The third video in the “Magic Box” series is nearly finished, so to prepare for its release we are going back and giving a look at some of the aspects that have gone into its making. As Gabe was the lead on the cave and did the majority of the work, it seemd important for him to tell its story. Since video is his mode of expression, he put this together to detail the process of its making.
Here it is. Enjoy!
Though the relationship to ceramic with the work of artist Lin Tianmiao is not specific, I do feel it has a place in this group because of her strong commitment to the use of video in her installations and her ongoing collaboration with her husband, the video artist Wang Gongxin. The other obvious relationship to the ceramics discipline is her commitment to objects. Here we see common household objects , particularly those specific to her domestic life in her home in China. Using objects as a base, she winds thread, either silk or cotton to completely cover the object. This has the effect of transforming the objects into a new idea, much like the transformation of the caterpillar in a cocoon. They tare elevated in a way, stripped of individual identity and placed carefully into the gallery context, where they are then celebrated as art objects, rather than passed over as common household debris.
Tianmiao’s work is often considered feminist, and though the artist freely admits much of the work is based on her life and experiences as a woman, She asks the viewer not to judge the work based on that criteria or on that of a Chinese artist. Her request is that we see the work from an international perspective, and evaluate it there. I think this is valuable advice. When we view a man’s work, no matter how autobiographical, we never speak of it as dealing with men’s issues. Somehow pigeonholing this work as feminist, reduces its importance to the larger movement of world art making.
Here we see not all women’s bodies, or a general body, but Tianmiao’s body. Her own personal statement about life and the transition of a midlife crisis. She will admit that all women must undergo this emotional adjustment, but she does not claim to be laying a roadmap for all women to follow. This is a personal journey of a particular experience.
The placement of video within the installations is subtle and engaging. Here the video is nestled in the center of a woven nest, a place for birth, as she winds the thousands of thread balls on the screen to create the work displayed. This display of process is an invitation to consider the countless hours that go into the creation of works made with the hand. The digital reference to that hand adds layers to the conceptual message of the work.
Video about the show Bound Unbound for the Asia Society in New York