Puerto Rican artist Jason Mena in the group exhibition “The Existential Crisis” at Intelligentsia Gallery, Beijing

The Existential Crisis” Installation view

Intelligentsia Gallery is pleased to present, The Existential Crisis, a group exhibition with works by Li Zhengde, Li Tingwei, Jeff Miller & Drew Milligan, Camille Ayme and Jason Mena.

Born as a bourgeoisie response to a century of decadent and self-indulging optimism, existentialism reflected on the detrimental processes of capitalist society. A century later, this philosophical question possesses the capability to address a systemic stronghold over the means, systems and networks of knowledge, production and consumption; or in other words: contemporary life.

The art project with its distinctive tasks, acts both as mirror and amplifier of life’s disjunctions and challenges. Meanwhile, the existential crisis makes us wonder with both, excruciating seriousness and lighthearted humour: what does it mean to ask an existential question today?

Borrowing its title from Jeff Miller and Drew Milligan’s humorous reflection on a heavy night of drinking, the exhibition rethinks the core values of existence, with life and art exchanging places as excess, boredom, consumerism, class, hedonism and self-consciousness expose the tendencies of today’s societies. By means of photographic documentation, sound and light installations and moving images, the exhibition immerses in a self-perpetuating paradox of depth and superficiality, simultaneously scratching the surface while digging deep on the core of a never ending existential crisis.

Jason Mena video art work

Jason Mena (b. 1974, Puerto Rico)
Jason Mena explores the contradictions that exist within social formations, their visible and latent tendencies in both every day life and the broader economic structure. His investigation has focused mainly on the Shadow Market, its relationship with state politics, global finance, and the impact these forces have on art production.

Mena was co-founder of =DESTO, an artist run space in Santurce, Puerto Rico which ran from 2005 until 2008. He has exhibited individually at Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo (MADC) in Costa Rica, Intelligentsia Gallery in Beijing, Luis Adelantado Gallery in Valencia and Mexico, Modern Art Museum in Dominican Republic, Museum of Contemporary Art in Puerto Rico.

Collectively his work has been shown at Museu Mineiro in Brasil Ramapo College in New Jersey, Hessel Museum of Art, Family Business (exhibition space initiated by Maurizio Cattelan and Massimiliano Gioni) and Exit Art in New York, Museo Universitario del Chopo (UNAM), Casa del Lago San José Arreola, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil and Ex-Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico City, Cali Cultural Center in Colombia, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and Queens Nails Projects in San Francisco, New Wight Biennial (UCLA) and Museum of Latin American Art in Los Angeles, National Center for Contemporary Arts in Moscow, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia, and the San Juan Polygraphic Triennial, among others.

Exhibition:  The Existential Crisis runs at Intelligentsia Gallery, Dong Wang Hutong #11 , Dong Cheng District, Beijing, China

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