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flatmarkus is an art space, currently in Zurich. 

Xie Lei


June 11 to July 30 2022

opening June 11 from noon onwards

Flashes of vanishing bodies populate the depicted scenes with the torpor of a muted atmosphere, a distant echo that still didn’t reach your ears. The symbolic seductiveness of thepaintings, assemblages of washed out brushstrokes with a translucent quality of a lightly applied paint, eschews the need of situating representation in a defined place. Also the need of having to decide: between ecstatic pleasure, rebellious flesh, caresses or intense pain, the feelings that Xie Lei’s paintings hold are unclear. To use the words of Robert Longo, those as misplaced dramas, scenes retaining an ambiguity such that the viewer finds her or himself in an impasse, having to rely on cognitive resources to project narrative content. It is less depiction of memories rather than an imagery that can be captioned by the viewer, tolerating different forms of encounter, engagement and escape. A green light for tightening of skins and intimate imagery - heads stretched by a dimming light, snapshots of euphoric moments of lethargy. Bodies are weaved in, internal strengthenings through a form of clinical fading. They are crash test dummies, malleable enough to store your own fantasies. It’s better than having to be orderly with your most intimate feelings.

The legibility of the depicted scene emerges through those exchanges between event and projection surface, a real mirroring play, the viewer stuck like in those mirror mazes attractions that you could find at funfairs, only here also borrowing the classicism quality of Versailles’ Palais des Glaces as well as the shiny aluminum surfaces of a morgue, where stone cold bodies sanctioned with rigor mortis lay down. 

If you move, all that is around evaporates, leaves you in vapors of touching bodies, a visit to the hammam but in strong shades of green and blue and orange and whatever your floral dreams are made of.


Paolo Baggi