Portraits of Tito
Portraits of Tito
展览地点：798艺术区 七星西街 陌上实验
Artist：Gao Yu, Wang Zhenfeng, Zhang Wei, Zhang Yehong
Curator: Li Boyan
Opening time: May 20th, 2017 (Saturday) 16:00
Dates: May 20th – June 2nd 2017
Venue：798 Art District, Qixingxi Street, Moshang Experiment
If curating is a revolutionary endeavor that turns one’s focus on the exhibition’s result to playing with the exhibition, then the curator is, from the very outset, not an honest person. The essence of an exhibition is but a futile spectacle—not unlike the consumerist spectacles that tourist landmarks conjure. Many famous tourist attractions are not really enticing in their own right; take the Berlin Wall or the Western Wall as an example, if you are moved or experience a sense of shock from it, it only means you are excited by your knowledge, or driven by your imagination.
The futility of spectacles is also rooted in their particular mode of dissemination: one may have heard more than once that there is no wishing well in Prague, and the lyrics of that song from the early 200s which have popularized this misconception are only the result of some romantic imagination. Meanwhile in many temples and monasteries in China, one can find plenty of wishing wells, with their floors often covered with one-RMB coins. Of course, one may have also heard that many of these temples and monasteries are mere imitations built to trick people into spending money on joss sticks and donations. The grandeur of a spectacle lies in its appearance.
In short, the exhibition Sculptures of Tito has commissioned four artists to create works related to the historical figure; taking the bomb shelter located underneath Mo Shang Experiment as host, the curator fabricated the story about a “Tito’s Fan Club” that existed in Chinese history, and informed the artists about it. The four works that ensued are responses to this fabrication from four distinct points of view. Gao Yu revisited a street named after Tito, from which he drew inspirations; folk painter Wang Zhenfeng has produced a sculpture of Tito based on the curator’s instructions. Marching along his creative trajectory, Zhang Wei has created a synthesized portrait in his signature style, while Zhang Yehong pairs historical photographs with texts following his intuition. Sharing the theme of Tito, these portraits encounter each other here, far removed from the real.