March 11, 2016
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chengdu presents Clemens Krauss’ first solo exhibition in China titled Little Emperors. As Krauss draws on socio-political questions relevant to the social and cultural context of contemporary Chinese society, the collection of works resonates powerfully in relation to the context of its exhibition in Chengdu, China. Here, Krauss explores not only the socio-cultural and political dynamics of Chinese society, but the psychological impact of such factors on the individual and the collective, focusing specifically on a ‘society of the (male) individual child’. Further, the artist confronts issues of individuality and self-image in a rigid socio-political system, and the formation of the social collective comprised of ‘isolated bodies’, which are the disaffected protagonists of Krauss’ work. These ‘bodies’ are suspended against a background of fragile architecture reflecting “der Konflikt scheint längst angekommen zu sein“ – the affected human being in an affected environment governed by repressive systems of social heirarchy, political authority, and the obligation to conform. As such, Krauss’ work manifests the issue of individuality in such political and socio-cultural contexts, while the static image itself alludes to the stagnation and helplessness of these isolated bodies.