Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Useful life 2010

Here is my blog entry: Mikael Larsson

Useful life 2010
Duration: 2010-09-11 to 2010-11-05

The exhibit useful life being shown at ShanghArt H-Space at M50 Art district
In Shanghai is not necessarily a retrospective of the three now established contemporary artists, MadeIn, Yang Fudong & Yang Zhenzhong. Instead it seems to be a display of what their current art and possibly future direction will be. We see to where they have evolved to since their first exhibit with the same name “Useful Life” was put up 10 years ago. Unfortunately I was not here to see the first show, but looking at their early works you see the stronger presence of a carved out style and the difference in the use of material and production that before must have been unobtainable for them.

I was especially drawn to Yang Zhengzhong’s discarded star sculpture.
Maybe for its underlying social message craftsmanship and beauty, but most likely for the same reason the entire exhibit is attractive; due to its high level of commercial appeal.
Red is after all the best color: at least according to this ehow guide on abstract art.

The overly commercial tone that is seen through out the show is especially obvious
in Yang Fudong’s movie installation where it seems most effort has been put in to expensive equipment and production.
But who can blame them, success and commercialism seem to go hand in hand these
days in art. The more you can sell and the more recognizable you are the better. I suppose I really see nothing bad with it. But sometimes true innovation and magnetic pull to a work is missed. To always have the same overly used mental buttons pressed gets dull after a while.
I for one know! that the color red always gets me.

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