ABOUT THE ARTWORK
Drawing from her past experiences of traveling and living in China eight and ten years ago, and recently returning via Shanghai and Chongqing, Tracey Snelling gathers information through the process of wandering, observing, participating, and documenting. Not concerned with exact replication, Snelling creates a China-inspired world comprised of her own images and video, as well as found media, including a Chongqing rap video by the artist's friend Jin Cheng. She collects props and paraphernalia, placing trophies and Tsingtao beer cans on a large tenement of buildings, transforming it into a display case for her souvenirs. A replication of a woman seen kneeling with her face against the wall in a subway station in Chongqing leaves the viewer, as well as the artist, to wonder if she was deep in prayer, meditation, performing a political act, or merely sleeping. Small-scale buildings, piled high in a tower of lights and signage, are based on places Snelling has visited, with video from her personal experience. The secret bar on Fuzhou Lu plays video of Snelling and her friends mixing drinks with the bar owner; a tattoo shop in a nearby "locals" mall shows the artist getting her latest tattoos. The large wall-size collage with video is one of a series of installations that Snelling refers to as Clusterfucks, where various original and collected images and footage mix in a clash of color, light and turbulence. The different works in the installation play off of each other in a cacophony of layered visuals, lights, and sound, capturing Snelling's complex and varied experiences of a chaotic, beautiful, and sometimes challenging country.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tracey Snelling was born in Oakland, California in 1970 and is currently based in Berlin. Through the use of sculpture, photography, video, and installation, Snelling gives her impression of a place, its people and their experience. Often, the cinematic image stands in for real life as it plays out behind windows in the buildings, sometimes creating a sense of mystery, other times stressing the mundane. Her work derives from voyeurism, film noir, and geographical and architectural location. Snelling has exhibited in international galleries, museums and institutions.