Until the Buildings Collapse

Shouyi He

Keywords: Nuclear family, Patriarchal capitalism, Video installation

bobbipoom@gmail.com, shouyihe.com

The dynamics of the heteronormative nuclear family, within the confines of patriarchal capitalism, are intricate and ambivalent. In Shouyi He’s two-channel video installation, family members lose their agency within the familial vortex, calling to mind the gendered division of labour. Drawing upon the conventional division of house and home, this video work unveils the profound societal divisions among father, mother and child. Each channel presents a distinct perspective, illuminating the internal struggles and external pressures faced by the family members. Repetitive and monotonous tasks are assigned to each family member, underscoring the systemic dilemma imposed by patriarchal norms. By juxtaposing intimate family moments with the broader socio-economic context, Until the Buildings Collapse echoes the ramifications of these power structures within individual lives and relationships. Through symbolic storytelling, viewers can contemplate familial dynamics and the erosion of agency inside the heteronormative nuclear family structure by challenging prevailing norms, sparking a necessary dialogue about the concept of family under patriarchal capitalism.