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Call Me By My Price! Art Landscape in a No-Stop City
January 27, 2021 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Have you ever felt lost in this age of consumerism?
The colorful commercials in shopping malls, the products endorsed by celebrities on TV, live-stream platforms full of persuasive sellers, and even the overwhelming commercial information on various facades of buildings, roads, and transports… Have you realized you ever bought something you don’t really need?
We begin to see that perhaps it is not our needs that drive the production of goods, but the production of goods in turn creates our desires, shaping us into highly similar consumers.
Interestingly, art presents a very different picture.
The value of art lies in its narrative that is hard to replicate. Every work of art is a mapping of the creator’s ontological consciousness. All of them are closely related to the artist’s own experience, feelings, and reflections. Art is the unique subjective narrative of each creator.
Art doesn’t use cunning disguises to evoke consumer desires. From art’s production to its acceptance, the artist’s narrative undergoes the process of being expressed, and then understood. The artist expresses emotions through creation, and the audience is only impressed when he or she reads and recognizes the narrative embedded within.
Consumption. Art. Two seemingly conflicting ideas.
What kind of interesting dialogue would emerge if the two were discussed in the same topic?
Highly industrialized societal production has been saturated. Information technology leads to the explosion of huge amounts of data. Then there appears the new brand marketing strategy of “story-selling”: stories endow products with more humane characteristics and connotation, making it possible for products to transcend their physical attributes. Consumer behavior then begins to be guided by the empathy between producers and consumers.
When art becomes a consumer product, narrative becomes an important factor that we pay for. Therefore, when we consume a piece of art, we are actually consuming the story, values and identity it embodies. The so-called “consumption of art” is not only the purchase of artworks, but also the emotional connection between consumers and artists.
AN+ Art & Design Center, the exhibition venue, is located in Ping An Finance Center, a landmark building in Shenzhen. Shopping malls are one of the most representative spaces for consumer culture; PAFC MALL is also one of the most well-known shopping malls in Shenzhen. To respond to the theme of this exhibition, we draw on the concept of No-Stop City proposed by the Italian radical architecture design groups Archizoom and Superstudio in the 1960s.
1960s, Archizoom and Superstudio, two of the Italian radical architecture design groups, explored the notion of “superarchitecture” based on their own understanding of grid. They then proposed the project plan of No-Stop City to respond to their reflections on mass production and consumption. No-Stop City is based on the idea that advanced technology could eliminate the need for a centralized modern city. This plan illustrates a fragment of a metropolis that can be extended infinitely through the addition of homogenous elements adapted to a variety of uses. Residential units and free-form organic shapes representing parks are placed haphazardly over a grid structure, allowing for a large degree of freedom within a regulated system.
As envisioned by Archizoom and Superstudio, the entire exhibition space is divided into grids. The functions and rules of the space are highly simplified into a place with only two behaviors: production and consumption. When we place art in such a space, there seems to be a confrontation between artistic narrative that emphasizes uniqueness and space design that removes differentiation, which may also foil an interesting collision.
Under the title Call Me By My Price, the exhibition features 17 artists: Hei Yiyang, Huang Cheng, Huang Yan, Lao Jiahui, Tan Lijie, Tan Xuan, Wen Xuefei, Xu Zhenbang, Xu Ziwei, Yu Tong, Zeng Zhaohua, Zhan Yan, Zhao Erdong, Zhou Yuan, Fly Chen, Papa Lemon, and Aurora Reinhard. Their works of art are scattered in each space reorganized by the grid, like hidden clues, leading the audience through different narrative one after another.
Will the art be consumed during this exhibition? For what reason will it be consumed? How will it be consumed? … All these will be witnessed, observed, recorded and presented. When the artwork is taken away by the audience, or the audience posts relevant content on social media, the act of “consumption” will in turn complement the “narrative” of the exhibition.
Call Me By My Price is open to the public from October 25 till March 14, 2021. The preview week lasts from October 25 till October 30. The official opening is scheduled on October 31. The venue is located at 3F Exhibition Hall, AN+ Art & Design Center, opening from 10AM to 10PM (last entry 9:30PM).
In addition, during the exhibition, AN+ Art & Design Center will hold a series of lectures, workshops, public education, performances and other activities around the theme of Call Me By My Price. Audience can then not only interpret the relationship between art and consumption in multiple dimensions, but also participate in the interactive experience to explore the different possibilities of the integration of art and life.
￥38 for early bird tickets (available to buy before Oct. 31)
￥58 for regular tickets on weekdays
￥78 for regular tickets on weekends
￥38 for children and students’ tickets
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