Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Made in China show at MoCP is worth getting to before it closes next week. The picture is just a bit of a room-sized installation of floor-to-ceiling toy detritus with window-like breaks in the junk showing the nonplussed people who have to make this crap. Many of the other photographs in the exhibit convey the enormity of China's productivity with infinite factory floors made of staggering symmetries of machine and uniform-clad humans. The cafeteria lines, the worker dormitory buildings, the boxes of raw materials labeled 1,2,3, A,B, C. Surely human endeavors at such a scale require hyperorganizing, but the group so easily overwhelms the individual. Workers are lined up for calisthenics or meetings with supervisors that resemble military formations. There's a certain accidental pageantry. But so much indoors. Acres of fluorescent lighting. Ceiling is the new sky?

A photo of (I didn't write down the name of the city) that looks like Sao Paulo with its density of highrises that fill the frame, was 25 years ago, a fishing village. A factory girl returns to her family and beside an ox shows them pictures of her new life on her cell phone. How do people catch up psychically to several centuries of progress in such a short time?

An excellent video piece, a dual-screened form of essay by Chinese-born Austrian artist Jun Yang exploring the semiotics of national identity and globalism, viz a vis flags and competition like the Olympics. Talking about post-quashed-democracy movement, he says, the government has struck upon a salient discovery--"wealth as a compensation for a lack of personal and political freedom...wealthy people don't start revolutions."


Also mean to digest further the unfortunate performance of Dido & Aenas we beheld on Sunday. One of my favorite operas, and I'm not against contemporizing as such, but Broadway direction and meta-plots in this case are a serious no-no. J has suggested I read some Hal Foster essays in order to properly capture my angst with this production- which also included the farcical The Padlock, an opera that I'm quite sure did not have rubber chickens and fart jokes envisioned in the 18th century of its creation. Or maybe I'm mistaken.


Post a Comment

<< Home