Xu Tan: Loose

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Curated by Vitamin Creative Space
Concept: Hu Fang
Time:18/11/2005-18/3/2006
Location:Vitamin Creative Space

Edition Xu Tan Loose (DVD +Book) is available
List of Works

Made at home in China, CD-ROM, Beijing-Shanghai-Guangzhou-Shenzhen,1998
New Curator and Lobster Art Center, Video, Shanghai, 2003
Concert Hall of Zheng Daoxing, Video Installation, Yangjiang-Shanghai-Guangzhou, 2002-04
Air Is Good, Video Installation, Shanghai-Berlin, 2005
Xin Tian Di, Video Installation, Shanghai, 2005

 

Why Loose
MSN: Xu Tan (xutanxt) and Hu Fang (fun)

Xu Tan has a special fondness for chatting on MSN because he sees it as a relaxed and improvisational way of writing, during which he can cut off fragments of his mind at any time and not have to sit properly with clothes straightened. In preparing for the exhibition, MSN has become one of the best communication platforms on which we exchange ideas.

During the preparation for the exhibition, I was frequently disappointed to chat on MSN: you always think that you are able to catch the tail of the opposing party, but it always steals away from you. As response to the quickly disappeared thoughts, I still hope that the following words will provide ways to approach towards the artist’s work.

The following MSN chat is selected from the mass which is a disussion about the exhibition concept.More on the publication Xu Tan Loose accompany to the exhibition.
(Hu Fang)

October 28, 2005

fun:
Shall we title the exhibition Loose?
fun:
This “loose” has something to do with uncertainty in everyday life, namely, political conflict apparently disappears, turning to experience concerning everyday consuming life.
fun:
Loose itself is also related to the relaxed space of the exhibition. The other day when we talked about the exhibition space, we mentioned the concept of “relaxed political space”. In this exhibition space we hope that the loosening of our body as well as the tension of our minds could form the two poles in our life.
xutanxt:
Yes. After revolution the social political relation changes its way of revelation.
fun:
Actually can we say that the whole social space is being reformed.
xutanxt:
You are right.
fun:
There will be a more invisible relationship.
xutanxt:
More personal, or more exquisite, that one can experience “political power” in his or her own body.
xutanxt:
As we said in earlier, when you concentrate yourself on the floating “Qi(气)” in your body, you will at the same time begin to feel a magnetic power going through your body.
fun:
This description is likened to the slow motion in the movie Matrix, whether everyone’s experience can be above everything, and becomes standard of man’s life.
xutanxt:
In succession you are defined by your position in the magnetic field of power, and you unceasingly break this magnetic field. In the field of the political or the field of power you are likened to the field through your personal political relationships.
xutanxt:
This is perhaps the relationship between public space and personal space.
xutanxt:
I agree with you. Invisible relationships are just like magnetic fields. Even though you stay alone, the magnetic power still exists.
fun:
Can we say that the ideology formation decided by others has transferred from outside the body to inside the body.
xutanxt:
Right. In the revolutionary period, one’s body has no independent value. It is just a tool with which one can achieve His holy goal.
xutanxt:
Today the biggest difference is that the field and the relationship have the chance to reform.
xutanxt:
In a very short time, we realized that one’s body is no longer “used for revolution”. When we arrived at Hainan Island we realized that “our bodies are not in a good condition(because of too many amusements)”. This is the greatest turning point accomplished in the past 20 years.
xutanxt:
Even in today’s world there still exists a huge perplexity among people. In so many places body is said to be with certain holy purposes, but here in China we may find: most value systems in this world will finally cease to be effective in the body.
fun:
The value of the body is produced in another vocabulary context, and the value of things has been produced in the course of unceasing reformation. This course of rising in value perhaps rightly depreciates the value of we human beings.
xutanxt:
So we can feel the unusually “loose”.
fun:
In this case we may see the change of social space. For example, the People’s Square has changed into a Shopping Square; and the department store is likely to become the later New People’s Square.
fun:
In China everything is defined tight and loose, and then in relation to this social understanding, the exhibition space should become tight and loose too, and become a space with a blurry limit.
xutanxt:
In this exhibition space, many shrouds of everyday life will be uncovered and the “magnetic line” will clearly emerge.
fun:
Is it to say that everyone would bring his/her individual political space to meet with your space?
xutanxt:
Like what you have said, if they are willing to sit down, relax themselves, and be patient to sit through, then we will have more chance to exchange with each other.
fun:
It is interesting that we still have no idea how to define the nature of the exhibition space.
Just like traditional Chinese philosophy, maybe it is unnecessary to question closely the nature of space. Like you said last time: if you can get it if you are able to see; and you can’t find it out you are unable to recognize.
xutanxt:
The relationship between work and living in reality depends on their particular structures. Comparing with living in reality, work is likened to it in structure.
fun:
In this exhibition and in our discussions, we have tried our best to search and share with others our experience, knowledge and feelings.
xutanxt:
The work of art is similar to living in reality in structure, and it is merely similar to it.
fun:
Thus the work becomes a platform on which living experiences are created and aroused.
xutanxt:
Yes, a living experience platform.
fun:
Can we say the course of an artist’s creation, together with the course of our exchange with each other, is a individual practice in politics, that is to say, it is not only personal, but also likened to our human beings.
xutanxt:
With the same structure it then produces resonance.
fun:
Therefore, individual political space is formless, and is opened at any time.

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