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In Just a Blink of an Eye

Xu Zhen, In Just a Blink of an Eye, 2005. Courtesy of the artist.

Special Member Event: Xu Zhen: In Just a Blink of an Eye

Member Event

MOCA members at the Contributing level and higher are invited to a private viewing of this newly acquired work along with remarks by MOCA Director of Education and Senior Curator of Programs Amanda Hunt.

Space is limited, please RSVP by emailing or calling 213/ 621-1794.

In Just a Blink of an Eye (2005/2019) is the first work by artist Xu Zhen (b. 1977, Shanghai) to enter MOCA’s world-renowned permanent collection. These four striking poses that comprise this performance are presented together at MOCA as part of the work’s West Coast premiere. Based in Shanghai, a rapidly changing city fueled by commerce, Xu often merges cultural references in a multidisciplinary practice that encompasses performance, sculpture, painting, installation, and video. His performance work, in particular, frequently employs the body as a kind of instrument. Here, the body is a living sculpture, protected and displayed like the other works on view in MOCA’s galleries. The performer of each posture is poetically arrested in time and space. The physicality of the performance is uncanny—the performers’ feet are seemingly planted firmly on the ground, while their bodies extend in stunning mid-air backbends. In its original presentation, Xu cast members of marginalized communities, such as migrant workers, so that bodily suspension became a metaphor for liminal civil status. This political valence resonates urgently in 2019, both globally, nationally and locally. In Just a Blink of an Eye is ultimately a work about the fragile balance of life. 

The work will be on view every Saturday and Sunday, starting on Saturday, July 27 through Sunday, September 1 at MOCA’s Grand Avenue location. No advance reservations or special tickets are needed to experience the performance. Please anticipate lines to enter the exhibition Xu Zhen: In Just a Blink of an Eye. MOCA members receive priority access to the queue. 

Xu Zhen: In Just a Blink of an Eye is organized by Amanda Hunt, Director of Education and Senior Curator of Programs with the assistance of Alice Teng. 

Exhibitions at MOCA are supported by the MOCA Fund for Exhibitions with major funding provided by The Offield Family Foundation and generous funding provided by Dr. Alexander and Judith Angerman, Earl and Shirley Greif Foundation, Sydney Holland, founder of the Sydney D. Holland Foundation, Nathalie Marciano and Julie Miyoshi, Steven and Jerri Nagelberg, and Jonathan M. Segal through the Rhonda S. Zinner Foundation.