2010 – 2014)
  • Negotiating Conflict: Bordering Practices in a Divided Beirut (2010 – 2014)
  • Expanded Architecture (2010 – 2014)
  • Unfixing Place: A Study of Istanbul through Topographical Practices (2008)
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