The Great Animal Orchestra



This work was shown as part of the exhibition "Foundation Dynastie Tang pour l’art—A Beautiful Identity”, which was inspired by the major exhibition “Foundation Cartier pour l'art contemporation—A Beautiful Elsewhere” at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai.

The former exhibition used the latter as it's blueprint, albeit in an "alternate reality", far removed from the big names and big money of the Cartier show. "Cartier” was replaced with the curator's surname "Tang", and "Elsewhere" turned into "Identity". The artist biographies, exhibition guides, introduction of the works, and even the visual style of the exhibition promotion were all the same as the Cartier show it took inspiration from. The only difference lay in that the artists’ names and the work that they referred to were replaced.

New artworks were therefore created within the bounds of an already existing identity and artwork introduction. In Cartier's exhibition, the identity of the artist is a one-sided concept organized and selected by capital. The particularity of the “artist” himself/herself is deconstructed, and his/her identity points to nothingness. As it is emphasized in this exhibition, what are exhibited before us are no longer the original appearances of the artist and his/her works under the context of commercialization.

I was invited to participate in this exhibition, creating my work based on Bernie Krause's work The Great Animal Orchestra. This is a dual proposition creation, including the exhibition theme and the name of the work (even a brief introduction to the work).

The original work by Krause is a sound-based video. I collected voices of different groups of people in specific occasions: government meetings, bars, subways, and construction sites, etc. They are grafted together with animal pictures, with four animals as labels, representing a certain identity group in the society. The pictures and sounds in different time and space are spliced to achieve a certain degree of harmony, and a sense of strangeness is also generated at the same time.

Fondation Dynastie Tang pour l’art | A Beautiful Identity