Needs to be 2-3 pages max. It would help if anyone went to the exhibit in the museum please help thanksss need a good grade on this
From the Guggenheim Website on the exhibition:
“Art and China after 1989 presents work by 71 key artists and groups active across China and worldwide whose critical provocations aim to forge reality free from ideology, to establish the individual apart from the collective, and to define contemporary Chinese experience in universal terms. Bracketed by the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008, it surveys the culture of artistic experimentation during a time characterized by the onset of globalization and the rise of a newly powerful China on the world stage. The exhibition’s subtitle, Theater of the World, comes from an installation by the Xiamen-born, Paris-based artist Huang Yong Ping: a cage-like structure housing live reptiles and insects that coexist in a natural cycle of life, an apt spectacle of globalization’s symbiosis and raw contest.
For art and China, the year 1989 was both an end and a beginning. The June Fourth Tiananmen Incident signaled the end of a decade of relatively open political, intellectual, and artistic exploration. It also marked the start of reforms that would launch a new era of accelerated development, international connectedness, and individual possibility, albeit under authoritarian conditions. Artists were at once catalysts and skeptics of the massive changes unfolding around them. Using the critical stance and open-ended forms of international Conceptual art, they created performances, paintings, photography, installations, and video art, and initiated activist projects to engage directly with society. Their emergence during the 1990s and early 2000s coincided with the moment the Western art world began to look beyond its traditional centers, as the phenomenon of global contemporary art started to take shape. Chinese artists were crucial agents in this evolution.
Art and China after 1989 is organized in six chronological, thematic sections throughout the rotunda and on Tower Levels 5 and 7. For all the diversity the exhibition encompasses, the artists here have all sought to think beyond China’s political fray and simple East-West dogmas. This freedom of a “third space” has allowed for a vital distance, and a particular insight, as they contend with the legacies of Chinese history, international modernism, and global neoliberalism of the 1990s. Their rambunctious creativity can expand our ever-widening view of contemporary art and inspire new thinking at a moment when the questions they have faced—of identity, equality, ideology, and control—have pressing relevance.”
Main Issue and Question:
This show traces the social and political history of China from 1989 until 2008 and Chinese artists’ engagement with issues of globalization, identity, equality, ideology and state control. More specifically, and most troubling, is the controversial censorship of several works from the exhibition for their treatment of animals: a caged terrarium in which insects and amphibians eat one another and vie for survival; a videopiece depicting chained dogs on treadmills that endless pursue fighting each other but never touch; documentation of two live pigs stamped with fake Chinese characters mating.
An on-line petition and claims by the Guggenheim of violent threats from animal rights groups applied pressure that ultimately led to the removal (or partial removal, one could argue) of these works from the show, raising numerous questions about not only these Chinese artists’ relationship to animals as illustrated by their artworks, cultural differences in treatment of animals, and the tense relationship between audience and museums, including what responsibilties they have to one another and possible alternatives to simply removing the work from the exhibition.
Paragraphs 1: Describe the three central works that have been removed.The first paragraph should introduce these works, giving brief descriptions and impressions. Name the materials that comprise the work; how are they put together; how are they transformed with the relationships of or application of other materials, how are they presented as performances or documentation of the performances. Discuss the objects relative scale without citing measurements. Apply the vocabulary words: scale, color, shape, texture, placement.
Paragraph 2: How does the museum address the removed work’s absence? What remnants does the museum leave behind for each work, and what do they remove? How does the museum indicate that the works have been removed? With Theatre of the World, for example, how the work still remain, but what is not present, and how does that change your experience with the work?
Paragraph 3: What additional examples can you find of Chinese artists’ relationship to animals as illustrated by their artworks, and what meaning to they add to the controversy? Is there a connection between the way in which the artists interact with animals and the way the government oppressed its citizens? In particular, look for the painting of fleeing protestors from Tiananmen Square and the bleeding penguins who are substiuted on stretchers; the plexiglass display case with taxidermied bats; the video work with an artist washing a chicken; the painting of two Chinese men burning a rat; Chen Zhen’s 20-meter dragon filling the main atrium of the museum. Find and discuss these works in the exhibition and identify them by artist, title, and date in the following manner, such as the painting Burning a Rat (1995) by Liu Xiaodong.
Paragraph 4: Place the work in a historical context, continuum and current events. The wall labels are particularly helpful in understanding how China, under an authoritarian regime, rose during globalization to be the center of production for the West’s electronics (remember your iPhone is primary made in the Pearl River Delta region of China, which has catastrophic consequences for the environment). What happened during the time with the government’s oppresion of citizens, and how do artists address this in their work? How does Ai Weiwei address many of these issues in his projects (found at top of the ramp).
Paragraph 5: Conclusion: Do you think the works are inhumane towards animals? Why or not? Do you feel the works should have been removed? Why or why not? Was there any other option the museum could have considered besides removing the work, or another way of addressing the animal cruelty charges? Does it matter that in two of the three works removed this cruelty is presented as documentation rather than the actual dogs or pigs performing in the space? (Also, were there any other works that you were drawn to, and why?)
Suggestions: In the best papers, the progress and flow of the writer’s thoughts are apparent. The reader can understand the writer’s thought process. I am interested in seeing how you arrive at your conclusions with an active and critical thinking unfold throughout the paper. Ask questions and try to answer them, if you can’t explain why. What doesn’t make sense about the work? What questions do you have that can’t be answered? What is confusing or ambiguous?
The Guggenheim website is a great resource for more information about each of these works.
Read the following articles for issues on the call for removal of the works:
Ben Davis, Why the Guggenheim’s Controversial Dog Video Is Even More Disturbing Than You Think, September 29, 2017 (make sure you watch the video for Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” a seven-minute video with eight American pit bulls on eight treadmills):
Statement on the video work “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other”:
The Guggenheim’s Alexandra Munroe on Why ‘The Theater of the World’ Was Intended to Be Brutal
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