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Exhibition "EXTRA" Foreword

EXTRA, solo show of Lawrence Malstaf, IOMA, Beijing, 2019

With a title of “Extra”, this exhibition endows visitors with an identity as part of the artwork. This mode enhances a sense of “ANWESEN”, and concretises the abstract human feeling in space. The exhibition inherits the theatrical scenes of Lawrence Malstaf’s style, establishing a site that focuses people’s attention by interlacing images, installations, manuscripts, and materials.

“Extra” means a temporary identity switch when participants enter the work as an “actor”. Meanwhile, “actor” also be normally used as human self-definition under the contemporary social situation and mental states. Despite the industrial appearance, the core of Lawrence’s works is poetic. Thus, the identity of “Extra” is a placebo, providing a provisional shelter for participants. Whether considering it as an immediate amusement or an attentive demonstration, everyone could take their personal story into the artwork, and complete the scenario in their own version. In this way, the diversity of the work is realized in the process of “re-creating”.

In the context of the present gallery, the mechanical mode of visual transmission has long failed to meet people’s mental demands. Visitors act not only as interpreters of cultural activities but the constructors of collective memory. The interactive mode of this exhibition highlights the significance of the audience when constructing the meaning of an artwork, which promotes the hybridization of different social ideologies and art in the background of times. The fixed existence pattern of the gallery has been converted because of the concept of “Extra”. From a philosophical perspective, owing to the relative meaning of the matter, when different visitors come to the artwork with diverse identities and personal understanding, the existence of the gallery and the work itself differ for the visitors. As a result, the meaning of “extra” forms.

IOMA ( IMS of Modern Artland )​​

798 Art Area, Beijing, China

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