Uta Guan Hyë – Sanatorium of Exaggerated Coincidences
Uta Guan Hyë
Sanatorium of Exaggerated Coincidences
Opening: January 19. 2024 18:00 – 21:00
Exhibition: January 20 – March 02. 2024
Mariannenstrasse 33, 10999 Berlin
The “Sanatorium of Exaggerated Coincidences” takes its name from Charles Fort, an American writer and researcher of anomalous phenomena, as documented in his book “The Book of the Damned.” He compiled notes on seemingly impossible yet documented events, including suction cup marks on mountains, inscriptions on meteorites, raining crocodiles, black snow, blue moons, and green suns, collectively referred to as “cursed facts.” The term “facts” pertains to occurrences often avoided in discussions, while “cursed” reflects the curse of traditional scientific and dogmatic thinking. Simultaneously, he undertook a systematic reexamination of rejected facts, meticulously cross-verifying each one, dedicating his career to a comprehensive plan that encompassed astronomy, sociology, archaeology, quantum physics, psychology, morphology, chemistry, and magnetism.
Uta discovers a profound sense of humor and poetry within these coincidences, acknowledging that “fate has its own curiosity,” opening up to a world beyond rationality. In 2022, as part of the dream collection “Le Premier Repas de la Vierge,” Uta created a fictionalized character, Nuï Guan Hyë, a female scientist and alchemist active in the 1990s-2000s. She researched and named a substance found in camels, called Luciole, with the intention of fully liquefying it and extracting stored information. However, during the experiment, she inadvertently witnessed the disappearance of the camel, and two decades later, parts of its limbs were discovered in a crystal mine in Mexico. This constitutes the core of the exhibition—a fact unclassified in the realms of physics, biology, and parapsychology: the vanished camel.
In this exhibition, Uta divides the exhibition space into three sections, each named after alchemical formulas: “The Vaporous Communication,” “The Salts of Discord,” and “The Dark Room.” Uta deconstructs the peculiar events surrounding Mrs. Nuï and the vanished camel using images, installations, objects, and documents. Simultaneously, she conducts a series of explorations involving liquid substances, the body, memory, and celestial bodies. Although not explicitly labeled as experiments, the core of Nuï’s exploration is grounded in the pivotal experience of deconstructing the world—immersing in exploration, forming connections, and extending understanding.
In the videos “Care” and “Walking,” Uta repetitively wipes and cleanses an imaginary sun, engaging in nearly static walks, either leading an egg or being led by an egg. In the work “Breaking Waves on the Surface of the Heartbeat Star,” Uta employs the string figures technique to construct various geometric shapes, overlaying diagrams of the movement of Massive Compact Halo Object (MACHO). Through these actions, the artist establishes a spatial grammar, outlining both visible and invisible boundaries, describing the existence of invisibility. Morphing the physical structure, replication, displacement—all contribute to the process of deconstructing the world. In the work “1999.12.12 The Camel Disappeared,” Uta intricately weaves and fuses elements like a camel, thread and needle, broken instruments, and caves, creating an underwater symphony that resonates with the “truly silent clamor” of the physical world.
Uta simultaneously explores “Intersectionism,” akin to Pessoa, characterized by absolute subjectivity, extreme synthesis, and an exaggerated static stance. “Intersectionism” equally underscores the significance of the “gaze.” In the images from “1999.12.12 The Camel Disappeared,” numerous tangible natural scenes morph into continuously flickering and changing photoelectric graphs. Mesh fabric overlays as a projection screen in the work “Lumiere, mire, rime,” transforming crystal cave photographs into binary code of 0 and 1. This deprives viewers of the right to project, as projection implies disdain and forgetfulness. Uta invites viewers simply to gaze, using this transparent medium to penetrate objects or phenomena, entering their interiors and deeply grasping them in memory. Nature implies an understanding of this world, with waves representing the potentiality appearing on every substance. The gaze, as a wave, serves as a medium capable of penetrating these intersecting layers.
From text to symbols and then to spatial installations, the character of Nuï in Uta’s works exists in the interstice between the real world and the dream world. It signifies a relationship of consciousness and experiential awareness, acting as a medium where physical reality intersects with psychological reality. Internal space intertwines with external space, dreams blend with reality, spirituality meets materiality, and time and space coexist parallelly or intersect vertically. It is a reflective exploration of the essence of consciousness experienced from a first-person perspective. Each artwork in the exhibition forms a cross-representation of these two spaces, connecting them through different media characterized by their “transparency.” This establishes a world grammar that merges coincidence and intersigns.
Installation view © Galerie Met and Uta Guan Hyë.
Uta Guan Hyë
Born in China, currently residing and creating in Ardèche, France. Uta (guan) received theatrical education in China and conducted research and creative work involving experimentation with visual arts and documentary filmmaking in Paris and Ardèche. She is also the co-founder of XYÄ Edition © (2023), a variable geometry press entity geared towards writing, sound phenomenon and inner engineering technologies of Asian and the Caribbean.
Transcends her own confines by engaging with various dimensions, ecosystems, and events. She navigates between the tangible world and the foundational realm, establishing an intimate nexus through writing, actions, and audio-visually elements characterized by an “infinite spatiotemporal configuration.” Her pursuit is to encapsulate the elusive, unstable, and ever-shifting traces of reality, often imbued with allegorical, and ritualistic qualities.