Last Tango presents Donatella Bernardi’ s and Wong Ping’ s first exhibition in Zurich. With contrasting positions, their work explores memory and cultural heritage. Multiple ways of looking at shifting identities take shape. Bernardi’ s title “The Phoenix’s Belly” indicates a course of cyclical regeneration, playing on the notion of sedimentation, layering and sagging, aging and getting new curves andfluctuations, like the famous Michelin figure, an accumulation of tires witnessing many journeys, a transforming figure instead of a birth coming from the ashes of a lost body.
What does it mean to be in a constant process of interaction, with people and places? Specifically mediation between oneself and what stands external to you (be it one’ s identity as an artist, the parent-child relation or lineage in general, institutional ties and function, teacher-student or even superior and subaltern). In contrast, Wong delves into the ambiguous world of fiction. With satire and ironic caricatures, his scenarios portray taboos and the obscene as pipe dreams against oppressive systems of power. This is especially present in contemporary Hong Kong, the “one country, two systems” city-state, of which Chinese interference in local affairs has lead to pro-democracy protest and calls to patriotic education.
- Donatella Bernardi, Der Bauch des Phönix (The Belly of the Phoenix ), in collaboration with Nicola Genovese and Niels Wehrspann, 2017
- Wong Ping Still from ‘Doggy Love’, 2015. Courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery and the artist