by Pan Gaojie
In a dialogue, a friend asked me, “Have you seen the works of the Double Fly Art Center in“CAFAM • Future” exhibition? There are a few videos on the fourth floor.” When I first visited the exhibition, I just looked at the first three levels, because of this sentence, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts the very next day, which has given me a decidedly different experience.
Concept and Readability
Most visitors on the fourth hall of the CAFA Museum gathered before the works by the Double Fly Art Center. In these video works, you can see the dadaism of young people. For a long time, people have been attracted by such hilarious and funny videos on the screen, no matter whether the audience have received an art education or not. Then I found that contemporary art can also be understood, here taking its literal meaning, that is, the ability to attract us to read, the best to finish reading all at one go, which means the happiness given to an audience by art itself offers direct emotional presentation. Video art is often shrouded by a concept and seems fragmented and difficult to read. Today there are often misunderstandings that in the conscious mind or subconscious mind, reading and understanding is still not considered as a part of video art. It seems that once video art is able to be read, it loses the identity of avant-garde art. In contemporary art, obscure images are increasingly filled with elitist meaning. Relaxed and lively artworks seem difficult to jump from the shackles of simplistic, childish and cartoonish character. At this time, the emergence of the Double Fly Art Center attracts the attention of an audience, their popularity had something to do with the low taste in their works. Just as Peng Haoxiang who has been saluted in the film world in recent years, his wilfulness is followed by young people that Peng-vulgarity is like some never excessive ridicule or dirty joke on the table, populist and appropriate. It may be difficult for the Double Fly Art Center or Peng Haoxiang to enter the more mainstream, official or institutional discourse system, but for people and commerce, they are a popular art form.
Groups and Individuals
Members of the Double Fly Art Center usually appear at various occasions as a group image, they act all sorts of amazing roles and perform unintelligible sarcasm or actions, such as, portraying themselves as robbers to plunder building materials in a bank under renovation; moaning like a porn actress when massaging in the footbath room and it goes on. Under the invitation of art exhibitions,they always turn the exhibition hall into a fun show rather than displaying artworks. Their creation retains an improvisational style which always triggers events based on factors there and then. In fact, “art group” is already nothing new in Contemporary Youth Arts, for example, some artists like Qiu Xiaofei, Wang Guangle and Liang Yuanwei in the“CAFAM • Future” exhibition are from the art group N12, different from the Double Fly Art Center, they don’t create collective works and there’s nothing in common among the works of the members, but they form a team for holding exhibitions together. In fact, members of the Double Fly Art Center never stop their personal creations, in contrast to the videos collectively created, these individual works seem to be serious,like Cui Shaohan’s “Three miles west of the rivers, Roaring Waves”, Huang Li’s “Two animals”.
Works of the Double Fly Art Center have presented some new grassroots cultural types in the rough self-timer lens of netizens like copycat, spoof, wretched appearance and so on. Many people say that this kind of form was there long ago. In fact, it seems not so important, Andy Warhol’s “Brillo box”is the same as Duchamp’s “Fountain” which has moved finished products to the museum of fine arts and broken the boundary between life and art, isn’t it? But this did not affect the importance of the the “Brillo box” in art history. It seems that in this art group of individuals no longer get attention, what people are concerned with is their collective creation.
Pain and Humor
In the “Double Fly Art Center” version music of “Love trading”, people can feel the strong contrast between the entertainment of this series of video works and many women’s artworks-the affliction and seriousness of female art. Female art here refers not to feminist art, but more generalized artworks created by female artists. In recent years, female art has constantly posed a challenge to the mainstream culture,however,the constant resistance and appeal have repeatedly confirmed its embarrassing situation. Of course, this is because women are still in a paradoxical position,as the lawyer Miranda in the movie “Sex and the City ll” said: “On the surface, American men could make peace with mighty women, but in fact most still want us eating french fries veiled(referring to Arab women).In many works of female artists, the audience can often feel a sense of oppression given to women by the patriarchal society. If one day, female art can unleash the power of humor very naturally like the Double Fly Art Center, their works can afford the joke, maybe that could mean women’s liberation of both the spirit and body.
Compared with the sarcasm, joke and humor of male art, women seem to be more concerned about pain, such as Ma Qiusha’s “From No.4 Pingyuanli to No.4 Tianqiaobeili “, the artist talks about her experience of studying art in primary school with a blade in her mouth. At the end of the video, she removes the blade from her mouth. Or, as Xiao Lu, after a shot she fired at the National Art Museum of China in 1989, she and the other major artists of the shooting Tang Song become lovers and went to Australia together. Fifteen years later, they broke up, with these experiences and feelings, Xiao Lu created “Fifteen shots:from1989 to 2003” in which she fired fifteen shots to fifteen full-face photos taken then when she shot towards the “Dialogue”.
Pain in such works is just like a weepy movie that woman just can’t give up. Female artists own such innate talent. In contrast, for the black humor in art, female artists do not seem very interested in this topic. Are humor and smiling too difficult for women today or the state of female artists? Although female artists have always been good at telling pain, I still hope that one day domestic female artists could create some artworks with the effects of light comedy or black humor.
For the ecology of Chinese Youth Arts, the works of the Double Fly Art Center are innovative and attractive, as a spectator, just as Yin Jinan said: “I look forward to the rise of a new art, but also worry about the numbness and vapid feeling brought on by the overflow. ”
About the author
Born in Guangxi Province, China in 1990
Grown in Guangdong Province since 1995
Currently studying in Beijing
2009—— , Study in Art History Department of Humanities Institute, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing.
The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of CAFA ART INFO.