Thursday, March 20, 2008

Safety First

I don’t even know where to begin describing this exhibition. First off, I thought the location was incredibly weird for an art show but it was very suitable for this exhibition. When I got into the cab and told the driver where I wanted to go, he wasn’t even sure himself. Once I got out of a taxi, it seemed as if I was in wasteland of abandoned warehouses. I found the gallery and walked the narrow pathway full of curtains blocking my path. I felt like I was entering into one of those haunted playhouses at the amusement parks I went to when I was a little kid. When I got through all the curtains, I arrived in a very dark room with a DJ in the corner playing some creepy music to set the mood. In the brochure, it says that “the exhibition tries to proceed with the concept of safety, but perhaps not directly to it.” What does that even mean? The first work I looked at seemed like a bunch of dieing chickens painted in glow in the dark colors. What does that even have to do with safety? There was another display that allowed us to walk through a tiny passageway where a light would turn on once we got to the center. If we didn’t walk the path, then the light would never turn on. I actually thought this represented something more in that we have to help ourselves in order to be helped. If we don’t walk the path, then we would have never known the light would turn on. But if we decide to take the initial step and keep going forward, there’s a chance that we might get help in the process and succeed in whatever we’re doing. Another one that I took notice to was the one where there was a camcorder recording the back of a mannequin. There’s a second camera, near the entrance, showing this mannequin from the front during my walk in the curtained passageway. In that camera we could see a person in a crouched position giving what seems to be fellatio to the mannequin. But once we see the actual work, we realize that the person is only eating ketchup next to the mannequin’s crotch. I guess this is referring to the fact that we can’t jump to conclusions before we reach the end. Even if we think we know something, we still need the evidence to find out for sure. This is one of the more creative and fascinating galleries I have been to since I came to Shanghai but in my mind, I still don’t consider this stuff art. Although these exhibitions are fun to visit, almost anyone can put something like this together as long as they set the mood right.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I like your comments about the little side area with the light that turns on - that makes a ton of sense! As far as the mannequin goes, when I was there we weren't able to go in and see what was going on because the man was there eating the ketchup as you say, that makes the actual piece much much different then the one that I had seen. Something like that makes it entirely different, thanks for sharing so I know the actual piece!