Last chance to see 'Rubber Pencil Devil'

Tan Weiyun
American artist Alex Da Corte's 160-minute stream of highly stylized videos is displayed on 20 screens on two main floors of Rong Zhai, a city center residence built in 1918.
Tan Weiyun

The “Rubber Pencil Devil” exhibition at Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai is to close on Sunday.

“Rubber Pencil Devil” by American artist Alex Da Corte is a film in 57 chapters screened on 20 large rear-projection multi-colored cubes installed throughout two main floors of Rong Zhai, a 1918 residence in the city center.

People familiar with American animation and pop culture will find iconic characters such as Pink Panther, Sylvester the Cat, Mister Rogers and the Wizard of Oz in the exhibition.

The show is a looping, 160-minute stream of highly stylized videos inspired by a wide range of iconographic and cultural sources from vintage television to 20th-century animation, from queer icons to campy Americana.

Last chance to see Rubber Pencil Devil
Ti Gong

The "Rubber Pencil Devil" exhibition at Prada Rong Zhai

Da Corte’s artwork functions as a hypnotically slow choreography performed by those popular and recognizable figures. They are immersed in an oversized and over-saturated space composed of everyday objects and domestic symbols. One of "Rubber Pencil Devil" performers is the artist himself, who mutates into various puppets and iconic characters.

Da Corte describes “Rubber Pencil Devil” as a total work of art, an immersive experience combining video, music and architecture, rich in allusions to avant-garde visual artists, experimental writers, pop singers, showbiz personalities and cartoon characters. 

For the spaces at Rong Zhai, Da Corte has conceived a fragmentary and vividly-hued display, a kaleidoscopic and dream-like journey in which his wish “of pushing beyond an image or breaking through the screen and actually touching the thing on-screen” can be fulfilled.

Manipulating and repurposing consumer culture and art history, Da Corte explores themes of alienation and human desire with a subversive humor and a psychological introspection. His work is informed by Pop Art and Surrealism, regularly combining high and low-brow American cultural references — from branded items found in domestic life to figures from popular culture.

Last chance to see Rubber Pencil Devil
Ti Gong

Alex Da Corte in his "Rubber Pencil Devil" artwork

Exhibition info

Date: Through January 10
Address: 186 Shaanxi Road N.
Admission: 60 yuan

Special Reports