Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Light as Fuck"

The piece that I remember best from Yang Zhenzhong’s presentation was the video "Light as Fuck." In the video, the artist balances Shanghai's Pearl Tower (and the surounding Pudong Landscape) upsidedown on the tip of his finger. Gu Zhenqing refered to the piece as "a playful, humorous, and slightly frivolous visual expression that depicts the anxiety and question of the so-called alternative kind of modern creation." I agree with the first half of that statement.
But not because I think the work as a whole is frivolous. I think the title of the piece refers to both the nature of the new modernization of Shanghai as well as the act of examining that topic. The artmaking is itself light as fuck; the acknowledgement of this, perhaps, indicates an admirable self-awareness on the part of the artist.
I suppose one could also say that what is actually happening in the video points toward the possible (or even impending) collapse of modernization and the artist's controll over that downfall; the skyskraping landscape will topple from the artist's finger -- unless he dexterously maintains his relationship with it. The artist is thus God-like. At the same time, though, God is not being particularly diligent with this grave responsibility and the role of caretaker of one of the largest cities in the world.
There are endless interpretations -- but that's because there is a lot of information. And that, I think, is good.

Here's a link to some writing by Gu Zhenqing about the piece and the phrase "Light as Fuck:" ph

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