July 12, 2008

I Want to Believe

Guggenheim Museum in New York had a blockbuster show this Winter/Spring. "I Want to Believe" was a retrospective of Cai Guo-Qiang, the Chinese artist known for his gun powder paintings. The show had a lot of buzz with reports of long lines that spanned 2 blocks. Much of the hype was because of the installation in the lobby of cars suspended from the museum's ceiling.

The image below depicts Head On, an installation of a pack of wolves leaping through the air in a unified arc towards a glass wall. They collide head on to the wall, which when first exhibited at the Berlin Guggenheim, represented the Berlin Wall, built to the same height and thickness. The installation addresses the tendency of humans that blindly follow an ideology which may lead to their collective downfall.

Click on image to enlarge

If you look closely at the bottom of the image you will notice a couple of tigers that are leaping though the space in pain from an onslaght of arrows. This installation, called Inopportune, is inspired by an old Chinese folk tale in which a hero saves a village by killing a man-eating tiger. The work is more about the tragedy of the tiger, as a victim of violence than the celebration of a heroic feat by a human.

And finally, Reflection, a Gift from Iwaki, is an installation with the wreck of a fishing boat, which was pulled from the water off the coast of Iwoki, in Japan. Cai worked with volunteers to pull boat out of the water and install it. It is filled with broken pieces of white porcelain statuettes of a Buddhist deity.

The images are not as clear and focused as I would have liked them to be. I was dodging museum guards to get good shots. Click on the images for a larger view.

1 comment:

Henri said...

Wow, that's cool.