New York - Fou Gallery is pleased to announce that the new exhibition Fernando Villela and Zhe Zhu: Time Flies So First Things First will be on view from February 16 to March 18, 2018. For this exhibition, Villela and Zhu will create a presentation that resembles a stream of consciousness, with photographs of natural and built environments, of abstraction and figuration. Pinned directly on the wall, the images travel in a flow along the parallel walls of the gallery, and explode when they reach the final wall space.
The exhibition reflects upon many aspects of the human condition in the contemporary world: the rapid dissemination of information, the surplus of materials, the isolation of human beings despite increased connectivity, the blurred boundaries between the organic and the inorganic. According to Zhu and Villela: "Technology is eroding geographical borders. Information travels. Money is wired. Knowledge expands. But the human grows isolated - connected to the entire world, yet more alone than ever before. Images are consumed in less time than the shutter opened, and yet are capable of exerting impressive influence in the bigger conversation."
Zhu rebuilds daily objects into sculptural compositions and documents them in the studio, referencing commercial imagery. He also takes that approach outside of the studio. The works manifest how photographs falls apart and are created for mass consumption in today’s visual environment. The new series is a departure from his previous projects.
Villela adopts a journalistic perspective to survey new societal developments and reveal how technological advances shape our understanding of collective experience and create new forms of social control. The back of a car enthusiast sitting on a folding chair at a Colorado car show, an illegible flight information board - the fragmented images from the street further examine the connection and alienation of human beings to themselves and the spaces they occupy. Villela will also exhibit a new video created specifically for this exhibition, featuring first-person perspective footage taken in the digital city of Los Santos from the video game Grand Theft Auto V. The video was shot and edited on Villela’s personal phone (an iPhone SE with a cracked screen). As part of the work, Villela will leave his phone in the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition - distancing himself from the pervasive object, testing the overgrown connection between human and technology.
Together, Fernando and Zhu design an installation of photographs of greatly varying sizes, arranged in contrast with Fou Gallery’s classic brownstone space, allowing for a multitude of aesthetic and social relationships to crystallize.