Alter Scrinium. Exhibition of video and documentary «Zhachev’s declaration» 2010
Military Court and Prison
  • Director: Chen Chieh-jen (Taiwan)

    Born in 1960 in Taoyuan (Taiwan). Lives and works in Taipei. One of the most influential and popular artists of the Asian region. He is famous as the organizer of political performances. Participated in numerous international projects, including Sao Paulo Art Biennial (1998.2010), Liverpool Biennial (2006) and Triennial of Contemporary Art in Guangzhou (2008). Represented his country in the Taiwan pavilion at the Biennale in Venice.

Taiwan,  2007,  62 min.
Alter Scrinium. Exhibition of video and documentary «Zhachev’s declaration»

Large-scale project “Military court and prison” is centered on the appeal to the traumatic experience of the history of Taiwan. The artist chooses the former prison for political offenders as the object of aesthetic researches. With the advent of democratic government on Taiwan, as one might guess, this object was turned into a museum of “Human rights”.

Following the logic of his unique strategy, Chieh-jen metaphorically rehabilitates the past, filling the abandoned factory of justice, where the men`s fates were rendered, with the silent characters. They are wandering around among the dozens of documents - mostly judgments of conviction - just like ghosts. Their actions have no purpose, and they seem not to be able to understand the surrounding reality. Ultimately, this group is trying to attract attention by tipping the metallic structure of gigantic proportions. But the manifestation of resistance is invisible and completely pointless. Their resistant gesture is presented only as noise, developing in the absence of direct opponent. Thus, the mechanism of recognition is deprived of its own grounds - in the end people fall exhausted, realizing the impossibility of changes.