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Xu Bing - Book from the sky

this work is significant

it’s momentous. what the artist has done here is create an instillation which despite a tangible, physical nature is chiefly constituted of impressions, recognition and misrecognition.

the course i was studying when i came across this work was titled “globalism and the diaspora”, in my art history class. this topic reaches dizzying heights of relevance because, as we’re all collected here, in the tumblrverse we’re completely without borders. 

we loose all the bits of ourselves prescribed by bits of paper like birth certificates and leases  and become what we write under “about me”

.we are exemplary inhabitants of the globalised world, and, among other things, this work talks about how understanding functions in so border-less a place.

at a first glance the work appears to be made using Chinese or Japenese characters. in reality, it is made from neither of these. Bing created dozens upon dozens of new characters and fabricated the appearence of an existent language

but the brilliance of this lies in the “why” of it’s “how”

that first glance from the english-speaking viewer which created an impression which leads to the conclusion,”i don’t understand” is critiqued. 

the presumption that goes into how we see language and the culture of others is indicted .

those that speak languages that have characters similar to these are also caught in the crosssfire of misunderstanding. but for them it is the presumption of understanding that is critiqued.

i have not scratched the surface of the complexity of this work but the focus of this rambling is this:

we’re in a time, space and age where we cannot afford to reduce things, we cannot afford to presume and judge things based on our pre-existing frames of reference. the world is constantly being created anew.

we do not know that we know, and we do not know that we don’t know. when we assume we blight our potential for learning and seeing the beauty of the things presented to us.

we must approach all without expectation

34 notes - ? Nov 2nd 2012
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