Version Flash | Chinese version


Contemporary Chinese Art- another kind of view

DSL Collection

It hurts me every minute
More information on the works
Du Zhenjun, It hurts me every minute, Multimedia installation, 1998

"Four rows and five columns create a structure for twenty rectangular fields of identical size on a large projected screen. Everything is topped by a constantly running digital clock, giving hour, minute and second. A curser moves over the fields at random until being stopped at one given field by the clock. The stopping activates the projection of an animated shape of a human body that each time corresponds with an unseen source of light of grossly varying intensity. The figures wind and bend their bodies as under torture from the glistening light for up to three minutes. Then the matrix reappears, the curser starts wandering again and another cycle that ultimately will end in new suffering sets in.

These lights that show up at the stoppage of the curser can be so intense that they actually create a feeling of pain for the viewer by the sheer intensity of brightness. This uncomfortable feeling gets intensified through watching the tormented figures on the screen. Such participation in suffering draws the viewer into the events on the screen without enabling him or her to actively participate otherwise. This kind of interaction without actual action or even a possibility to influence what is happening will further enforce the helpless feeling of passiveness and create even more suffering that again is lifted to another level of intensity by the fact that the ultimate source of the painful light and the reason for inflicting suffering on the figures on the screen and the spectator remain unexplained and so hidden in oblivion.

With It hurts me every minute Du Zhenjun has created an interactive artwork that denies it?s audience any active participation while at the same time causing an affectedness that will be much stronger received than that of more conventional touch-screen-type ?interactive? art works. This kind of ?passive? interaction nevertheless puts every individual viewer in a central position of a permanent co-creation of the art-work. Particularly through his skilful utilization of the manipulative power of light Du creates a situation, which stimulates a cognitive process in the viewer that finally manifests itself in states of emotions towards the scenes on the screen and so becomes an integral part of the work itself. In It hurts me every minute, Du Zhenjun succeeded in intensifying audience participation in a way that is state-of-the-art and old-school at the same time. A core element in determining a works ?quality? has always been the correspondence between medium, technique and content. It hurts me every minute would not have been possible the way it is in another medium but digital art. "
Christof Buettner

Du Zhenjun