A few years ago, artist Guy Laramee began his The Great Wall series, which imagines a 23rd century when the Chinese empire has overthrown its American rival. His artist statement is a piece of science fiction and it sets the stage for his sculptural works that tap into American anxieties about empire, civilization and, most importantly, decline [emphasis his]:
Having recently overthrown the American Empire in the 23rd century, the Chinese Empire set out to chronicle the history of the Great Panics during the 21st and 22nd centuries.
This Herculean undertaking resulted in a historiographical masterwork entitled, The Great Wall. Comprising 100 volumes, this encyclopaedia derives its name from The Great Wall of America, a monumental project to build an impregnable wall around the United States of America so as to protect this land from barbarian invasions. 150 years in the making, this wall ultimately isolated Americans from the rest of the world while sapping the country’s remaining cultural and natural resources. It also undermined the American people’s confidence in systematized hedonism, thus hastening the fall of the American Empire. As we now know this paved the way for China to invade American territory.
The Chinese Empire later ordered a group of scribes to write The Great Wall series. In the course of their duties they familiarized themselves with the libraries of the former USA. Through a strange twist of fate they thereby discovered the ancient sources of their own civilization which the new Middle Kingdom had long ago removed from its libraries. In the end this contact, primarily with Taoism and Chan (Zen) Buddhism, sowed the seeds of the Chinese Empire’s.
The objects themselves are stereotypical views of a Chinese past, one full of peace and serenity and seemingly at union with nature. Yet the objects are carved into books and parts are obviously missing. The objects, which I haven’t seen in person, seem to be begging the view to be interpreted.
For more images from The Great Wall series, visitguylaramee.com.
I won’t bother you with talk about how obscenely decadent and out of touch the Frieze art fair is. And yet…
Curators Tahnee Ahtone, La Tanya S. Autry, Frederica Simmons, Dan Cameron, and Jeremy Dennis offered the public a window into their curatorial processes through the work they produced during their fellowships.
Who says tragedy has to be tragic? Co-presented with National Black Theatre, this fresh, Pulitzer-winning take on a classic centers Black joy and liberation.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Jeremy Dennis presents an exhibition to offer insight into his curatorial process.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Dan Cameron presents an email exhibition to offer insight into his curatorial process.
For the triennial’s eighth edition, work by more than 70 artists is featured in 12 exhibitions and a polyphonic program, installed at various locations throughout the German city.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Frederica Simmons presents an email exhibition to offer insight into their curatorial process.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, La Tanya S. Autry presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
This exhibition explores the work and short-but-impactful life of the groundbreaking ceramic artist. Now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Tahnee Ahtone presents an email exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
This week: Why does the internet hate Amber Heard? Will Congress recognize the Palestinian Nakba? And other urgent questions.
Artist Dan Jian makes the point that landscapes and memory are one and the same.