DeconstructingBuyology:remaking to resist in an age of consumption
Deconstructing Buyology: remaking to resist in an age of consumption
Curator: Li Boyan
Artists: Fu Shuai,Gao Yu, Gao Yuan, Sun Wei, Ye Su, Wang Xuanhe, Wu Wei, Xu Shurui, Yao Qingmei,Yan Lei, Zhang Jing, Zhang Yunfeng, Zhang Yuequn
Nov. 11-Dec. 12（09:00-18:00）Closed on Monday
Baitasi Hutong ArtGallery（Gong Men Kou Si Tiao #32, Xinjiekou, Xicheng District,Beijing）
空虚的、理性的行动诞生于消费焦虑的阵痛并一直伴随左右，成为了新的不合作的抵抗形式。加拿大录像艺术家特德•戴夫（Ted Dave）于1992年发起了名为“全球罢买日”（Buy Nothing Day）的游行活动。在感恩节的后一天，抵抗过度消费的民众自觉拒绝消费并组织游行，形成了消费时代以来特有的一个“节日”。在“有多少东西是我真正需要，而非想要的”思考下，这个行动得到了广泛的追捧。反消费以一种“不合作运动”式的态度激发了“新穷人”对于“消费社会”的抵抗。基于上述考虑，我们在个人空间和消费空间之间的缝隙中构建起一个贫穷的剧场，以让穷人在无法脱离消费时代和生活习惯的空间中变得更独立、更自治，以适应大城市中新的社群变化所带来的冲击。
Images spread rampantly on the internet, dazzling human eyes during the consumption process, and exert profound influence on consumers’ viewpoints. Advertising, posing itself as simulated reality, announced the beginning of a new art belonging to the consumption age exclusively. “True to life temptation” makes it possible for people to regard internet based sharing as new media, and therefore trustworthy, which partially explains why private matters of public figures could be exaggerated, entertained and consumed interminably on the internet. From “Water Gate” to the exposure of the nude photos of Carla Bruni, wife of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, from “911” to “MH370” accident, a kind of democracy and freedom manipulated by media has been developing rapidly. Even the matter of privacy as a human right falls into a helpless and awkward situation.
Yet, the symbol of power in the age of economic globalization comes from mass consumption. The large amount of wonders created by the society of spectacle is something impossible to imagine before the age of consumption. In metropolises where it stands a forest of both new and old spectacles, an attitude of moderation and compatibility is gradually building up: the perspective to examine the home city as a native and the feelings of outsiders who burst into the city have turned into two distinct states of life. In the space of the two’s coexistence, identity has become a shared anxiety in people’s subconscious. Led by economic globalization, world language has been gradually erasing the splendid cultures which are reginal and ethnic. The “creation” in the age of consumption is gradually allegorized, becoming a realistic practice conducted in the “virtual” way tying up everything with consumption. Its “virtuality” lies in its practice being assisted by appropriation and re-coding of symbols; its “reality” locates in the practice’s factual and profound influence on us at the symbolic level. Therefore, to see through the “creation” in the age of consumption, significant decoding is needed.
Vacuous and rational action was born in the pain of consumption anxiety, which has been its company ever since, turning into new forms of uncooperative resistance. Ted Dave, a Canadian video artist, started a protesting procession “Buy Nothing Day” in 1992. On the next day after Thanks-giving, to protest against consumerism, people willingly refused to buy things and organized a procession, becoming a special “festival” in the age of consumption. Based on the reflection “what are the things I really need, instead of desiring”, the activity was widely welcomed. Anti-consumerism encourages the “new poor” to protest against the society of consumerism in the way of “uncooperative movement”. Building upon the above understanding, we construct a Playhouse of Poverty in the rift between individual space and consumption space, to make the poor more independent and autonomous in the space of their living habits and the age of consumption, from which they cannot escape, in order to adapt to the new impact brought by a community’s change in a large city.
From the community to the spectacle of the city, anti-consumerism actions are directed at the rapid urban change. Art as a creation is increasingly turning into regional action: on one hand, it resists the homogenization brought by economic globalization, on the other, it reflects the growing confidence in the native cultural ecology. Similar to the large quantity of wastes, produced by contemporary society and waiting to be disposed, “enclaves” exist in the city like cavities, in urgent need to be filled to gain functional regeneration and renovation. Whether it is a spare “fortuitous space”, or a white-box area under active transformation, it injects the desolate community with the motivation to create. Community building acquires more positive significance in the trend of anti-consumerism.
Community provides the platform for art and general public to connect and interact. In the West, independent spaces and artist residential projects, co-built by governments and non-governmental organizations, breathe life into art which are happening outside galleries, providing spaces for discussion and reflection on current events. In turn, the possibility of art revitalized would reciprocate the community. Of course, this is not to advocate to scrape everything and start all over again. It depends on continuous efforts made for a significant duration of time and the presentation of specific works of art, to bring new, which is “regenerated”, spectacles.
“Regeneration” offers new opportunities to promote healthy development for communities. Regeneration is also the attitude of both resistance against and solution for over consumption and waste. In the exhibition, food with validation about to expire, fast food, and wasted cartons would be used as materials for installations; readings made by artists about social theatre would be broadcasted using old televisions; some art works confronts the pressure put on the city’s environment by consumption; more works reveal the reproduction made by visual consumption, as well as the anti-consumerism re-creation.
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