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Today’s Documents More Choices
Text by Yi Mei

 

Untitled by Subodh Gupta, mixed media, 441x111x101cm, 200-250kg approx., 2012 Domino Effect by Donna Conlon, videos, 5’13”, 2013 Domino Effect by Donna Conlon, videos, 5’13”, 2013

After six years of preparation, the 3rd “Today’s Documents” finally opened at Today Art Museum on December 10, 2016 and will last until March 5, 2017. The title of the exhibition is “BRIC-¨a-brac” in French, “The Jumble of Growth” in English and “另一种选择”(Another Choice) in Chinese. According to its curators, the French term BRIC-¨a-brac refers to a jumbled situation, whereas Jumble of Growth symbolizes a dynamic process, and Another Choice hearkens to an attitude, standpoint and analysis. The relations between these three titles in three languages are not parallel, but progressive.

The exhibition invited 50 artists from different countries including China, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa and South Korea. Their works discuss the role art plays in the chain reaction of  emerging economies and how art deals with social transformations and their influence on society and individuals.

After the Gift—Blossfedt’s Fan by Sascha Pohle, HD color silent video, 24’38’’, 2016 After the I Ching XXIV Fû by Francesco Clemente, watercolor and miniature on paper, 35.6x50.8cm, 2016 Studies on Maps, radio, 6’52’’, 80x80x57cm, photograph and 221 neon light tubes, 2016

Stuck in the Middle

Although the exhibition focuses on BRICS countries, the participating artists hail from a wider range of nations. Curators hoped that inviting representatives from several developing countries would result in light radiating from a “middle zone.” “We have artists from Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Chile, Panama and even Iraq,” notes co-curator Huang Du.

These nations from the “middle zone” are neither Western countries nor undeveloped ones, and represent a rising force. “In contrast with Western economics of transnational capitalism and modes of knowledge production, new emerging economies focus on national modernization and cultural discovery,” explains Huang. “Influenced by global capitalism, they benefit from it and grow. Their complicated and diverse political and economic situations present a different brand of modernization, which demands attention and analysis that can be satisfied in part through study of their artistic practice.”

 

 

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