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Explanation of "To Live 'Elsewhere'"

Author: Shi Yong Aug,1997

If both the Western culture of the 60's and the Chinese culture of the 80's were 'problem' cultures, then now been replaced by cultures which are problems of problems? We can relate a famous spiritual slogan, "to live elsewhere", to an old traveling suitcase, because both share the same spirituality of the 60's. However, in the present reality, full of verbal strategy and media operations, the suitcase, which represents a spiritual journey, no longer refers to a spiritual departure. It merely exists as kind of cultural performance, which fictionalizes the "spiritual departure" by providing a stage for it, an image, a prop, or a performer. When this kind of performance stays far away from and refuses a problematic authority center by taking a critical "stand", its voice, however, has never left nor intends to leave the site of this authority center, ( which could also be called the site of the "table's center".) This piece is based on the premise, that when we problematize reality by taking a critical stand, the so-called problems reflect on our criticism at he same time. This resembles a double-edged sword, cutting both ways, namely, the outside reality and the reality of criticism in the art itself.

Suitcase, radio-tape-recorder, amplifier, table, speaker, chairs and table cloth.

(1) Use a meeting table and make a hole in its center, in which a speaker can fit level with the table's surface. Put a translucent, white table cloth on the table, which is to be located in the center of the exhibition hall, surrounded by chairs.
(2) Choose an old suitcase. Put an automatically rewinding radio-tape-recorder and an amplifier inside it. Put the speaker in center of the table and have it play the sentence "I refuse" repeatedly, the speaker being connected with the amplifier via the audio wire.
Put the suitcase against the wall and keep it a certain distance from the table. Put quotation marks on the wall so that they enclose the suitcase.

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