Shen Xin
Provocation of the Nightingale
Dimensions : 23’,10’34”,10’10”,20’40”
Materials : Four-channel video installation
Year : 2017

Shen Xin’s major work Provocation of the Nightingale 2017 explores the artist’s acute observation of collective memory and personal relationships through a multi-screen video installation. At its heart, the work is a narrative focused on systems of belief and power, with a kaleidoscope-like effect of shifting perspectives taken from filmed documentary portraits, recorded performances and interviews.
Presented as a four-screen environment with a soundscape that overlaps and repeats, one of the central images of the work is an encounter between two women: the manager of a DNA testing facility and her older meditation teacher. The physical interaction between the two women ebbs and flows as lessons are passed across the generations. Intimacy and memory seem to overwhelm the encounter. The two women struggle
to stay focused on their conversation, as their bodies appear drawn to each other. Swirling around this new work are recurring themes of power and trust, and of the role of religion and of Buddhist or Confucian teachings.