Sunday, March 22, 2009

Staring into Amnesia 3: Private collection / Courtesy of Boers-Li Gallery and ArtShortCut

Opened February at Arken Museum of Modern Art's unique exhibition space The Art Axis. It's a journey into a jumble of memories of China's past and pondering of the good life. In the 1960s and '70s this train ran in northeastern China transporting ordinary Chinese people to and from work, visits and journeys. Now at ARKEN's Art Axis, its purpose is to make museum visitors think about the dreams and values in our society. "Starring into Amnesia by Qui Anxiong is the first installation in a series of exhibitions in the museum's UTOPIA project. It opened on February the 6th. UTOPIA exhibition is the first of three exhibitions of contemporary art shown in ARKEN's Art Axis in the period 2009-2011 - one per year. Each exhibition will feature a significant, international contemporary artist in exploration of "the good life." The first artist is the Chinese Qui Anxiong (b. 1972). Qui Anxiong has converted this train car into a multi media work, Staring into Amnesia (2007). Viewers are expected to interact by boarding the train, sit down and be transported through China's history. Video clips of documentary and propaganda films from China from 1910 until today pass by the windows as fragments of memories alternating with silhouettes a la Kara Walker, of ordinary scenes. What is is juxtaposed with what was and what will be in this artistic metaphor for passage of time. Will it lead to Utopia? With its 6,000 drawings - one movie and the interaction of the masses, Staring into Amnesia is the principal work of the UTOPIA exhibition.

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