Sep 8
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from Art Agenda
http://www.art-agenda.com/shows/view/1152

2010 Get It Louder: Sharism

SHARISM
19 September – 10 October, Beijing
22 October – 7 November, Shanghai

Chief Curator: Ou Ning
Curators: Eric Abrahamsen, Aric Chen, Fu Xiaodong, Jiancui, Ying Liang, Xu Yazhu

Beijing Venue: Sanlitun SOHO
Shanghai Venue: 800 Show Creative Industry Park

www.getitlouder.com

Launched in 2005, Get It Louder is China's most influential and closely-watched exhibition of emerging, young talent across creative disciplines. Following the 2005 and 2007 editions, this year's multi-venue event will bring together more than 100 of the most promising Chinese and international participants from fields spanning art and design to music, film and, for the first time, literature. 2010 Get It Louder opens in Beijing on September 19 (through October 10), before traveling to Shanghai (October 22-November 7).

Under the direction of event founder Ou Ning, chief curator of last year's Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture, 2010 Get It Louder will explore the theme of SHARISM. In the context of the Web 2.0 and social media, cloud intelligence, Twitter and other phenomena, SHARISM examines the increasingly convoluted relationship between public and private realms. More broadly, it touches upon issues of collaboration, individual agency and collective action, while serving as a site for negotiating communal space, both virtual and real.

2010 Get It Louder will feature participants from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), Europe and the United States, alongside an array of special projects. A highlight is the Get It Louder pavilion, a freestanding structure designed by the New York firmSO-IL, that will host events including artist talks, workshops, film screenings and performances. Other featured projects include a Black Box space for creating "on-the-spot literature;" a performance of the International Necronautical Society Declaration on Inauthenticity by Simon Critchley and renowned novelist Tom McCarthy; an exhibition of specially-commissioned collaborations between leading, young Chinese fashion designers and photographers, organized by the indie magazine Too; an art-fashion crossover installation by celebrated British graphic designer Neville Brody and Chinese fashion designer Masha Ma; a three-day literary conference, called Exposure Anxiety, in Beijing; and a one-day Sharism Forum, in Shanghai, with panel discussions and lectures exploring the exhibition's main theme.

Led by Ou, this year's Get It Louder is curated by a six-member team: Fu Xiaodong (art; Beijing); Aric Chen(design; New York/Beijing); Jian Cui(music; Beijing); Ying Liang (film; Shanghai/Zigong); Eric Abrahamsen (literature; Seattle/Beijing); and Xu Yazhu (Taiwan section; Taipei/Beijing). The exhibition designers are Xu Yijing and Neill Gaddes of SANS (Auckland, New Zealand), while the visual identity is by Imagine Wong(Shenzhen).

Get It Louder is presented by China's influential Modern Media Group and its contemporary culture magazine, The Outlook. It is organized by the Beijing-based Shao Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultural production in China.

Participants:

AI Weiwei & Zuoxiao Zuzhou
Christopher ADAMS
Bbrother
BCXSY
Mats BJÖRK
Neville BRODY
CAO Shuying
CHEN Sihe
CHEN Zhou
Edmund CHUNG
CUI Xiuwen & WAVE Community
D.S.G Collection
DAI Fan & ZHOU Peng
DI An
Double Fly Group
FANG Jianping
FANG Lu
FEI Dao
Alejandro FERNANDEZ
Forget Art
Garage Design
GAO Yuan
Gonkar GYATSO
Tal Isaac HADAD
Matt HOPE
HAN Chao
HE An
Kit HUNG
HU Lifu
HU Xiaoxiao
HU Yong
HUANG Ran
Zhanna ISSABAYEVA
JIANG Pengyi
Charlie KOOLHAAS
Hari KUNZRU
Roy KESEY
Shawkat Amin KORKI
Laoban Soundsystem
LEI Benben
LEI Ray & LEI Jiaqi
LI Fuchun
LI Jinghu
LI Ning
LI Shasha
Mike LINKSVAYER
LIANG Shuo
LIU Waitong
Hong John LIN
LIN Ke
LIEW Sengtat
LIU Chuang
LIU Zhili
LIU Cixin
LIU Feng
LIU Jiayin
LIU Chuoquan
LIU Yan
Julia LOVELL
LU Zhengyuan
LVXIAO
Design MVW
Masha MA
Isaac MAO
Lucas MAASSEN
MIAO Wei
Museum of Unknown
Carsten NICOLAI
Jon PHILLIPS
PAN Haitian
Evan PRODROMOU
Jack QIU
Michal RATAJ
Rich Willing Brilliant
REN Xiaowen
David SASAKI
Shift
Studio Proxy
SUN Xun
Wolfgang SPRAUL
TANG Maohong
Three minutes Group
Philip TINARI
TSUI Kuangyu
TSUBOKAWA Takushi
Tina UEBEL
Alice WANG
WANG Molin
WANG Xin
WANG Yuyang
WANG Yue
WANG Zhihong
WANG Chungkun
WU Daxin
WU Jian'an
WU Yinning
Xiong Huang Group
XUE Jianqiang
YAN Lei & Brain Failure
YANG Jin
YANG Rui
YANG Tao
YAO Chunghan
Weili YEH
Jesus YEH
Gino YU
Zafka ZHANG
ZHANG Lehua
ZHANG Liaoyuan
ZHANG Shouwang
ZHANG Tianhui
ZHANG Zanbo
ZHAO Dayong
ZHAO Yao
ZHAO Zhao

Contact us:

Shao Foundation
Room 1106, Tower 1,China View No, A 2, Gongti East Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing, PRC 100027
Tel: 86-10-65610550
Fax: 86-10-65610550 ext 666
Email: info@shaofoundation.org.cn


2010大声展

分享主义
9月19日-10月10日,北京
10月22日-11月7日,上海

总策展人:欧宁
策展人:陶健(Eric Abrahamsen),陈伯康(Aric Chen),付晓东,健崔,应亮,许雅筑

北京展场:三里屯SOHO
上海展场:八百秀创意园

www.getitlouder.com

始于2005年的大声展是中国最具影响力和最受瞩目的旨在展示各个创意领域崭露头角的青年艺术家的展览。继2005年和2007年的展览后,今年将展示来自国内和国际的超过100位的参展者,他们涉及的领域涵盖了艺术与设计、音乐和电影,并将第一次包括文学。2010大声展将于9月19日在北京开展(展期至10月10日),此后将移至上海(10月22日至11月7日)。

在展览创始人——同时也是去年深圳·香港城市\建筑双城双年展的总策展人——欧宁的主持下,2010大声展将探讨“分享主义”这一主题。在网络2.0与社交媒体、云智能、推特等现象的语境下,“分享主义”将审视逐步纠结、难以分割的公共和私人领域。从更广阔的角度来看,这一主题将涉及合作、个人主体及集体行动等问题,同时致力于把展览变成争取虚拟和真实社区空间的场所。

2010大声展在一系列特别项目之外,将重点关注来自中国(包括香港和台湾)、欧洲和美国的参展者。展览的一个亮点是由纽约的SO-IL事务所设计的独立的大声馆(GIL Pavilion),以此作为艺术家座谈、工作坊、电影放映及表演的场地。其它特色项目还包括“黑盒子:现场文学”;由Simon Critchley和知名小说作家Tom McCarthy合作的国际灵航协会《非本真性宣言》上海发布会(INS Shanghai Declaration on Inauthenticity ) ;一项由中国青年时尚设计师和摄影师领军人物合作的展览,该展览由独立杂志Too组织和特别委托创作;一项由英国著名平面设计师Neville Broody和中国时装设计师Masha Ma公同制作的艺术-时装跨界装置;一个将在北京举行的为期三天的“曝光焦虑”文学会议;以及一个将在上海举行的为期一天的“分享主义论坛”,届时会通过小组讨论和讲座的形式探讨本届展览的主题。

由欧宁主持的本届大声展拥有一个六人策展团队:付晓东(艺术;北京);陈伯康(Aric Chen,设计;纽约/北京);健崔(音乐;北京);应亮(电影;上海/自贡);陶健( Eric Abrahamsen ,文学;西雅图/北京);许雅筑(台湾项目;台北/北京)。展场设计为SANS的徐轶婧和Neill Gaddes(新西兰,奥克兰),展览视觉设计为黄立光(深圳)。

“大声展”是由中国具有影响力的现代传媒集团及其旗下的当代文化杂志《新视线》支持,以及位于北京的旨在支持文化生产的非营利组织邵忠基金会组织。

参展人:

AiVV左小祖咒
Christopher ADAMS
Bbrother
BCXSY BCXSY
Mats BJOuml;RK
Neville BRODY
曹疏影
陈思和
陈轴
Edmon CHUNG
崔岫闻浪潮共同体
D.S.G Collection
戴帆周鹏
笛安
双飞宫
方建平
方潞
飞氘
Alejandro Fernandez
Forget Art
Garage Design
高远
贡嘎·加措
Tal Isaac HADAD
Matt HOPE
韩超
何岸
洪荣杰
胡力夫
胡筱潇
胡泳
黄然
Zhanna ISSABAYEVA
蒋鹏弈
Charlie KOOLHAAS
Hari KUNZRU
Roy KESEY
Shawkat Amin KORKI
Laoban Soundsystem
雷本本
雷磊雷嘉琦
李富春
李景湖
李凝
李傻傻
Mike LINKSVAYER
梁硕
廖伟棠
林宏璋
林科
刘诚达
刘窗
刘知礼
刘慈欣
刘峰
刘伽茵
刘卓全
刘妍
卢征远
绿校
Design MVW
Masha MA
毛向辉
Lucas MAASSEN
苗炜
未知博物馆
Carsten NICOLAI
Jon PHILLIPS
潘海天
Evan PRODROMOU
邱林川
Rich Willing Brilliant
任晓雯
David SASAKI
Shift
Studio Proxy
孙逊
Wolfgang SPRAUL
唐茂宏
三分钟小组
Philip TINARI
崔广宇
坪川拓史
Tina UEBEL
王艾莉
王墨林
王欣
王郁阳
王悦
王志弘
王仲堃
吴达新
邬建安
吴音宁
雄黄社
薛鉴羌
颜磊脑浊
杨瑾
杨蕊
杨韬
姚仲涵
叶伟立
叶宇轩
於积理  
张安定
张乐华
张辽源
张守望
张天辉
赵赞波
赵大勇
赵要
赵赵

联系方式:
邵忠基金会
北京市朝阳区工体东路甲2号中国红街1座1106室,邮编100027
电话:86-10-65610550
传真: 86-10-65610550 转 666
电子邮箱: info@shaofoundation.org.cn
Sep 6
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Sep 1
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地点:龙泉洗浴
Location: Dragon Fountain Bathhouse


“龙泉洗浴”是草场地离画廊区最近的一家澡堂,很多人可能已经多次经过它,不过并没有太过留意。forget art将会重新利用这个特定的“公共性”私密空间,试图重新发现和定义这个空间的属性和存在于其中的特定语境。事实上什么都不会改变,我们只是以一种低姿态的可忽略的美学观在其中展开有针对性的“微干预”,从赋予特定意义的现成品到情境的重新抽离,从声音和记忆的关系到物体中的时间性……..

Dragon Fountain is the public bathhouse closer to the gallery area at Caochangdi, many people may have passed it several times, but not pay too much attention on it. forget art will re-use this particular "public" private space, we are trying to rediscover and redefine the attribute of this space and the presence of a specific context in which. In fact nothing will change, we are just attemting to make some site-specific "micro intervention" which embody an aesthetics of low-profile and ignorance. From readymade endowed with specific meaning to detached situation from daily life; from relationship between memory and voice to timing factor of found objects ... ... ..

策划:马永峰
主办:forget art  龙泉洗浴
Curated by Ma Yongfeng
Organized by forget art & Dragon Fountain Bathhouse

艺术家:
Alessandro Rolandi(意)+ 杨心广 + Yam Lau(加)+ 吴小军 + 马永峰 + 盛剑锋 + 石玩玩 + 黎薇 + 王光乐 + 邵译农 & 慕辰 + 吴迪 + 赵一浅 + 何意达 + Ulrike Johannsen(奥)+ 梁冰 + 刘斌 + 黄佳 +  Barbara Balfour(加)+ 杨光南 + 徐小国 + 蔡卫东 + 陈曦 & 张雪瑞 + 任波 + 高铭 + 郭工 + Stephanie Shepherd(加)+ 李博 + 高峰 + 乔星月 + 高瑜 + 邓大非 + 杜辉 + Michael Yuen(澳)+ 杜瑞清 + 陈督兮 + 陶辉 + 傅玮佳等

开幕时间:2010年9月6日下午3点-7点  仅此一天!
地点:北京市朝阳区崔各庄乡草场地龙泉洗浴(红一号院正门望北过十字路口50米左边)
联系电话:13810360600

衣冠整齐者拒绝入内,着内衣和浴袍者优先!

Artist: Alessandro Rolandi, Yang Xinguang, Yam Lau, Wu Xiaojun, Ma Yongfeng, Sheng Jianfeng, Shi Wanwan, Li Wei, Wang Guangle, Shao Yinong & Mu Cheng, Wu Di, Zhao Yiqian, He Yida, Ulrike Johannsen, Liang Bing, Liu Bin, Huang Jia, Barbara Balfour, Yang Guangnan, Xu Xiaoguo, Cai Weidong , Chen Xi & Zhang Xuerui, Ren Bo, Gao Ming, Guo Gong, Stephanie Shepherd, Li Bo, Gao Feng, Qiao Xingyue, Gao Yu, Deng Dafei, Du Hui, Michael Yuen, Du Ruiqing, Chen Duxi, Taohui, Fu Weijia.

Opening: 3pm-7pm, September 6, 2010  just one day!
Venue: Dragon Fountain Bathhouse, Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing(walk towards north for 100 meters when you arrive at the front door of Red No.1 Yard)
Phone: 13810360600

dress yourself down, otherwise you are not welcome to come in, underwear and bathrobe are preferable!


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http://www.forgetart.org 
mail@forgetart.org
Aug 26
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Aug 25
http://www.forgetart.org/

forget art
Interview with Ma Yongfeng

forget art is a series of projects distinguished by their intangibility, influenced by Minimal and Conceptual practices. Although the group is fluid, Ma Yongfeng is perhaps the most visible organizer and I sat down with him recently to discuss what it meant to “forget art” and how their forthcoming show in a public bathroom in Caochangdi would manifest itself given their concern to leave no trace.



Edward Sanderson: Can you start by explaining what forget art is and what your role in it is?

MYF: Actually, I think I’ll begin with the term “alternative”, I think this term has a long history. Some people use “independent”, some use “alternative”, but whatever they use it is because they think the museum space and gallery space cannot satisfy a demand for interesting projects. So I started with this idea for the project, because I think it is time to choose another way.

I got my original inspiration from the Arte Povera movement in Italy, Fluxus in Germany, and the American Minimal Art movement, all of which happened around the 1970s, as well as some artists from the Gutai Group in Japan. These are some very interesting works, some very interesting artists, they were very influential with me.

ES: And Mono-ha?

MYF: Yes, Mono-ha, but before Mono-Ha there is the Gutai Group after the 50’s. They were doing what they called “mobile art”.

Looking at recent events, I’ve I found a very interesting thing. Since the mid-90s contemporary art in the West has been booming in America and Europe, and I think this is connected with the rise of the Biennales. So since the 90s there has been a tendency for people to make these big works and big installations, and film and video projections. So everything becomes luxurious, and huge, and spectacular – people want to make wonderful and fantastic visual effects.

But I think my starting points and influences are very interesting in this context, because Arte Povera comes out of the restrictions after World War Two. My approach also gets inspiration from Jerzy Grotowski’s “Poor Theatre” – it’s like people thought: “Oh, [art] has too many symbols, there’s too much decoration in theatre and art, so we need to delete something. We need to be poor, to use simple materials like stone, trees or iron, the basics, materials from everyday life to make interesting statements.

For me it’s a cycle, like in the fashion industry, every twenty or thirty years fashions come and go, and if everything gets bigger and bigger, then at some point everything will collapse. As Lao Zi said, “So it is that some things are increased by being diminished, and others are diminished by being increased.”

Maybe the Millennium served for people to rethink their approach. I found many young artists in Beijing, Berlin and New York starting to make smaller works. These small works are not very high profile but part of their life and their soul, and not just to make objects but to make small, simple things, from your heart.

So last year we introduced and shared ideas about Arte Povera, Fluxus and Conceptual Art, Minimal Art from the 70s, with some friends. I think they are still provocative, still very strong ideas.

ES: Do you think it has a particularly strong effect in China?

MYF: Yes, they understand it totally. Because the young artists can accept anything and have no memory of revolution, they have no memory of the Cultural Revolution. Even I am not interested in any kind of work about revolution. I just care about my life because I was born after the 70s.

ES: You think you’re typical?

MYF: Yes. But I think it’s not just about bringing the ideas over or copying them, it’s the mixture. You see these kind of works, you get inspiration from them, and you have your life experience and art practice – because you come from China maybe you have some additional input from local philosophy, for instance Mono-ha was a mixture of Minimal Art and Zen philosophy. So we have this kind of tradition, from Laozi and Zhuangzi, the most important thing is not just to read their books but to mix their ideas with some interesting forms, that’s what artists should do. That’s the artists’ work.

ES: Talking generally, not just about forget art, but about Beijing and alternative practices. Is there a lot going on at the moment? Do you think Beijing is particularly active right now?

MYF: I think Beijing and Shanghai are still the most important places for the contemporary art scene in China. You know, in China we have a long history of philosophy. It’s a kind of utilitarian methodology, very realistic. Confucianism told you to have respect for your parents, and to study very hard to get an official post (or maybe you can use bribery or something!). It’s very realistic, I would say. I think that 90% of people are very realistic in this way and over the 2000 years since the Spring and Autumn periods, we also have had a lot of philosophers, this has been a real cultural blooming for China, much like in the West with the Roman period, Plato, etc.

But after the 2000 years up to the Qing Dynasty, since then there has been a totalitarian way of thinking. So people here now have a kind of ideology that they all use the same kind of things to think about the world. We call it a “herd mentality”, we think like we are in the herd, we think we are all in one boat, we share the same ideas, and we can’t have independence and personal experience. You have to belong to the collective; you have got this collective memory, much like during the Cultural Revolution. But now people have more and more freedom, and the young people—especially the young artists who were born in the 1980’s—are more free in their thinking, and have more personal experience in their works. I think it’s a good start.

And also another point, from 2006 until now there has been a lot of “blind speculation” amongst the art people here. They think: “Oh, it’s a good time for art and we have to push things to the peak, so we can get more money”. There are no real non-profit groups or organisations here, not really. In Beijing, there was Universal Studios [now Boers-Li Gallery], and Platform China, Long March Space. 5 years ago they would call themselves non-profit organisations – they were doing some alternative projects as a result. But after two or three years they became more and more commercial. And that’s the situation, that’s the phenomenon, a very common phenomenon [in China], because there are no systems of foundations or rich people creating contemporary art funds to support this kind of art scene. So most of the galleries, the non-profit organisations, can’t afford to carry on, and have to sell some works. Say they want to do video or new media shows, but they have to support themselves by selling artworks.

And there are also some other things going on, like curators and writers setting up alternative spaces in China. Like the Arrow Factory – they use a street shop as a small space to do shows. I think it is very connected with local community – they need their context, and this is their concept. But I think it’s not really what the young artists want. I think we need things that are even more free. We don’t want any limits, sometimes we don’t even need a space. If you have got a space you have some limitations, and we don’t want that. You do get some interesting projects [in gallery spaces] but it’s still a very traditional way of working. I think that in the art world, people have to think about this, how to get rid of this burden. We think that normal life is art, but we try not to use that phrase, it’s a very old phrase – like the statement “trying to blur the boundary between art and life”. It’s such an old-fashioned sentiment. We just want life submerged into life, concept submerged into the concept. Things in things.

ES: So they have a closer connection, or no division at all, you just try to bring them all together?

MYF: Yes. To give you an example, I think spitting here in China is very normal, so I spat in the street, but I have to wait for it to dry out – that’s a kind of responsibility I have taken. I have to wait for thirty-five minutes or so for when it becomes dry and then I leave. So I think people will ask “What’s the line between art and work?” We don’t call it “artwork”, we call it life itself. But we have to include that wait! Someone asked, why don’t you just piss in the street? [laughs] And wait for that to dry! But that’s too big for me! Because with forget art we try to do something like life itself – like normal things. People see what you are doing and they think, “oh, nothing happening!” Maybe the spitting is over in one second, but you have to spend 35 minutes waiting: one second and 35 minutes. You have to devote yourself, be responsible for this. Then people don’t say it’s a strange thing – because you are an artist it is expected that you do strange, weird, bizarre things, different from life – but we just want to be normal. We don’t transcend the forms of life, we use them as material, that’s all.

I know there are currently some artists in groups, like Company and some other new groups. They are totally different from the groups in the 80s like the New Measurement Group. The New Measurement Group is more like a group , they are doing something together. But now some artists initiate groups and they are very loosely connected. I mean sometimes they are doing something together, but sometimes they are doing very different work.

ES: So there’s not a very distinct group or style?

MYF: Yes, there’s no “brand” like that. They can do group projects, but when one artist is doing a project individually they are working very differently, they have their own experience. So I think they are more open than the earlier groups. Sometimes they are doing projects but sometimes they are doing their works. That’s quite interesting.

ES: What age group are they? Are they 90s generation? Are they very young?

MYF: 80s, most of them are born in the 80s. Like forget art, we are not really a “group”, this is our “orbit”. Maybe some artists enter into our orbit, to a point where we will do something together. Although it’s not a group or an organisation, sometimes I’m in charge of organisation – I’m the service man to do things! Because you have to have some people to manage, you can’t forget anything! That’s the issue, if you remember – do something about forget art! [laughs] And if you forget it, ok forget it! So that’s quite interesting.

Because we’re not curators, or writers, or some art-world related people making an organisation. We are not doing something like Open House who rented a place and brought in video or set up an installation. I think this is still too much. Of course artists have different ideas but if I used that space then maybe there will be several artists doing something invisible and then we leave. So we want another option, not like a show or an alternative exhibition. I think in a gallery or a museum space you can do a show, that’s ok, everybody likes that. You add it to your CV, that’s good. But if we use another space, it’ll be in a “disastrous” way. But the disaster is not a criticism, we are very low profile, it’s another way of disaster, not a very visible disaster – not like an earthquake, but something from your heart. Say if you’ve separated from your girlfriend, maybe you will be heartbroken. Maybe you can’t see it, but it’s heartbroken. We don’t need a volcanic eruption, we need these heartbroken things, on the inside [laughs]. That’s the different way in which we think about the term “alternative”.

ES: Do you see yourself as an organiser? A curator? How do you see yourself within forget art?

MYF: I’m basically an artist; I don’t see myself as a curator. Sometimes artists have a great concept about what they want to do, and the curator or the critic follows on from that. Or sometimes the curator is ahead of the artist. But most of the time they are about the theory and not about practice. But it is possible for artists to make works that combine the two.

ES: How has forget art developed? Is it the same group of artists that you were talking to last year when you first mentioned the idea to me?

MYF: We are very open. I’m not going to use the word “organisation” because it’s not an organisation, so I call it an independent “orbit”. We have our independent activities. We are all different. Some people want to make artworks, some are maybe saying they don’t want to make artworks. I think we’re doing something different, but because the word “different” is so overused it’s difficult to use it.

ES: Much like the word “alternative”?

MYF: Well we do use that word, but actually we’re not an alternative organisation because there are no real group members. Every time, we cooperate with different artists, we have no space to show in, we are doing things in any kind of space or location. I mean, sometimes we do things in the street – street intervention work, sometimes we are working in special spaces, like the public bathrooms we are using for the next show, maybe after that we do something in a museum space? If people ask, “how can you use a museum space?” we don’t say something like “oh, we’ll try to redefine the attributes of the original space” – we will actually try to keep these. For example, MOMA is a museum space. They show Andy Warhol there – for instance famous works like the Brillo Boxes. Maybe we’d doing something to “reverse” the Brillo Box, about the Brillo Box form but paint it white, so it looks like a very Minimal box. I’ll bring that box and put it in the MOMA space (but of course security will stop me). So we’re trying to use this action as a conversation, a dialogue, with Andy Warhol. But we’re not trying to resist Pop Art or consumerism, we’re not interested in anything about demonstration or resistance. We’re just like a filter, or transformer. We accept anything – Pop Art goes through our filter, and becomes Minimalism!

ES: You talk about “Urban Nomadic Tactics” on the forget art website, an idea of movement in your activity, which seems to be similar to a “guerrilla” attitude as you alluded to when you talked about the Brillo Boxes.

MYF: Yes, we’re not so much about setting up in one place. In society, there is a long history of nomadism and there are a lot of people living this kind of nomadic life in China, moving from one city to another. So people have this form of life. That’s also why we don’t need any space – because we “forget art”, why do we need any space to do this? You don’t need that, you can “forget art” in any kind of location!

We are free. We are in a situation, or a time after time, and a space after space. We have time to do this. We don’t need space to show works, we don’t rely on the traditional institutional space – we should get rid of this kind of thing.

And these are not “events”. We use terms like “situation”. An “object” is just this thing [indicates a cup], but if we draw a circle around it, it’s an expanded object, developed, and it becomes a situation. But we don’t want it to become bigger and bigger, we’re just in the middle, in-between. We want this kind of in-between situation – like the act of talking with people.

ES: Right, there’s a piece where you are talking to someone, and then coming back again a year later to the same place.

MYF: Yes. Because that’s about my experience, but it’s also everybody’s experience.

People have this kind of experience, but they forget it, so last year I made a piece about this kind of situation. It’s not a performance – it’s not meant to be very intentional, or pretentious, it’s just a talk in the street with a stranger. Because I know nothing about him I talk about something I’ve broken – where can I repair it? The conversation is about three minutes long, and I recorded it (although he doesn’t know that). After one year, I call and ask him: “Do you remember we had a conversation on this day last year?” He can’t remember, of course. I say, “OK, come here again and I will get you dinner.” So he is interested in the dinner and will come. I give him the words on a piece of paper and tell him we have to remember the event, we have to do something like a rehearsal (an idea from Poor Theatre), and then we do it very seriously! We speak it again at the same time, the same moment, in the same location.

I think it is interesting because nobody cares about it, they think, “oh, it’s just two people talking in the street, it’s a very normal thing”, but I think the most important thing is that time has changed something.

ES: On the website you talk about “sometimes you switch between art and non-art”? How do you see that working?

MYF: You know, we don’t want to stay in art, it’s a bit boring to do that. Those artists that want to make “good” works and attend the big Biennales, or some show in UCCA – that’s quite wearying! The people who set up the exhibitions like that are people who make big things, these big nothings. Now there are the Yes Men and Wild Boys doing some crazy things, and the young artists in China like them very much.

ES: Do you think Chinese artists, Asian artists, are particularly interested in these sorts of things now?

MYF: Yes, some artists like the Shuang Fei group from Hangzhou, they are doing something like this.

But forget art is not trying to do that. We want an aesthetic of the low profile, or the aesthetic of the “ignore us”. With forget art we are still in the context of art, but we need that contradiction, that confrontation – confrontation with the art world and the artworks. For example, once I brought a battery charger into a museum space. I found the walls there all hung with big paintings and I thought maybe I can do something with this situation? So I brought my video camera charger and put it amongst the art – and people didn’t notice it. After one week, people come back and the charger is still there – they don’t care about that, maybe they think it’s some staff working in that area. I think it’s kind of an ignorance—or it’s nothing—but I do think it’s connected to that space, although you can’t see it, there’s some energy in there, some transmission inside. Maybe it will consume several volts of electricity, but people won’t notice that.

I don’t think I had seen Ceal Floyer’s work before I made this work, but when I saw her till receipt, I thought it was so subtle and minimal and has this reference to Robert Ryman – I thought it was beautiful, very beautiful. But people who see the receipt at first can’t understand it fully, but it develops.

ES: I know you also like Martin Creed. For instance his lights turned on and off, those kind of pieces that he does – really, really subtle, to the point of disappearing.

MYF: Yes, I like him very much. But you know, although it’s a Western artist’s work, from England, I think it’s referring to Eastern thought and philosophy, especially the Jingangjing (The Diamond Sutra) – a very famous Buddhist text. In this text the Buddha (the Buddhist sutra) talks about the Void and Emptiness, how you can feel the Void and Emptiness in everyday life. If you see this Void you won’t see anything, but just the name of this thing that you see. When you first read this book you may be confused – if you see it, actually you will not see it, it’s just the name that you see. There are a lot of conversations like that in the text. So – well it makes me very confused! This way to see the world, I think is an alternative way. Three thousand years ago there is this wisdom about the world, but people still don’t understand it today. So that’s an idea behind forget art, that all the artists will make something to deal with this kind of concept.

In 2008 I was staying in Vermont on a residency with several other artists. The organisers wanted us to do some work for an open studio. Because the place where we stayed was very high in the mountains, there was a lot of snow. So I didn’t want to do any works I just want to play! But they say “Tomorrow we are going to have an open studio. What kind of thing are you doing?” I haven’t got any idea! But that pushed me to think about what I do. I want to play with snow, so why don’t I make some snow toilet paper? So I use a can and push some snow inside and make it very solid. After one night, the snow shrinks slightly and can drop out of the can and then I cut a hole through it. So it’s like a toilet paper roll, almost the same size. I put it on the table and when people come to see me, they ask “Well, where are your things?” “That’s it!” I say to them, “you can use it!” and they laugh! So I think that was clever and humorous – people liked it and that’s good, some kids liked it and that’s also good. I think with good works kids and old people like it.

ES: And then this piece melts away eventually?

MYF: Yes, after four hours it melts, and becomes nothing, it becomes emptiness. So it’s a contrast between the inside and the outside. The snow and the form, and after several hours it will disappear.

My point is I have to do something with nothing. I don’t want people to buy my things, because many things you can’t buy in life. Like love! I mean love needs time – to know a girl and have that feeling, maybe over one year, maybe two years. And you can’t buy that. Actually Capitalism tries to make everything become a commodity, that’s not acceptable to me, it’s unfair to the work. That’s also an idea behind forget art.

ES: How do you see forget art developing? Will you carry on doing situations? Will you do more shows, like the one coming up? Or is it a thing which is very open?

MYF: Yes, it’s very open. We cooperate with different artists. Every time maybe we put a lot of energy into the intangible works, like the situations. The situation is intangible, like those of the artist Tino Sehgal, it’s just a situation. We can’t call it a performance, because a performance is a traditional work. ”Live work” is ok, but situation is better. It’s like a film still from a film, from cinema, of people talking or people doing something, or falling in love, or people doing an exhibition – this is all material for us.

Because we try to “forget” art we use every detail of this institution – like curatorial practice, the art fair, art gallery, arts management. We can use everything as material to do something related to art, or unrelated to art. As an example, one of my friends is trying to see some show, a big show in a museum – he calls this the work. Every afternoon he goes there to see a big painting for two hours, and he says, “I’m doing the work to see the work”. That’s ok, I think it’s no problem. He did another work where he pays for three months of traditional Chinese music lessons, on the erhu. And then he performs in the gallery space for the visitors. That’s involving several layers of social experience. Yes, I think with these situation-based works, and you have to use a lot of time to do them.

ES: You now have a situation, a show coming up. Why have you now chosen to somehow formalise forget art, to have a proper show?

MYF: I think if you want to do something new, it’s difficult, probably people have done that. But I think if we just make a new start it’s ok. A new start means we choose a place, in this case it’s a public bathroom in the village, not very clean or tidy, just a specific environment that’s perhaps not very popular, and we just use it for one day. We don’t try and change anything about this environment. We have six or seven different spaces, female rooms, male rooms. I told all the artists: don’t try to change anything about the space, just the details or some part of it, and do some small interventions. When the audience come into this place maybe they can’t see any works, we just want the public bathroom to still be the bathroom, we don’t want to change a lot. We think if you want to do that, use a gallery space, use a museum, you can do fantastic things! You can use projections, you can do big installations. But here, we don’t want to change anything. We just use very small ideas to change something inside and people may not notice at all! That’s our motivation.

ES: So the changes may look completely normal? But there’s still changes taking place?

MYF: Right now, I can’t say that 100% of the things are like that, but I think if we have 70% or 80% it will be ok, because everything is not so progressed yet. You also have to compromise with the artists. With some artists you have to have a long talk with them, to help them get the theme.

ES: So, who are these artists?

MYF: Most of them are young artists, born after the 80’s, very young, very active and very dynamic – they have many good ideas. They want to try the new things and new forms, new ideas. Sometimes they really surprise you. So I like to cooperate with them.

ES: And when is the show?

MYF: September 9.


Ma Yongfeng was interviewed by Edward Sanderson (CPU:PRO) at the The Cave Café, 798 Art District, Beijing, on 29 July 2010. Interview edited by Edward Sanderson.
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