It May Be That Beauty Has Strengthened Our Resolve

Philippe Grandrieux, Lü Yue, Masao Adachi, Patrizio di Massimo, Mladen Stilinović

Mar 09 – Apr 28, 2013

Para Site proudly presents It May Be That Beauty Has Strengthened Our Resolve, a group exhibition featuring works by Philippe Grandrieux, Lü Yue, Masao Adachi, Patrizio di Massimo and Mladen Stilinović. It brings together art pieces, films and biographies in which the artists' individual gestures, positions, statements, counter-manifestos, silences and escapisms share a certain tension about art's uncertain intersection with the present.  

In Lü Yue's feature film The Obscure, a group of prominent Chinese writers of the same post-cultural revolution generation gather in a provincial hotel to discuss at length (defying both the fast-paced temporality of our time and every convention on the viewer's attention span in mainstream cinema) their views on the place of poetics in contemporary China. The intellectuals take their time to visit various issues connected to China's massive transformation over the last decades, with all its implications for history and the individual, for society and for art, from the most obvious to the most obscure. But what could have been a self-serving illustration of an exercise in artistic withdrawal is unsettled by the unexpected introduction of fiction and the personal in the detached, documentary style of the piece. In a different manner, Philippe Grandrieux's portrait of Japanese film maker and revolutionary Masao Adachi (the source of the exhibition's name) is centered around the exploration of Adachi's inner self and avoids thus to be an exercise of melancholy on the ruins of the international left. Active in Japan’s avant-garde film scene of the 1960s and a member of the Japanese Red Army, Masao Adachi provides a deeply moving introspection of a life lived mostly outside mainstream society (he was exiled in Lebanon for more than two decades) and with firm beliefs on art's possibilities. The decision to not enter the production logics of the art system is to be read in Mladen Stilinović's 1993 manifesto "The Praise of Laziness". His 'laziness' (augmented by the images of him sleeping in the 1978 piece "Artist at work") is in fact an active process of critical statements about art and the self-perpetuating bureaucracy around it, both under the socialist and the capitalist systems. Patrizio di Massimo's series of portraits of various characters, ranging in style from a fantastical realist painting to lush abstract velvet curtains bring to the foreground of the exhibition artistic subjectivity as a dominant specter in the crafting of artistic vocabularies. Desire (inconspicuous in the prudish panorama of today's art) insinuates itself at every fold in the piece and completes the exhibition's narrative. 

It May Be That Beauty Has Strengthened Our Resolve is curated by Cosmin Costinas.

Artist talks will take place on 9 March, from 15h at Para Site.

Para Site Art Space is financially supported by Springboard Grant under the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


The content of this programme does not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


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Installation view of the exhibition

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Lü Yue, The Obscure, 1999 – 2006

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Installation view of the exhibition