French Kissing Mao: Chinese Art Smackdown

Beijing/Bushwick resident (one of the best hybrids I’ve yet encountered) Ellen Pearlman takes on The New Republic‘s Jed Perl (“Mao Crazy“) in an article published in the Brooklyn Rail that offers some good insight into new Chinese art.

Best part:

Artists readily acknowledge their superior ability to imitate and appropriate (think well-made Chinese knockoffs or Murakami Vuitton bags) but the warp speed at which this appropriation and synthesis will ultimately create new forms in China could make the fin-de-siècle displays at this year’s Whitney Biennial and New Museum shows look like a last gasp for America’s world domination. And if Mr. Perl has any doubts about appropriation, he should look in his own back yard at the work of Richard Prince. It’s already a dead argument.

The whole article here.

Though I think Ellen overlooks what one of the primary issues with the new Chinese art is, namely human rights, not aesthetics. If Chinese artists had a more critical stance towards the Chinese government’s human rights lunacy some of us would be able to stomach the art more…but until that day, it just feels like they are PR agents of a corrupt and dangerous regime.

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