Thursday, March 05, 2009
"A Starting Point: Intrude Art & Life 366" at Zendai MoMA
The Shanghai Zendai MoMA in 2008 embarked on a yearlong campaign to engage the city with contemporary art in a time of rapid change and redevelopment. The effort is, from one angle, a byproduct of these changes-- as the city works tirelessly to modernize, Zendai too works to elevate Shanghai to esteem and influence. But the changes have also brought reflection and unease, and Shanghai's art converses with the city's confusion as its identity transforms. The Intrude Art & Life 366 documents the year and displays its most provocative results.
Line of Sight is a work by the Spanish artist Maider López, constructed of everal orange boards in a public park. The boards selectively blot out a landscape of advertisements from a single vantage point in a way that recalls the need of individuals to shut out the noise that invades our consciousness. It's particularly poignant in a city that has latched on to capitalism so quickly that you can't even admire a tree without noticing that it's wrapped up in billboards.