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26 三月

Posted by 03/03/2014

Guerrilla intervention is a response tactic that deals specifically with a comprehensive and an invisible control that is present in a post-totalitarian society. It operates through the social media and the actual social mobilizations carried out by artists through forms of artistic expressions.

REVENGE FOR FREE Stencil graffiti on gallery wall 177x256 inch 2013Home

Guerrilla Intervention – The Art Practice of Ma Yongfeng
by Ma Yongfeng

Guerrilla intervention is a response tactic that deals specifically with a comprehensive and an invisible control that is present in a post-totalitarian society. It operates through the social media and the actual social mobilizations carried out by artists through forms of artistic expressions. It can be a daily “micro-resistence” carried out in a guerrilla fashion that is not confined within a specific time and place. It urges everyone to intervene in society in a “hobbyist”-style that each one finds meaningful, in the hope to render the controlling body defenseless.

Invest in Contradiction

On 25 and 26 April Ma Yongfeng realised the project ‘Invest in Contradiction’ in a French factory in Beijing. It was embedded in the context of ‘Social Sensibility Research & Development Program’, run by Alessandro Rolandi and Bernard Controls. The Social Sensibility R&D Program is a biennale innovative strategic project with the aim to bring artistic research and creativity in contact with the working environment. It is structured around the idea to orient the artists’ work towards developing sensibility among workers, managers and the steering committee of Bernard Controls. Every 3 months, the program invites a professional of the creative field to deliver a project (in any kind of media) whose goal is to help developing new possibilities of human action and interaction within the factory. The long-term intention is to establish partnerships and collaborations with academic, financial, artistic and political structures to explore all the further application of such a model to the field of industry, social research and education.

In Chinese industrial tradition, revolutionary quotes, generally from Mao’s poems, speeches or writings were often painted in large characters on the walls of the factories where millions of workers had to see them everyday. Ma Yongfeng re-interpreted this aspect of Chinese propaganda, creating 7 large graffitis in Bernard Controls Beijing.

The sentences were chosen from random conversations with the workers or the managers, picked from the panels of the working rules, or from the factory’s safety procedures and other similar sources. Each sentence explored an aspect of  life inside the working environment: the need to adapt to a strict control system, the human desire to evade and dream, the pression of efficiency and the humour to be able to deal with all this.

The walls of Bernard Controls Beijing hosted a new subtle form of propaganda, the artistic propaganda for independent and creative thinking.

For more information on this project follow the link.

Other Projects

Profile

Ma Yongfeng is a Chinese artist, activist and initiator of Forget Art based in Beijing. Forget Art is an interventional organisation. It is a series of situation-based alternative tactics in self-institutional forms, it is often mistaken for a regular art collective, it could also be one collective light action almost did not happen, an agency of radical social mobilization, a series of unconventional interviews, an effort of saving amateurism, an art fair with just one booth, or to explore all possibilities of completeness, an indeliberate social media art experiment, or it is the evolution of social practice from micro-intervention to micro-practice, from micro-practice to micro-resistance. Ma Yongfeng’s projects are spatialised and materialised in the street, in public squares or galleries.

Contact

Ma Yongfeng   马永峰
www.mayongfeng.com
myfstudio(at)gmail(dot)com

[1] For more information on this project, please follow this link.
[2] For a video of this work, please follow this link.


21 四月

In a detailed description of the show “Virtual Voices: Approaching Social Media and Art” in Vancouver, Jennifer Hall writes about the works of Chinese artists Remon Wang, Ge Fei, Lin Zhen, Zhang Lehua, and Lu Yang. She also introduces the age of social media art and the censored internet environment of China it has stemmed from, in hopes of a strong beginning for this progressive and important new art form.

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“Virtual Voices: Approaching Social Media and Art” explores issues associated with the expansion and censorship of social media in modern life in China. The resulting collection of works is a heady cocktail of artistic stealth and political subterfuge.

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The messages of most of the art works in “Virtual Voices” are restrained, perhaps a little too subtle for audiences in Vancouver to grasp given the cultural context of the art — the exception being Remon Wang’s political cartoons. His colourful, eye-catching, comedic digital illustrations poke fun at official government responses to corrupt individuals, environmental issues and family tragedies.

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Wang’s works are openly critical of authority and as a result, can only be viewed online. An official, public exhibition would be virtually impossible, therefore, social media (via his Weibo accounts until they are found and blocked by censors) is his prime channel of distribution.

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But, does Wang’s work constitute “social media art”?

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The broad definition of social media art (SMA) is evolving, but generally it is accepted that SMA includes some online audience involvement and the development of social relationships. For example, an artist initiates a concept, launches it onto a social media platform and then tracks and documents the progress of the online responses.

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In an article published in Yishu’s May/June issue, An Xiao Mina, an American new media artist who has worked in China, in conversation with “Virtual Voices” curator Diana Freundl, noted that “social media art has a different character in China” (p.102) and that few Chinese artists and institutions have embraced the inclusion of audience participation in their art practice.

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One of the exhibited art works that fits the above definition of SMA is the Youth Apartment Exchange Program, a project by the Beijing-based collective, Forget Art. Using Weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter), participants can arrange to temporarily swap homes. Online, then offline, relationships are developed and the participants are then asked to document their experiences online.

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This project quietly comments on the strict controls that regulate where Chinese citizens can live. Unfortunately, documentation of the participants’ virtual voices is missing. Snippets of online conversations (translated into English) and analysis (the dissent, the boredom, the disgust, the distrust and the delight) would draw the non-participating gallery visitor into a deeper understanding of the uniqueness of Chinese contemporary life and art.

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Ge Fei and Lin Zhen’s project involved commissioning a band to create several songs which they later distributed copyright-free via Chinese online music sharing platforms. While in Vancouver, the artists used similar platforms and social media (including Twitter, Facebook and other blogs banned in China) to share their music with online and offline audiences. But again the documentation of the interactive relationships was limited — making the social media event less accessible for non-participating observers.

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More text was needed to outline the social outcome of the online art event. Future exhibitions of SMA may require the art world to soften its reluctance to document and interpret art with words. If there is a reason to include more text on the walls of the white cube, it is the need for additional commentary about Chinese social media art — especially if the work is being viewed by Western audiences.

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Zhang Lehua addresses the reality of social media in China with a satirical commentary “Facebook Art Demo,” a video about the production of an official government-sanctioned Facebook.

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The instructor demonstrates how to create a Facebook page, starting with the slow application of lipstick. While reciting the text of a poem, he bends and kisses a page of a traditional folding scroll. Then, he elegantly brushes ink around the lipstick in a wide circle — in lonely isolation, he repeats the kiss and brushwork on each consecutive page. The end result is a bound, not wired or wireless, book of faceless faces. At its surface the video is hilarious but the inner message points at the continuing pressures on Chinese netizens to maintain anonymity.

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Also commenting on social media rather than using it as a medium, Lu Yang’s work, which includes skeletons hooked up with cyber wires, is also about power and control. Ironically, her work questions the potential advances of artificial intelligence and the worrying outcome if humans lose control of Web 3.0; technological advances that go beyond the clever applications of social media. Instead of directly criticizing the way in which humans try to control each other, Lu’s work comments of the worrying outcome if artificial intelligence is left unchecked to self-evolve and take control of humanity.

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This brave exhibition is one of the first of its kind; it breaks new ground and also establishes an important base-line of artistic responses by Chinese artists to social media, and ultimately China’s current censorship issues. A similar exhibition in five years will be an extraordinary witness of political progress (hopefully).

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Virtual Voices: Approaching Social Media and Art in China,” group exhibition.

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Charles H. Scott Gallery (Emily Carr University of Art and Design, 1399 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada). June 6 – July 8, 2012.


24 十月

For this week’s guest editorial, Carlyn Aguilar offers her take on street art in Beijing, China, as a first-generation Mexican-American who grew up on the east side of Los Angeles. After living abroad for 10 years in London, Paris, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City, Aguilar realized that L.A. was where she wanted to be more than anywhere else.

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She is currently a correspondent on Geoff Tuck’s blog Notes On Looking. Carlyn received her BA in English from UCLA and her MA in Postmodernism: Literature and Contemporary Culture from the University of London. She also holds a postgraduate diploma from the London School of Journalism.

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Right before leaving for China, several things were in my mind. First, the hearing of the mural ordinance had been postponed, so I witnessed the frustration of Los Angeles artists. Second, I went on a walking tour of the Arts District with the MCLA, led by Isabel Rojas-Williams, and couldn’t believe that all of those incredible murals were made illegally. I also didn’t realize how many international artists had come to L.A. to make murals here. That discovery made me realize how important L.A. is, not just in the world of contemporary art we find in galleries and museums, but also in the street.

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I had seen Chinese artist Ma Yongfeng’s work years ago at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and so I was excited to meet him and learn more about his work in Beijing. Fortunately, I was able to attend the opening of a group show he was in at the Iberia Center for Contemporary Art in Asia’s biggest art district, 798 Art Zone.

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Yongfeng first came to international attention with his video “The Swirl” in 2002, in which six koi fish are literally swirled around a washing machine for an entire 15-minute wash cycle. And when the water begins to drain, I can’t help but hold my breath. It’s a tense and powerful piece, which makes a strong statement about China and the Chinese.

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However, Yongfeng told me that his work has completely changed since then. For example, in 2009 Yongfeng started Forget Art, an independent organization of ongoing projects that radically play with institutions and events (such as exhibitions, art fairs, and street performances) and become social interventions in daily life. His work now deals with the social realities that surround him in China.

Sensibility is Under Control (2012) by Ma Yongfeng  I Courtesy of the Artist

Sensibility is Under Control (2012) by Ma Yongfeng I Courtesy of the Artist

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His piece in the exhibition “Bernard Controls Project” (2012) is a large spray painted stenciled graffiti on recycled cardboard that reads “SENSIBILITY IS UNDER CONTROL”. The piece comes from a project that Beijing-based Italian artist Alessandro Rolandi started, in which he invites artists to “stage interventions” for a two month period at Bernard Controls Asia.

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Yongfeng’s statement was randomly generated from talks between the artist and employees. The signs are meant to be a reflection of the working environment and the strict procedures the workers abide by. The stenciled messages seem to act as a reinterpretation of Mao’s propaganda from industrial and revolutionary times that would be painted on factory walls for workers to see.

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But rather than brain washing, Yongfeng’s subtle graffiti raises questions and creates creative thinking about the environment the employees are in. “People should start with low-level resistance by doing minor things that engage people around them,” explained Yongfeng.

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When we walked around Caochangdi, Beijing’s up-and-coming art district nearby 798 Art Zone, Yongfeng took me to where he had tagged the walls in the area: “Sensibility is Under Control”, “Action is Thinking” and “No Compromise”. All three had already been painted over, yet the messages were still clear — if not clearer.

Ma Yongfeng with 'Sensibility is Under Control' painted over | Photo by Daniel Lara

Ma Yongfeng with ‘Sensibility is Under Control’ painted over | Photo by Daniel Lara

'No Compromise' by Ma Yongfeng painted over I Photo by Daniel Lara

‘No Compromise’ by Ma Yongfeng painted over I Photo by Daniel Lara

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Yongfeng admires the work of China’s most famous dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who also lives in Caochangdi. As we walked down the street to Ai Weiwei’s house and studio, surveillance cameras filmed our every move. This didn’t bother Yongfeng, as he has learned to push the limit and fight against the rules and regulations that hold back citizens from freedom of expression.

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Unfortunately, what I found in Yongfeng’s work I could not find elsewhere in China’s art scene. I noticed that most of the artworks were not challenging and hardly oppositional. But I also understood that the artists who dare speak their minds against the government are also putting themselves at risk.

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We can all remember that in 2011 Ai Weiwei was taken by the police and detained for three months. Nobody knew where he was or what was happening to him. Earlier that year the international community also saw him beaten and threatened after he created “Name List of Student Earthquake Victims Found by the Citizen Investigation” in 2008. Just by creating a list of the names of children who had died in the Sichuan earthquake and making it into public artworks and installations, the Chinese government decided to crackdown on his every action.

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As I walked around looking for street art, I couldn’t really find it, unless it was something commissioned. The walls near 798 Art Zone seemed artificial and an imitation of the West.

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But as I hiked the Great Wall I did find some graffiti that spoke out against the government. I asked my Chinese friend why someone hadn’t painted over it. She said that because we were in such a remote part of the Wall the officials probably hadn’t even seen it.

Wall surrounding 798 Art Zone | Photo by Daniel Lara

Wall surrounding 798 Art Zone | Photo by Daniel Lara
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When I got back to L.A. I couldn’t help but think about the effects the mural moratorium had on our city. But I also noticed that artists were taking huge risks and still making murals illegally in the last ten years. I can’t help but reflect back to the 1930s when David Alfaro Siqueiros, exiled from Mexico, dared to paint his opposition to Western imperialism on a wall in Olvera Street. In the center, there is an image of an indigenous man hanging from a cross with an American eagle peering down. In the corner, two revolutionaries aim their rifles at the national bird. City authorities immediately covered the mural and within a year whitewashed the infamous mural “América Tropical: Oppressed and Destroyed by Imperialism.” In Jesus Treviño’s documentary from 1971, Siqueiros explained, “América Tropical was a land of natives, of Indians, Creoles, of African-American men, all of the invariably persecuted and harassed by their respective governments.”

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Now we see the tables have turned, and Siqueiros’ mural has been unveiled after conservation funded by the Getty and the City. A few days later the end of the mural moratorium began. Let’s hope that the same will happen in China and that works by these dissident artists will also one day be resurrected. The Chicana in me is optimistic.

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–Carlyn Aguilar


20 八月

by Luigi Galimberti Faussone

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What are the different types of cultural spaces in China and how are they managed? What is the artist’s role in the self-management of artistic production? What is the relationship between the artist and the transformation of the public space, the overpopulation and the exploitation of natural resources in China? How to define the artist’s role towards the public space?

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These and other related questions have been explored in occasion of the visit of five Chinese artists and curators to Italy, who had been invited by European Alternatives as part of the Transeuropa Festival 2012. Boliang Shen (curator and journalist, Beijing),Ma Yongfeng (artist, Beijing), Ni Kun (curator, Chongqing), You Mi (artist, curator and writer, Beijing) and Zhou Xiahou (artist, Shanghai) took part in a tour across the Italian towns of Rome, Prato and Bologna with the aim of opening a confrontation on the spaces of artistic expression and production between Europe and China.

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The first meeting took place on 9th May in Rome, at MACRO, one of the leading Italian contemporary art museums. The public roundtable has been moderated by European Alternative’s co-director, Lorenzo Marsili, with an opening address by Maria Alicata, curator at MACRO. The discussion focused on the issue of the rapid, as well as uncontrolled, urban development in China, which is causing physical and psychological displacement in many communities, which have been affected by such sudden changes in the Chinese landscape. Amongst the many interventions, the presentation of Organhaus’ activities by its founder and curator, Ni Kun, deserves particular attention. Organhaus is the first independent artist-run space in the urban conglomerate of Chongqing, a roughly 30 million people megalopolis in the region of Sichuan in Southwest China. Ni Kun has been running several projects involving the inhabitants of small villages, whose identities have been severely questioned by the displacement caused by the sprawling urbanization that affected Chinese countryside. The open engagement of the artist with public, vital issues showed how deeply and seriously the role of the artist might be played in contemporary China.

While in Rome, in addition to the public talk at MACRO, the Chinese artists and curators also engaged on informal meetings, such as the one with the occupants of the Teatro Valle. In particular, journalist and curator Boliang Shen and artist Ma Yongfeng exchanged practices and experiences on the management of spaces of cultural production by artists themselves, with a specific reference to the issue of the commons, on which the Teatro Valle Occupato is at the forefront in the European cultural context. Afterwards, all the participants moved to Prato, a town close to Florence, where they had the chance to visit the exhibition “Moving Image in China”, an extensive retrospective on Chinese video-art, hosted at the cutting edge Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci. The participants – and, in particular, the artist Zhou Xiahou, who is one of the pioneer of Chinese video-art and whose work was also featured in the exhibition – have been welcomed by Centro Pecci’s director, Marco Bazzini, who showed the group around the exhibition and with whom the group discussed many social and artistic issues, such as the relationship of the local art community with Prato’s Chinese inhabitants, who are estimated to account for almost a third of the town’s 180,000 residents.

The conclusive stage of the Chinese artists’ and curators’ tour in Italy took place in Bologna, during a busy weekend, full of Transeuropa Festival’s events. On Friday 11th May, a public talk was held at Teatrino Clandestino, Bologna’s renowned underground cultural venue, hosted by the curator Fiorenza Menni. In addition to the presence of the artists and curators from China, Elvira Vannini (curator and lecturer at NABA, Milan) and Luigi Galimberti Faussone, acting as moderator, joined the roundtable. This second talk switched the focus to the issue of alternatives and artist-run spaces, building up a confrontation with some more and less recent experiences in China and Europe, such as the well-established Beijing collective Forget Art, run by Ma Yongfeng, and the energetic, albeit curt, experience of MACAO‘s occupation of a skyscraper in the downtown of Milan, as told in the first-hand account of the the curator Elvira Vannini. On the following day, while the streets of Bologna were flooded with people, be they coming from the public funeral of a beloved local politician, who tragically committed suicide a few days before, or be they joining a fired up protest against the new government cuts to social spending, artist Ma Yongfeng staged a public intervention in Piazza Verdi, a central square in the university area. With the help of half a dozen volunteers, he went on writing slogans on banners and cardboards with red and black air spray painting. With these slogans, which mostly dealt with current, critical, social and political issues, Ma Yongfeng tried to engage the passers-by, as well as the protesters, in order to build up an extemporaneous transnational Sino-European dialogue on politics through art.

The participation of five Chinese artists and curators to the Transeuropa Festival 2012 lies within the broader project “Transnational Dialogues“, of which the next step is a research caravan across the towns of Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing. This caravan, which is scheduled to take place in early October 2012, involves a large number of artists, researchers, curators and thinkers from China and Europe, who will engage in a research and production trip to map innovative cultural practices, foster new and existing relationships, document, and work towards a sustainable continuation of exchange between cultural innovators in both areas. These activities, as well as others that are in preparation, are part of European Alternatives’ efforts to go beyond the European context and to establish mutually fruitful partnerships between artists and spaces of artistic production, dialoguing and working together in Europe, China and South-East Asia.

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Articles in the press:

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“Non dimenticare lo spazio. Macro orientale, a Roma si discute di ruolo pubblico dell’artista e di spazi culturali in Cina” (on the talk at MACRO, Rome, 9th May 2012), Artribune (in Italian)
“Don’t forget space” (on the talk at MACRO, Rome, 9th May 2012), by Andrea Pira, China Files (in Italian)
“Seduti sui cuscini, tra Europa e Cina” (on the talk at Teatrino Clandestino, Bologna, 11th May 2012), by Gian Paolo Faella, Transeuropa Journal (in Italian)
“It’s about the Commons – Witnessing Occupy Movements and Street Demonstrations in Italy”, by Boliang Shen, ARTINFO China (in Mandarin)
“La Take the Square Parade invade le strade di Bologna!” (on the protests taking place next to Ma Yongfeng’s performance in Bologna, 12th May 2012), Univ-aut.org (in Italian)


6 七月

di Gian Paolo Faella

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http://www.euroalter.com/IT/2012/seduti-sui-cuscini-tra-europa-e-cina/


Foto di Ruben Mir

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Due diversi tipi di curiosità sono protagonisti del dibattito che si svolge all’Atelier Sì, a Bologna, venerdì 11 maggio, sugli spazi dell’arte tra Europa e Cina, con la partecipazione di artisti e curatori italiani e cinesi. La curiosità ingenua del semplice incontro, forse non dissimile da quella che rese un giorno il Milione un best-seller, e una più ficcante e più avida, se non di risposte, di squarci sui grandi punti interrogativi che campeggiano in chi, specificamente, ha a cuore l’arte in un mondo che cambia. Un dibattito per pochi, sì, ma non per intimi, capace, cioè, di attrarre curiosi, intellettuali, forze vive della città che accoglie per alcuni giorni Ma Yongfeng, Ni Kun, You Mi, Zhou Xiaohu, Chen Xiaoying, Shen Boliang, nell’ambito delle iniziative del Transeuropa Festival.

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Così quando, con la benedizione della padrona di casa Fiorenza Menni, Luigi Galimberti pone agli artisti ospiti del Transeuropa Festival i suoi quesiti su quali siano in Cina gli spazi di produzione dell’arte, su come i curatori gestiscano lo spazio, sul rapporto che lì trapela tra pubblico e privato, si ha dapprima l’impressione di essere in un luogo di discussione per certi aspetti persino convenzionale, professionale, educato. Ma è il pubblico a irrompere: che cos’è lì l’arte, che cosa fate voi “artisti”, in sostanza? Così scopriamo che gli interlocutori del Sol Levante sono fondamentalmente degli intellettuali, anche se non è questa, forse, la parola a cui pensano. Ma Yongfeng va nelle fabbriche e propone il suo onirico piano industriale dipingendo dentro i capannoni e cantandole al bieco capitalismo a suon di vernice: Invest in contradiction. Scrive per chi lavora, raccontandone la quotidianità, proprio nei luoghi della sua fatica, della sua condanna, della sua resurrezione. Sensibility is under control, dipinge a caratteri cubitali in un deposito di materie prime o di semilavorati. Autocostituitosi autorità, cioè, ammonisce il padrone, il manager, il proprietario, facendo finta di parlare con quegli altri, gli operai: arte anche lì è soprattutto una grande finzione. Ni Kun, dal canto suo, costruisce un collettivo di artisti nelle campagne attorno a Chongqing, e lì intervista i contadini, proprio come un sociologo nell’Italia degli anni ’50. Lo scopo di queste attività non è di pubblicare – ci racconta – ma migliorare la vita delle persone. Un manierista, forse un alchimista, egli dunque non pubblica ciò che sa, anzi: egli conosce proprio perché non rende pubblico ciò che conosce. Questa è arte, signori: mostrare facendo.

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E ancora molte domande, e sullo sfondo naturalmente la politica, e il gusto, in fondo così europeo, di dare risposte più impertinenti delle domande stesse. Chi finanzia l’arte, in Cina? Non c’è bisogno di soldi per fare arte. Che differenze culturali ci sono nella concezione dell’arte tra Europa e Cina? Non ci sono differenze culturali, ci sono soprattutto differenze politiche, differenze di opinioni politiche; proprio per questo è positivo incontrarci, tuona You Mi, probabilmente la più realista del gruppo.

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E ancora, che cos’è un collettivo di artisti? Il collettivo è in Cina una pratica di resistenza come la intendiamo noi, con esperienze come Macao o il Teatro Valle? Sì e no. Forse, è difficile dirlo, il background è molto diverso. L’artista è principalmente un curatore.Certo, e se è per questo l’autore è come tale un editore, così come il politico è come tale principalmente un moderatore. La terra della Grande Moderazione, con i suoi lunghi, e soprattutto lenti fiumi, sembra volerci insegnare molto, ribattere colpo su colpo, e, senza alcuna difficoltà, stupirci.

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Abbiamo soprattutto progetti di lungo periodo. E perché? Perché le grandi trasformazioni che sta vivendo la Cina richiedono, per comprenderle, una immaginazione che guardi più avanti. C’è un rapporto – chiede ancora Elvira Vannini – tra le pratiche di ricerca alternative e il mercato dell’arte e, più in generale, con il sistema dell’arte? Non esiste un sistema dell’arte, in Cina, ma tanti micro-sistemi diversi.

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La Cina dunque non produce solo beni di consumo, e magari anche di bassa qualità, ma anche cultura, molta cultura, questo è il messaggio principale che ricaviamo dall’incontro. E per chi non lo sapesse, forse questa è già una notizia. Più che altro, nella giornata dell’11 maggio e non solo, prima ancora che produrre arte sembra produrre molta filosofia. Quella capacità, cioè, di dare risposte inaspettate, e di trasformare il mondo solo in quanto si osa prima tentare di comprenderlo. Gli spazi dell’arte, nelle parole che emergono più spesso, sembrano essere soprattutto spazi di riflessione, più che di lotta. Tuttavia appare estremamente difficile capire se ci sia una reale distinzione tra le due cose. Sia tra le città immense e caotiche, sia tra le infinite e povere campagne di quella terra che, paurosi, vorremmo ma spesso non riusciamo a conoscere, siamo portati a immaginare pochi, selezionati, spazi ampi per la civilizzazione e per il libero pensiero. Spazi per gli incontri, per offrire a chi passa solo per pochi giorni la propria verdura, per farsi consigliare un libro e rinforzare legami diversi dai semplici legami familiari e tradizionali. “Gli spazi dell’arte”, come li hanno chiamati gli organizzatori del singolare incontro. Forse, qui da noi, ci permetteremo di continuare a chiamarli anche spazi della politica. “Qui posso e non voglio, lì voglio e non posso, misero, manchevole, in entrambi i luoghi”, scriveva un tizio considerato molto europeo, se non che di fatto era africano, chiamato Agostino. Eppure noi europei, mai come oggi “miseri”, soprattutto di spirito, in Cina vogliamo e dobbiamo andare. Con la mente, con gli occhi, se non altro. Seduti su rossi cuscini dialoghiamo così per alcune ore, tra le corde che, attaccate ai muri, costituiscono la scenografia che più caratterizza quel teatro. Sotto quelle corde nessuna tensione, e soprattutto nessuna contrapposizione, ma solo il gusto perverso di riformulare le parole che riteniamo le più indicate a nominare le nostre passioni. L’appuntamento tra artisti e appassionati di arte, tra Europa e Cina, è per un prossimo incontro. Il dialogo – e non può che essere così – continua.


4 六月

Lu Yang, Zhang Lehua, Ge Fei and Lin Zhen, Forget Art Collective, Remon Wang

Exhibition curated by Zheng Shengtian and Diana Freundl

Opening Reception: Tuesday June 5, 2012 at 7:00pm

http://chscott.ecuad.ca/exhibitions/2012/virtual_voices.html

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The Charles H. Scott Gallery is pleased to present Virtual Voices an exhibition of Chinese artists who utilize social media as a platform for their art practices. The internet has become the people’s cyber discipline committee in China because it encourages members of socially excluded communities to use their virtual voices. Dissidence and public critique has become more covert pushing citizens to become netizens expressing their opinions via the internet.
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Social media such as Weibo, Facebook and personal Blogs have given a new voice to the contemporary art scene in China. Virtual Voices presents works by Lu Yang, Zhang Lehua, Ge Fei and Lin Zhen, Forget Art Collective and Remon Wang. The exhibition explores how meaning is communicated through social media today, from different perspectives and approaches. Lu Yang examines communication technology and the growth of artificial intelligence. Zhang Lehua’s Facebook is a video narrated by an animated portal of Friedrich Engles instructing students on how to create a flipbook of faces with their classmate. The end result is a government approved and endorsed “Facebook”. Ge Fei and Lin Zhen commissioned two Beijing bands to compose music which they make it available to visitors via an online music sharing application. Forget Art Collective established a series of programs to challenge both social and spatial constructions in China. The Youth Apartment Exchange Program (YAEP), encourages the temporary swapping of residences. Remon Wang has 100,000 followers on his Weibo account where he posts comic illustrations commenting on national and local politics. Regulators have closed his Weibo account more than one hundred times, but have not stopped him from re-inventing new ways to get his message across.

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Virtual Voices is part of Yellow Signal: New Media in China a series of exhibitions coordinated by Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.


30 五月

博洛尼亚Piazza Verdi广场“全球罢工日”游行现场
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作者: 申舶良       日期: 2012年5月25日
来源:艺讯中国 BLOUIN ARTINFO

http://cn.artinfo.com/news/story/806000/Experiencing-the-Occupation-and-Street-Protest-in-Italy

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“占领’不是嘉年华式的娱乐”,5月12日,在意大利博洛尼亚大学旁的Piazza Verdi广场,我所见却大致如此:学生们身着古罗马将军、中世纪骑士、海盗等奇装异服,高举针对不同社会、政治议题的创意标语,聚集在广场的艳阳下畅饮啤酒,高谈阔论,发泄着过剩的少壮精力和心气……直至白日将近,一辆卡车载着摇滚乐队穿过广场,各路学生团体汇作长队追随卡车,队首燃起烟火,在这座有着素有激进抵抗传统的意大利红色老城沸腾弥漫:“全球罢工日”的穿城游行刚开始——“对中国人来说,这是一场‘景观化’的游行,是资本主义保护下的另一种遮蔽方式,”同行的艺术家周啸虎对我说。

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是时,我与四位中国艺术家和策展人一同应欧洲公民社会组织“欧洲替代性(European Alternatives)”之邀,参与该组织与“跨欧洲网络(Traseuropa Network)”于全欧14个城市举办的“跨欧洲盛会(Transeuropa Festival)”在罗马和博洛尼亚两市的中欧艺术交流活动。“跨欧洲盛会”是2010年始在全欧经济危机的语境下发起的年度政治、社会、文化、艺术盛会,旨在通过一系列社会动员、实践、艺术活动、工作坊和论坛,为危机之下的欧洲寻求一种“替代性(alternative)”解决方案。

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在罗马当代艺术馆MACRO和博洛尼亚的小剧场”Teatro Si”进行的两场交流中,倪昆介绍了他担任执行负责人的重庆“器·Haus空间”与成都艺术小组“实验工作坊”联合主办的开放性艺术介入项目“昆山再造”和“器•Haus空间国际艺术家驻留计划”。马永峰介绍了他发起的游击性艺术机构“forget art”2010年进行的“微干预”项目“龙泉洗浴”,2011年进行的“微实践”项目“青年公寓交换”和今年在北京大兴法国工厂Bernard Controls进行的“微抵抗”项目“新‘大字报’”现场涂鸦。周啸虎介绍了2011年他参与上海“桃浦大楼”艺术活动的作品“EATS表达性艺术治疗工作室”第一季“一人一故事剧场”,上海数位艺术家联合策划的“我的共产主义:海报展”,还有上海艺术家们联合发起的长期观察、讨论当代艺术的流动论坛“未来的节日”。由宓谈了她在中、欧两地策划和参与的各种关于“替代性”和公共空间的活动和讨论。我介绍了针对詹姆斯·斯科特(James Scott)所言“国家的视角”对中国这一复杂现场中事物的简化而进行的实践与创作项目“各种未来”。

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从08、09年全球金融危机,到去年“阿拉伯之春”和“占领华尔街”,各种占领、抗议、动员和激进政治的图景有如到处授粉的火焰,我们只能透过它的烟雾和幻影去认识彼此的现实。“你们的艺术是否反资本主义?”,“你们的艺术是否反现代性?”——这种“寻找同志”般的发问是我们常常遇到的。我问及意大利当下的激进运动与自葛兰西和陶里亚蒂以来的意共传统,60、70年代末的学生、工人运动,我们熟悉的激进作者帕索里尼或达里奥·福,乃至70年代极左恐怖组织“红色旅”有何关系或传承,回答也多是:“或许有些散漫的联系,那不重要,那时我们还小或未出生,当下运动首先来自全球风潮的感召。”

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那也并非如许多人理解的68年法国“五月风暴”——“一群在战后成长起来的年轻人,起来反抗一个欣欣向荣的社会”,意大利如今确实面临严重的经济、社会危机,我接触到的年轻人们对走出校园求职表示焦虑,并诉说当地缴税压力和自杀高发等问题。据BBC报道,一场“白寡妇游行”在我们到达博洛尼亚前的周末爆发,参与游行的女人们的丈夫全因不堪经济危机后的重负而自杀,其中包括许多商贾——令人想起《资本论》中常被有意忽略的一个观念:不要谴责资本家个体,他们也是资本主义体系的受害者。关于传染式自杀的报道比比皆是:今年3月,一名手艺人在当地税务法庭门口自焚抗议。我们到达前两天,受博洛尼亚市民爱戴的左翼政党领袖、市长候选人毛里奇奥·切维尼尼(Maurizio Cevenini)在市政厅坠楼自杀,5月12日上午举行葬礼,全城默哀。这令“跨欧洲盛会”邀请马永峰原定该日上午在市政厅附近广场进行的“微抵抗”活动改于下午在博洛尼亚大学旁的Piazza Verdi广场进行。

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在国内的环境下,马永峰的“微干预”、“微实践”、“微抵抗”活动都有很好的效果。在博洛尼亚群体沸腾的“强”语境下,“微”的作用和意义是否会变得难以操作和言说?他延续在Bernard Controls进行现场涂鸦的做法,在回收纸板、织物长卷和意大利、欧盟国旗上喷写并不具有明确指向性的话语,如“感觉在控制之下”,“行动就是产品”,“你可以窃取现在,但未来还掌握在我们手上”,以及对激进运动进行反思的话语,如“‘反对’只是另外一种政治正确”,“不要把抗议变成无公害的道德姿态”,“这是一场没有革命的反抗吗?”……他同时与在场的学生进行交流,请他们写其所想。然,这些话语在博洛尼亚铺天盖地的标语和涂鸦中是否能成为一种微弱而坚硬的异质存在而被注意和领会?现场的简短交流后,学生们写出的所想是否能对他们已成惯性的激进思维方式有所偏离?

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“欧洲替代性”的负责人洛伦佐·马西里(Lorenzo Marsili)曾问,如果在场的其他激进团体前来发难该怎么办?马永峰答:“我就请他用一句话说明他的观点,把这话喷在硬纸板上送给他,也请他把手中的标语送给我。”这是有趣的思想交换,但,并没有谁来发难,各路团体都自顾自地游走,还有难以融入这些团体的有色人种在周遭徘徊观望。博洛尼亚大学的中国留学生朋友说:“上街、抗议和游行在这儿几乎天天发生,已成为他们参与公共生活、表达观点和立场的方式,或是合法的宣泄渠道,就像我们中国人刷微博发牢骚……”

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我就此与生活在博洛尼亚的“欧洲替代性”成员莎拉·萨莱里(Sara Saleri)长谈,莎拉曾在博洛尼亚跟随翁贝托·艾柯(Umberto Eco)学习符号学,她认为我们不能简单地将当天看到的学生游行视作意大利全部占领和街头运动的缩影——那些只是年轻人在表达自己,他们充满对未来的焦虑,但与实质性的社会问题接触有限。她承认街头抗议作为一种合法的公共生活传统由来已久,却也强调在经济危机前后,街头运动确实有了全新的形式和诉求。她向我讲述2004年以来的“圣无保(San Precario)”干预运动——塑造新圣徒“圣无保”为工作、生活无保障(precarious)、无编制工人们的守护圣徒,使“圣无保”在意大利处处现身,进行戏仿的天主教仪式,唤起人们对工人问题的关注,促成过许多改变。她还谈及2008年学生反对国家教育经费削减、教育商品化掀起的运动“浪潮(L’Onda)”,呼吁建立学生自治的教育机构模式;2009年学生和群众对博洛尼亚Bartleby文化中心、高速公路等社会、文化、乃至自然资源的占领和“共享化”管理。

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“共享体(Commons,亦译作‘公共事物’)”、“共享物(Common Goods)”是上述运动中常被提及的热词,对中国读者而言,这些还是相对新异的概念,较易理解的实例是“维基共享资源(Wikimedia Commons)”和“海盗党(Pirate Parties International,简称PPI,亦译作‘盗版党’)”,后者于2006年现身瑞典,起初反对企业版权法对网络下载的限制和知识流通的阻碍,支持网上资源共享合法化,后来在多国发展壮大,触及面拓展至倡导网络信息公开透明,政府行政透明,保障公民权利,建立更加自由的文明,反对僵死的专利制度和独占特权等。“网络问政”是该党另一特色,利用传说中的“Facebook”和“Twitter”等社交网络媒体使党员们在网上充分行使权利,提出政策主张,收集民众意见,模糊等级制度,由此确定政治立场。去年9月,德国海盗党获得了将近9%的得票率,首次进入柏林州议会,有人将其视作一种替代性治理模式的萌芽。

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必要一提,“共享体(Commons)”成为近年间的“关键词”,与埃丽诺·奥斯特罗姆(Elinor Olstrom)因对“共享体”的出色研究获得2009年诺贝尔经济学奖关系甚巨——她的研究使“共享体”摆脱了加勒特·哈丁(Garret Hardin)1968年的著名文章《共享体的悲剧(Tragedy of the Commons)》赋予此词的负面意味。此外,亦不可不提作为意大利“共享体”运动重要思想资源的安东尼奥·奈格里(Antonio Negri)和迈克尔·哈特(Michael Hardt)合著的《Commonwealth》,以及《朱迪斯·来沃尔(Judith Revel)和安东尼奥·奈格里的对话集《The Common in Revolt》。本届“跨欧洲盛会”在博洛尼亚就数字化共享体(Digital Commons),合作工作(Co-working)与合作居住(Co-housing),欧洲共享体新篇章和移民治理等问题进行了专场讨论。

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罗马街头,常常可见呼吁将水作为“共享物”运动的海报,该运动始于去年都灵国际大学(International University College of Turin)两位法律学者的全国问卷——问卷显示,绝大多数国民认为水应作为一种“共享物”来由民众共同管理,反对对水的私有化经营。此后不久,在去年6月14日,位于古罗马万神殿和意大利参议院附近的18世纪著名剧院“Teatro Valle”被占领,路易吉·皮兰德娄的《六个寻找作者的剧中人》曾在该剧院首演。该剧院原属意大利剧院协会(ETI)管理,该协会今已解体,剧院亦因成本高昂和行业惨淡而关闭。据传该剧院将由一位巨商收购,改建为餐馆。为此,通过网络动员,文化、娱乐工作者在剧场集结占领,宣称文化应与水和空气一样作为“共享物”,由市民共同管理。如今,“Teatro Valle”的占领将近一年,几乎每晚都有剧目上演,以自愿出价购票的方式向全体市民开放。占领者和市民以公共议事的方式对申请上演的剧目进行品质把关——“我们不用投票,而是倾听那些说‘不’者的理由。”接受我采访的占领者们坦言,这些只是占领的第一步,他们需要发展一套“共享剧院”替代性经营模式,能切实解决剧院运营中的经济问题和工作者的酬劳问题,并将这套方案向政府和市民推行。目前,占领者们还是靠着在剧院之外的工作维生,他们轮流驻守,使剧院24小时处于有人的状态,这样政府就不能发动“强拆”——“政府甚至没有采用停水、停电等措施,大概因为他们担心矛盾进一步激化……”

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类似的占领活动在罗马其他数家剧院和意大利全境的多家文化机构中爆发,最近流行的话题是米兰的一座废弃的摩天楼,在5月5日被数千人逐层占领,欲建成“共享”艺术中心“MACAO”,许多机构、学院、组织和个人纷纷向占领者提交未来的项目方案。

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在罗马的交流中,有观众问及中国当下的美术馆建设热潮,周啸虎坦言他认为那不过是一些艺术的“房子”,我们并非这些建设的得益者——“但我相信有一天,我们也会‘占领’这些‘房子’。”对前文中遇到的问题,有关中国的“替代性”艺术实践是否是全球“反资本主义”运动的一部分,马永峰称他认为当今世界重要的不是那些有着明确指导思想的运动,而是无数自发组织的、“微弱”的运动。

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交流过后,我问“欧洲替代性”成员莎拉·萨莱里和博洛尼亚大学观念史博士让·保罗·费拉(Gian Paolo Faella),“共享体”和“替代性”运动是一种直接针对资本主义的反抗,还是只是一种针对现状的改良方案?他们也坦言参与者的意见并不一致,多是出于改变现状的愿望,“打倒资本主义”还是个稍嫌遥远的政治诉求。对激进分子而言,这当然是不彻底的态度,齐泽克就认为在资本主义体制内进行改良又是在延长资本这头恶兽的寿命,使现代国家这个“管理整个资产阶级的共同事务的委员会”更加健康。

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《共产党宣言》第三部分《社会主义的和共产主义的文献》中提到德国社会主义者对法国社会主义和共产主义文献的阉割:“德国的社会主义恰好忘记了,法国的批判(德国的社会主义是这种批判的可怜的回声)是以现代的资产阶级社会以及相应的物质生活条件和相当的政治制度为前提的,而这一切前提当时在德国正是尚待争取的……这种社会主义成了德意志各邦专制政府及其随从——僧侣、教员、容克和官僚求之不得的、吓唬来势汹汹的资产阶级的稻草人。”——跨越双方现实情境谈及“资本主义”一词时,我会想起这段话。

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我还问到,如果“共享”范围扩大,共同治理者的背景和状况变得复杂多元,这种“共享”模式会不会像历史上的各种公社或乌托邦实验一样,以失败甚至灾难告终?让·保罗·费拉认为这是“共享体”实践中非常重要的问题,所以实践者对哪些资源可以作为“共享体”的判断非常谨慎——限于人人赖以生存的资源,小型共同体共享的文化资源等。对我来说,这种“共享体”的意义或许并非最终建立一种事事“共享”的国家模式,而是对部分公共事物进行公民自治,从而使政府成为更加理想化的“有限政府”。

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我厌倦了就一种实践的“明确指向”或“终极目标”进行提问,这或许是列宁主义为我们烙下的一种思维方式:一场运动必须有明确的目标和方案,由一个先知先觉的权威人物或最高委员会事先设计,指导群众进行严格的实施。或许在这里,与列宁同时代的德国革命家罗莎·卢森堡的遗产更宜重温:相对列宁对控制和命令的爱好,卢森堡强调无序、喧嚣和活跃的大型社会活动活动的重要性。她强调每位参与者自身的创造力和士气,认为革命是“复杂的有机过程”,对这一过程的任意分割或干涉会威胁整个有机体的生命力——这与现代科学中的“混沌”、“复杂性”、“自组织”概念颇有互通。苏联布尔什维克内部的“卢森堡分子”亚历山德拉·柯伦泰也认为,完成革命和创造新的生产形式是在未知的水域中行船,因此,“行动”本身胜于蓝图或作战计划,她问道:“最聪明的封建庄园的管理者能够自己发明早期的资本主义吗?”——同理,若不行动,我们也不要指望在资本主义和社会主义生产框架下学习知识的专家们铸造出多么精美的未来模型。

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(特别感谢“欧洲替代性”成员Lorenzo Marsili , Luigi Galimberti Faussone, Sara Saleri, Gian Paolo Faella;”Teatro Valle”剧场占领者Federica Giardini, Laura Verga, Emiliano Campagnola;James C. Scott《国家的视角:那些试图改善人类状况的项目是如何失败的》;由宓,倪昆,马永峰,周啸虎夫妇,朱赫,欧宁对此行、此文的帮助。)

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21 五月
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A causa del lutto cittadino, la performance di Ma Yongfeng, prevista per le 10 di domattina in piazza Re Enzo, è rinviata alle ore 16 di sabato 12 maggio in piazza Verdi, nel contesto della manifestazione “Occupy Parade” parte delle giornate di mobilitazione internazionale 12M. Speriamo comunque di avervi partecipi!
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EA Bologna
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Performance dell’artista cinese Ma Yongfeng, ideata in dialogo con lo spazio pubblico di Bologna.

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La performance di Ma Yongfeng mira a coinvolgere il pubblico in un intervento che vuole scalfire alcune tensioni proprie della nostra società e, quindi, a osservare quali energie creative ne possano scaturire. Alle 10 del mattino di sabato 12 maggio, in piazza Re Enzo a Bologna, un gruppo di giovani volontari sarà chiamato a prendere parte alla prima performance pubblica in Italia di Ma Yongfeng.

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Un centinaio di bandiere italiane e cinesi, di cartoni, di poster e di vernici in bombolette spray saranno gli strumenti per un travolgente intervento artistico nel più centrale spazio pubblico di Bologna.

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L’iniziativa, curata da Lugi Galimberti Faussone e organizzata da European Alternatives, fa parte del Transeuropa Festival, il primo festival transnazionale di cultura, arte e politica che si svolge contemporaneamente in 14 città europee. A Bologna il Festival può contare sul patrocinio del Comune di Bologna e fa parte della rassegna European Days, promossa da Comune di Bologna e Regione Emilia Romagna. Programma completo su www.transeuropafestival.eu

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Ma Yongfeng è artista concettuale e performer, e l’animatore del collettivo artistico Forget Art di Beijing, che si concentra su strategie interventiste e situazioniste. Egli è artista dei new media e le sue opere sono state esposte diffusamente in Europa, negli USA e in Cina. Recentemente ha partecipato alla mostra “The Thirteen: Chinese Video Now” presso il MoMA PS1 di New York.



27 四月


25 四月

Social Sensibility R&D Program founded and directed by Alessandro Rolandi

Project n.2

artist: MA YONGFENG

title: INVEST IN CONTRADICTION

date: april 25/26  2012

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In Chinese industrial tradition, revolutionary quotes, generally from Mao’s poems, speeches or writings were often painted in large characters on the walls of the factories where millions of workers had to see them everyday.

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MA YONGFENG will re-interpret this aspect of Chinese propaganda, creating 7 large graffitis in Bernard Controls Beijing.

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The sentences will be chosen from random conversations with the workers or the managers, picked from the panels of the working rules, or from the factory’s safety procedures and other similar sources.

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Each sentence will explore an aspect of  life inside the working environment:    the need to adapt to a strict control system, the human desire to evade and dream, the pression of efficiency and the humour to be able to deal with all this.

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The walls of Bernard Controls Beijing will host a new subtle form of propaganda, the artistic propaganda for independent and creative thinking.

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Social Sensibility Research & Development Program

is project by Alessandro Rolandi and Bernard Controls.

[Beijing, Feb 2012 – Feb 2014]

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The Social Sensibility R&D Program is a biennal innovative strategic project with the aim to bring artistic research and creativity in contact with the working environment. It is structured around the idea to orient the artists’ work towards developing sensibility among workers, managers and the steering committee of Bernard Controls. Every 3 months, the program invites a professional of the creative field to deliver a project (any kind of media..) whose goal is to help developing new possibilities of human action and interaction within the factory. The long-term intention is to establish partnerships and collaborations with academic, financial, artistic and political structures to explore all the further application of such a model to the field of industry, social research and education.

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社会敏感性研究与发展计划项目

发起人、总监:Alessandro Rolandi

艺术家:马永峰

主题:新“大字报”

时期:2012年4月25/26

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从建国后到文化大革命时期,工厂墙壁上的大字报宣传流行于全国上下,工厂的人们每日都会看得到。大字报的内容多数来自于毛主席的诗句、演讲和文章。

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时过境迁,马永峰对大字报的宣传形式也有他自己的诠释。为此,他将会在Bernard Controls的工厂墙壁上创造7个“大字报”式的涂鸦作品。

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内容将会随机的从他和工人们或者管理人员的聊天中产生,也可能会是员工工作守则或安全生产程序中的任意一句,或其他类似的章程中的语句。

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这7句“大字报”所探讨的是员工的工作环境:他们必须要适应这种严格的工作程序、偶尔的逃避情绪和对梦想的追求、工作效率下的压力和如何用幽默来化解这些压力。

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Bernard Controls的墙壁将会巧妙的变成一个艺术性的独立、自由和创造的大字报宣传墙。

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社会敏感性的研究与发展计划

项目由李山和伯纳德控制设备(北京)有限公司合作

[北京, 2012年2月--2014年2月]

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社会敏感性的研发计划是一个创新的双年展战略计划,目的是带来艺术研究和在工作环境中的创造力。它是围绕一个观念,对艺术家和工人,管理者以及伯纳德控制设备(北京)有限公司(Bernard Controls)的委员会成员们一起工作时的理性思维的思想培养所创建的。每3个月,计划邀请创业领域的专业人士提供一个项目(任何媒体。。。),其目的是帮助发展在工厂内新的人类行为与互动的可能性。长期的打算是在学术、金融、艺术和政治结构上建立伙伴与合作关系,以探索行业、社会研究和教育领域的进一步应用模式。


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