Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wang Qingsong, When Worlds Collide @ International Center of Photography

Is it me or is all contemporary Chinese art that isn’t Ai Weiwei awful? Certainly China is going through a fascinating period in its history and a slight loosening of cultural restrictions has allowed for more of its art and culture to reach America, but why doesn’t anyone acknowledge the obvious: that the art by most mainstream international standards is pretty terrible? There is probably some utterly fascinating reason why the work all looks like it was made by undergraduate performance artists with an Asian fetish, but I for one am eagerly awaiting being let in on this greater context. I am tired of pretending that it’s good art, Ai Weiwei kicks ass. Why do we need to patronize Chinese artists for having reached New York galleries? Why can’t we hold them up to the same standards of less exotic and just as terrible art? Which is all a roundabout way of saying this is a terrible show of dated, pretentious, overwrought drivel that would make Joel Peter Witken and Gregory Crewdson blush. Andy Sokaglan doesn’t have a career and for good reason. So either someone starts explaining why anyone should care about bad Chinese art or the art gets as good as Ai Weiwei. Otherwise I am for no more Chinese art.

Through May 8th
International Center of Photography (1133 6th Ave., Btw 43rd & 44th Sts.)


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