Controversial Xu Bing Work Enters the Guggenheim Museum’s Collection

Controversial Xu Bing Work Enters the Guggenheim Museum’s Collection


Xu Bing’s “A Case Examine of Transference” is a video documentation of a 1994 efficiency through which two pigs copulated earlier than a stay viewers.

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Xu Bing

Name it the Artwork Boomerang.

On the eve of the opening final October of its major fall exhibition, “Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World,” the Guggenheim Museum pulled three works after an outpouring of protest from animal-rights activists. Now, a kind of works, Xu Bing’s “A Case Examine of Transference,” is coming again to the museum, this time as a valued a part of its everlasting assortment, bought with funds supplied by an nameless donor. The web site ARTnews first reported the gift.

The controversial work is a video documentation of a 1994 efficiency through which two pigs, one imprinted with nonsensical English phrases and one stamped with fanciful Chinese language characters, copulate earlier than a stay viewers. It’s a satirical tackle the collision of East and West.

As a substitute of exhibiting the video, the museum displayed a clean monitor with a wall label explaining, “For Xu, who, like many intellectuals of his era, had frolicked on a farm through the Cultural Revolution and was accustomed to animal husbandry, the efficiency was a literal and visceral critique of Chinese language artists’ need for enlightenment by means of Western cultural ‘transference.’”

“Xu Bing’s ‘A Case Examine of Transference’ is acknowledged as an iconic work of conceptual and efficiency artwork from China throughout this era and is now a part of the exhibition historical past,” mentioned Sarah Eaton, a spokeswoman for the Guggenheim, who instructed The New York Occasions that the museum would possibly present the work there sooner or later.

It may be proven elsewhere someday quickly. “Artwork and China After 1989” will journey to the Guggenheim Bilbao from Might 11 to Sept. 23, 2018, and to the San Francisco Museum of Trendy Artwork from Nov. 10, 2018, to Feb. 24, 2019, though neither establishment has finalized its guidelines but.

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi already owns one other work that was altered for the exhibition, Huang Yong Ping’s “Theater of the World” (1993), an empty cage that was supposed to be stuffed with stay bugs, lizards and snakes that will ostensibly feed off one another through the course of the three-month present. In response to the museum’s intervention, the artist scribbled a observe of protest in Chinese language on an airsickness bag on his flight to New York from Paris the place he lives. This work, titled “Vomit Bag” (2017), was displayed in a vitrine on the present and can be into consideration for coming into the Guggenheim’s everlasting assortment.

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