Import-Export (The chameleon of the earth)
The project beginned with the exhibition “The Milka Meditation Hall”
For my exhibition In Shanghai during my 3 month residency with swiss arts council ProHelvetia, I sought to create a space that really welcomes people to enter into the exhibition. The MoCA Pavillon is located on the edge of People’s Square where thousands of people pass by every day, but not necessarily intending to see an exhibition. Basically art should bring people together. To offer them a space for reflecting on their conditions and culture.
When I met MoCA’s curator, Wei Wei Wang, I told her about my initial ideas and she surprisingly told me that in Shanghai the more selfie friendly the exhibition is, the larger the audience will be. The fact is that everybody in the subway and even walking in the streets are mostly emerged into their iPhone. Conclusion was that I have to make a selfie friendly exhibition, why not? After all, all consequences of iPhone addictions can be very shocking! But on another hand, I think it is simply a reality of the actual society. The biggest challenge of today’s life is to be connected with the whole world while simultaneously being yourself in the present moment. My research engages with the idea of using westerner codes in oriental culture. So, I decided to work with Milka products, a typical brand of Switzerland, whose branding is purple in colour and uses cow spots. I created a meditation box that the audience can use for meditation. They can be concurrently in complete privacy and publicly inside an art exhibition. Along with the painted walls, and carpeted floors the space will be welcoming to both reflective and selfie practices.
Paola Antonelli in conversation with David Kirkpatrick, “Without Design, Innovation Doesn’t Happen” makes us conscious that design is often miss understood as only being a piece of furniture with pure lines, but designing also asks the question how to match a product to its ecological, social and political environment. When working within interdisciplinary artistic practice design can be the most convenient position for bringing together different competences in order to create for that very expanded field of anything that can be interpreted as culture.
Dan Graham, an influential conceptual artist, refuses to be called a conceptual artist. He said his works respond to a demand because his work, mostly about city planning, is about the visitors. The visitor has to deal with the artwork once it is built. So what is that egocentric thinking that art school told me that the artist subjective thinking is what counts? Art should be about society. The artist should have to get out of their artistic perpetual art bubble, and think about how our cultural heritage can be connected with our contemporary reality while being accessible to a very large public.
Beat Lippert 01.05.2016