Aug 26 2017


Aug 26 till September 23, 2017


CEAC (Xiamen, China)


Through her art practice Urbano explores existential uncertainty. A condition that arises when fundamental existential components are subject to uncalculated ruptures, are questioned or changed more or less drastically, more or less violently. When life is turned upside down or reality as one once knew it is altered or disputed. In her case this condition is set in motion by that her self- perception as both Swedish and Latin American settled in Sweden, is disputed through the simple question Where are you from? The question, that most often comes up when meeting a new person premises not only that she can impossibly be fromSweden but also that the place/nation/tterritory of her actual origin is singular. The relationship between her experience of being of foreign descent and her self-perception as Swedish or belonging in Sweden is also the force field which herartistic practice inhabits and problematizes. Through her artistic practice shepursues people who are in these types of situations or whose existential uncertainty she can recognize or desire to understand closer. She take interest in stories about how realities may have been and the starting point is often herself or her own inquiries. In them she finds a possible or plausible narrative rather than a singular reality. Is there such a thing as a singular Truth? Does reality not, rather, consist of several forces at play simultaneously? It may reflect isolated individuals, a group of people or a place.

The title of the exhibition Atopotatos is a reference to a passage in Plato´s Phaedrus where Socrates is characterized as atopopos which in greek means ultimately placeless, out of place. The exhibition consist of two works: a photo series entitled Reflexive Perception and the video installation Collect the (un)connected & (re)connect the uncollected. Reflexive Perception 2013-2017 Urbano has the habit of always photographing when she travels to different places letting the camera aim at insignificant details in the cityscape instead of at important landmarks. In the small details she collects patterns, forms and shapes that becomes her palette when making an abstract spatial composition in the computer that she later photographs with analogue camera. The act of re-photographing the photomontages is to give the impossible architecture and the images life as if she had seen that image on the street. As the majority of Urbanos work the result is open for different readings and understandings.

Collect the (Un)Connected and (Re)Connect the Uncollected, revolves around an archeological hypothesis that Paula Urbano originally comes from Scandinavia and that her ancestors were present in the geographical region called Sweden already during the Bronze Age. With archeological artifacts from the Swedish History Museum and recently published research, the artist tells an alternative story of origin where she seeks her origin in Scandinavia. The main reason for Urbano to work in China is to do research for a new work. While working with Collect the (Un)Connected and (Re)Connect the Uncollected she surprisingly discovered that according to the DNA test made within the work she is 10% East Asian and the region marked is todays China. During her stay CEAC´s residentcy program she is exploring her unknown heritage.


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The CEAC art space is located in the heart of Shapowei, the art district of Xiamen.

Opening hours

Tuesday to Saturday

13:00 - 17:30

Visitor information

Siming South Road 400, 3rd Floor
Xiamen, 361005, China
Tel. 0086 (0) 592 2180850

Location map CEAC