Playing hide and seek for a couple of years now, Liu Bolin, the young Chinese artist, decided to Hide in Italy. Mao meets Italian culture. To what avail?
From the 21st of October to the 14th of November, the Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia will host "Hiding in Italy", the works of Liu Bolin including 7 new works undisplayed to the public before within the framework of "Hiding in the city".
Expect the unexpected. Mao Tse Tung taking a holiday in Italy, the country of culture and art. What would Mao actually think of these places? Would he be taking pictures himself, or take in the romantic feel of Venice and the gondola? When two worlds meet thanks to the work of an artist and not for other expedients, it is hard to give it a context rather than the one we believe has been created for us on purpose. If art is not a materialistic contribution, it is not a representation of our daily lives since the beginning of film and photography, if art has now the freedom to be creative and produce something that is not permanent but an idea: where will it take us?
A trick, a troupe, at work with Liu Bolin, class of 1973. Hanging between past, present, and future. If the world is at our feet, if we can go anywhere, do anything, can we travel ideas as well? In a cultural sense, when we think of globalization and the fact that it actually created more cultural boundaries than it did before. Anthropologically speaking, we need identity more than ever. If art belongs to everyone, we might feel that the transposition of a Chinese identity in an Italian cultural context, is nothing more than a reiteration of the roots' identity, no matter how distant and clashing with the surrounding environment. It is perhaps a teasing way of making us aware of the changes happening in a country distant from ours: in China the past has no value, in Italy it is the most valuable thing. Did we need to bring Mao to Italy to help the Chinese preserve their past and the Italians look at the future?
If art is someone's idea, what happens to that idea? Do you take it home with you when you leave the museum?
Text by Acelya Yonac
Photo Credits: Courtesy Boxart Galleria d’Arte ©Copyright l’artista
Watch the video documentary on the making-of Hiding in Italy: