“Performative Sculpture ” _ 2017 Whitney Biennial

We took a visit to Whitney Museum last Thursday. There are so many attractive works in 2017 Whitney Biennial and I would like to talk about two pieces come from same series that impressed me most – “Performative Sculpture” by Jon Kessler.

The first one calls Exodus, the serious of sculpture figurines came from eBay. They move around a big screen with endless rotation, indicating the Syrian refugee crisis. What made me feel interesting is an iPhone standing in front of the rotate platform and transfer the video to the screen in the center. In the video, the big screen is the main character with the eBay-sourced figurines, reflecting endless scenes of figurines in an endless march, with walking people on the edge of scenes. This simple method really has the magical effect on the meaning of this piece.The mobile phone is indicating the indifferent world and medias, recording what refugees are suffering with little help and voices, the pain that migration brings to them are expand and becoming infinity.


The second work calls Evolution, focuses attention on climate change – the rising sea levels. Two plastic models in snorkel gear take pictures, wearing VR glasses, ignorant of impending danger to human beings, immersing in unreal world with pleasant weather. The repeating image hinted luxury residential skyscraper, reveals even if the effects of climate change displace millions in low-lying areas, those who can afford not to care still choosing to build waterfront pleasure palaces.

 

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