I'm Too Sad to Tell You

Osage Shanghai is pleased to present, I'm Too Sad to Tell You, a solo exhibition featuring multimedia works by Shanghai-based German artist Alexander Brandt (Fei Pingguo).

The title of the exhibition and the image for the poster both take inspiration from the famous piece I'm Too Sad to Tell You, a short film of 3 minutes and 21 seconds, by Dutch conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader. In the film, Ader presents himself in front of the camera and breaking down in emotions, he cries for the whole duration.

Some critics believe that the work is a portrayal of the most authentic and true essence of sorrow. Fei is attracted to such emotions that can be conveyed by facial expressions, and hopes to invite audiences into this intensely charged emotional space. It is in this space that allows us to re-examine our inner world, and get to know better the stranger that dwells within us.

Although Fei is fluent in Mandarin and is very much adapted into Chinese culture, he nevertheless inherits from his European education a distinctly Western knowledge structure. His works reflects a particular concern with the concept of °•being' and its juxtaposition with °•nothingness'. The former concept is reflected through his investigations in behavioural studies, taking as his subject the °•individual being'; while the latter is demonstrated in his other types of works which are certain kinds of °•utopian' pursuits. These two strands form the core of Fei's artistic practice.

I'm Too Sad to Tell You presents five of Fei's installations, shown for the first time in Shanghai, which explore human behaviour through multimedia interactions. The works are not simply interactive, but possess multiple layers of interactivity: technological, physical as well as sociological. Such multi-layered behaviourist experimentations are prominent in works such as Tickle, Risk Your Life and TV Intimacy, where viewers' interaction with, and responses to the works are observed and documented, forming an important element of the works. On a more intimate level, the works 12 Bodies or 12 Memories and Vacancies examine issues of identity and the relationship between our inner feelings and the outer world.