Thursday, 21 July 2016

#AMTHINKING: I’m tired of playful installations like Song Dong’s Communal Courtyard at AGO.

You know what? I’m tired of “playful” installations combined with advocacy – in this case, a plug for the traditional urban landscape of Beijing. The piece consists of a snaking line made up of the backs of ramshackle old wardrobes, the kind I have in my basement and would like to get rid of. I’m thinking of doing an installation of all the junk I have accumulated and call it The Purging of the Soul, or some such. All I need is a curator to come up with the right words like this thoughtful, playful, and materially rich collection invites audiences to reconsider how we might hold on to some elements of tradition while radically reimagining them for the present. I’m quoting from the AGO’s description of Song Dong’s installation.

But seriously: Installation artists are taking on too much. A conga line of old wardrobes doesn’t do justice to complex issues like urbanization and city planning. We need a conga line of words for that.

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