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FAIR TRADE

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Gallery Christian Hosp

 

Berlin

 

2011

Allegory of justice / Painting competition, Dafen, China, Berlin, Germany, 2011, Oil painting on Wood panel, Video documentation

Allegory of justice / Painting competition, Dafen, China, Berlin, Germany, 2011, Oil painting on Wood panel, Video documentation

Allegory of justice / Painting competition, Dafen, China, Berlin, Germany, 2011, Oil painting on Wood panel, Video documentation

Allegory of justice / Painting competition, Dafen, China, Berlin, Germany, 2011, Oil painting on Wood panel, Video documentation

Allegory of justice / Painting competition, Dafen, China, Berlin, Germany, 2011, Oil painting on Wood panel, Video documentation

Painting competition, Dafen village, China, 2011

7 hours

Room 17a National Gallery Replica. Wood Panels, Artificial wood floor, Paint, oil Painting, 2012 

Room 17a National Gallery Replica. Wood Panels, Artificial wood floor, Paint, oil Painting, 2012 

Room 17a National Gallery Replica. Wood Panels, Artificial wood floor, Paint, oil Painting, 2012 

Magdalena Reading, 5x oil painting on canvas

Magdalena Reading, 5x oil painting on canvas

Magdalena Reading, 5x oil painting on canvas

Magdalena Reading, 5x oil painting on canvas

Magdalena Reading, 5x oil painting on canvas

Magdalena Reading, 5x oil painting on canvas

Room 17a National Gallery Replica. Wood Panels, Artificial wood floor, Paint, oil Painting, 2012 

Fair Trade

Leila Pazooki’s exhibition FAIR TRADE is based on an ongoing research project that investigates the ever-relevant themes of discrepancy between cultural and economic values in a commercialised world by demonstrating a conceptual relationship between London’s national Gallery and the art workshops of Dafen, a village in China where skilled painters turn out reproductions of any image they are given.

On April 3, 2011 Leila Pazooki and Galerie Christian Hosp invited 100 artists from Dafen to the main wedding hall of the local New Century Hotel to take part in a painting competition. They were given 7 hours to paint an accurate copy of Lucas Cranach the Elder’s 1537 painting, “Allegory of Justice.” The competition was initially planned to be held in the main city square of Dafen, but The Ministry of Culture refused to issue the permits for the event in time.


Moreover the exhibition features a meticulously-reproduced Room 17a from London’s National Gallery with paintings commissioned in Dafen. The exacting reconstruction of Room 17a is a symbolic analysis of the museum as a cultural phenomenon, word by word and layer by layer.
 

As a young man, Mr. Huang Jiang left China during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) for Hong Kong in search of work. He says today, “as a worker in Hong Kong I just earned 12 HK dollars per a day. I learned that working as a painter I could earn more money. I quit my job and learned to paint.“  


In a few years, his business as a reproductions painter flourished and he hired a large group of painters at his studio at LuoHu, ShenZhen. Eventually in 1982 he moved to Dafen where he could develop his business even further. In the quiet town of Dafen he found an ideal place to develop a space totally devoted to the mass production paintings. 


During the mid-90s economic boom in China, Dafen became a dynamic hub for commercial painting and continues to thrive, being at times responsible for more than 60% of the worldwide production.

 

A selection of international press reaction to “Fair Trade”


IKONO.TV


“Three words that mark how we now think about originality, mass production and quality: Made in China. The West’s high demand for cheap products, and fast, has propelled into full force the commodification machine that is Chinese manufacturing. Outsourced products—shirts, cell phones, Old Master paintings—are churned out devoid of any creativity or originality, finding themselves all under the one and same category of mass-produced goods whose sole purpose is to fulfil demand. Artist Leila Pazooki uses Chinese mass production as a means of critiquing the commercialisation of art and the art-viewing experience. For her upcoming Berlin show titled Fair Trade, she’s recreated an entire room of London’s National Gallery along with the artwork in it, each painting an outsourced product of factories for art replication in China’s Guangdong province. The fabricated reference to the elevated museum setting and the hallowed mythos of the Old Master artists are a convincing blind to the quick, piece-per-hour strokes of the paintings’ Chinese 
 factory worker.”


‘T MAGAZINE’ THE NEW YORK TIMES


“Leila Pazooki’s off-calendar show, “Fair Trade,” at Galerie Christian Hosp, is also worth checking out. (It closes June 18.) Pazooki has transformed a spectacular space, previously occupied by the now defunct Indian mega-gallery Bhodhi, into a room from London’s National Gallery, only all of the Old Master works on display were outsourced to painters-forhire in China’s Guandong province. The results subtly skewer old-fashioned notions of authorship and authenticity while highlighting the differences between inspiration and imitation; the “best” copies are those that veer off in bizarre aesthetic directions that bring to mind the artsand-crafts hour at a penitentiary for the criminally insane.” (Sameer Reddy)
 

SOMA MAGAZINE


Imagine Manet’s Olympia, her gaze direct as ever. Only this Olympia has none of the original’s brazen directness or nudity, instead she is clothed in what looks like a strange black jumpsuit. Leila Pazooki’s Aesthetics of Censorship, an ongoing research project that documents the censorship of art textbooks in her native Iran is only one facet of a multidisciplinary practice that explores the elision and transformation of cultural, aesthetic and geographic borders. Pazooki’s neon work Moments of Glory struck a chord with critics at the recent art Dubai, spelling out a catalog of clichés familiar to non-Western artists and curators like “the Iranian Jeff Koons” and “Japan’s Andy Warhol.” The artist’s most recent project, Fair Trade, explores the relationship between artistic production and its reception in a globalized art world. Currently on view at Galerie Christian Hosp in Berlin, the exhibition presents the results of a painting contest the artist held in Dafen, a Chinese village home to factories where local artisans churn out copies of art historical masterpieces for hire. Alongside a recreation of the London National Gallery’s room 17a, Fair Trade includes 100 copies of Lucas Cranach the Elder’s 1537 painting, “Allegory Of Justice,” ranging from meticulous replicas to childlike renderings. Look closely and on some you’ll see impressions from bubble wrap on still-wet paint.

Jesi Khadivi

 

'Fair Trade' is an exhibition based on an ongoing research project that investigates the ever-relevant themes of discrepancy between cultural and economic values in a commercialised world, by demonstrating a conceptual relationship between London’s National Gallery and the art workshops of Dafen, a small village in China where skilled painters turn out reproductions of any image they are given.

The exhibition features a meticulously-reproduced room 17a from London’s National Gallery, hung with paintings commissioned in Dafen. The show will included a number of replica works executed in Dafen’s workshops as well as featuring the results of a painting competition, staged by Leila Pazooki and Galerie Christian Hosp in the village. During the competition, 100 painters made a copy of Lucas Cranach the Elder’s 1537 painting, “Allegory Of Justice”.