Material for Analyse for Opposition – MAO

Manufactura’s Studio, Wuhan

18 – 23. July 2010

Real exchange is fragile; and conceptions like cultural difference, tradition or modernity are often used to generate distance and oppression. Within the conception of cultural difference in example, culture isn’t something that can be acquired, but is given by birth. In the field of art, culturalist ideas are still common. How can we escape this tyranny of culture and cultural Otherness? Is internationalism still a solution, or do we have to invent other approaches? Facing the fragility of exchange through experimental, cross-disciplinary practice, this platform aims to provide a “play-ground” for experimentation and critical discussion of divergent practices.


Jun-Y Ciao, Raphaël Grisey, Olaf Hochherz, Li Jianhong, Junky (Torturing Nurse), Yan Jun, Xu Tan, Xu Zhe, Vavabond, Zhang Xian Bing


//18 July 2010

On March 25, the Guangzhou-based newspaper Time Week published an article, which elaborates on the development proceedings of the East Lake in Wuhan. According to the article, the local government signed a long-term lease with the state-owned real estate development company OCT (Overseas Chinese Town) for 211 hectares, including 30 hectares of the lake itself. OCT‘s plan is to build an amusement park, upscale shopping areas, hotels and condominiums, even though the sites fall within the nationally protected East Lake Scenic Area. Many of Wuhan citizens are struggling to save the East Lake from plans to fill in and to develop the area commercially. Various artists try to raise awareness about the subject. Together with the local environmental activist and artist Zhang Xian Bing, we visit the sites.

Can Mao still help us today?

//19 July 2010

China has forgotten Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution. Today the color red stands for prosperity and happiness rather than communism. Communism might be more present in the West than in the East (“We don’t know yet what this is, but it’s what we want.” Franko Berardi, Bifo). In China the consciousness of the Cultural Revolution remains ragged. How to comprehend that there may be not only one Mao Zedong – but many?

“There once was an old man, named Yukong. He decided, aided by his sons to remove with pick-axes two enormous mountains, that blocked the entrance to his house. Another old man mocked him, saying: ‘You alone will never succeed in removing those mountains!’ Where upon Yukong answered him: ‘when I die my sons will remain and succeeding them, their children will carry on the work. And so the generations will follow one after another, making the mountains smaller with each stroke. So why should we not succeed in removing those mountains?’ Heaven was touched by this show of faith and sent two celestial spirits who took the mountains upon their backs. Our heaven consists of the masses of the Chinese people.” (Mao Zedong, oeuvres complètes III, p. 290.) Together we watch the film The Pharmacy Nr.3 in Shanghai (1976) by Joris Evans, which is one episode of a twelve part series titles How Yukong moved the Mountains made during the Cultural Revolution. The film elaborates on working conditions and the relations between the pharmacy workers, the former owner and the villagers that provide the plants for the medication.

Vavabond performs O.

Li Jianhong performs Dong Tian Se.


//20 July 2010

Yan Jun presents the performance Save the world he did in collaboration with Mianmian in Shanghai 2010. The performance is re-enactment of John Lennon/Yoko Onos‘ Bed-In piece (1969). But instead of smoking pot, Yan Jun and Mianmian stay in bed eating sun seeds: “because the sound of eating sun seeds, is the sound of saving the world,” Yan Jun says.


//21 July 2010

Xu Tan talks about his early performance practice and recent works and Yan Jun performs Water Melons.


//22 July 2010

Jun-y Ciao performs 1qm Improvisation.

Yan Jun, Feng Hao, Wang ZiHeng, Li Zenghui, Ciao Jun-y perform Dice Improvisation.