With this series I am trying to picture a modern desire for Arcadia. This is the earthly paradies, especially depicted in the Baroque era, where the royal bourgeoisie wished to flee from courtly affluence. For this reason they built hermitages - supposedly scant estates and even ruin-like buildings. The latter as metaphor for a recapturing nature. I see the car in the photography as a symbol of this. It is the hidden paradise, hidden in time and by vegetation. A memento of the fact that our affluent society is conquerable and simultaneously a haven from that society. The car functions as a modern hermitage.
Montag, 8. November 2010
"Cephalopod" depicts the first day for freshmen at the Nanjing Arts Institute Design College. During their first months at university, these young art students are obliged to wear military uniform. I was lucky to witness them at the welcome ceremony where speeches were held by the president of the university and several deans. The whole event was under surveillance by the police. To see these young people sit there, their outward appearance being very much alike, completely shaking off their individualism, was hard for me to grasp. There is this one part within me, the German part, that dislikes all sorts of military and uniform analogies due to Germany's past, but there is also the liberty-loving me, that couldn't understand why students; and art students in particular were required to wear the same clothes. This is where the deep rooted fear within the Chinese society becomes visible. All individualism is seen as a threat to the Communist Party, and so the message is simple: political co-ordination. The is achieved by building up fear within the people: the fear not to conform.
As long as the desire to show individualism is supressed, the established system functions. For example the use of cheap migrant workers will continue to act as the engine for the Chinese economic miracle. An incident, where I was able to witness this, was when i visited an exhibition on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China in Shanghai. Its slogan was "The Worker's Strength". My second photo work deals with this topic and shows one painting, the workers, who helped to build up the exhibition, kneeling on the red carpet, as well as an old builder, working in the centre of Shanghai. His first appearance resembles the working men in the painting with on distinct difference - the heroic look is missing. This exhibition was definitely not intended for men like him, the real workers. To me it seemed as if it was designed for party functionaries who are afraid of the truth, the reality, and in fact; want to gloss over it by deceiving themselves and others with these false pretences.
|The Worker's Strength|
Eingestellt von Andrea um 14:00