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19.8.19

_EXHIBITION : BERLIN_ART_PRIZE
















Berlin Art Prize 2019
Nominee Exhibition

Opening
30. August. 18:00 - 22:00
31. August. - 27. September. 2019
Thu - Sun 12:00-18:00

Very
Badstr.66, 13357 Berlin


Curated by 
Berlin Art Prize


The original image, the reproduced image, and the received image — Musquiqui Chihying (b. Taipei, 1985) examines the power relations under which humans and objects move through the world by tracing key images. In his film and video installation for the Berlin Art Prize 2019, Chihying emphasizes particular moments, objects and people in which the global entanglements of historical and modern colonialism converge.

Paris 1936. Walter Benjamin's essay on the technical reproducibility of the work of art appears for the first time in French with the title “L'œuvre d'art à l'époque de sa reproduction mécanisée” - paving the way for a new theoretical understanding of that art which is always available in the form of photographic representation but that is detached from its “Kultwert,” or cult value. Shortly thereafter, André Malraux adopts Benjamin's analysis as the intellectual starting point for his pictorial essay of a Musée imaginaire. The artistic treasures of the world lie at the smoking art historian's feet when Paris Match visits him in 1947 for the now-famous photo shoot in his Paris apartment. In his two-channel video installation The Sculpture (2018/19), Musquiqui Chihying, himself, appears as Malraux. And while, visually, he asserts ownership over the objects in the manner of the French intellectual showman, Chihying simultaneously presents the political history of the theft, appropriation, and renewed expropriation of African cultural assets in an essayistic reading on an actual museum in Togo. 

Berlin 1936. National Socialist Germany makes the Olympic Games in the image of a Germanic Cult—filmed by Leni Riefenstahl. One of the heroes of her recording is the Korean marathon runner Sohn Keih-Chung, who broke a world record that year. Sohn ran under Japan's flag as Korea was a Japanese colony at the time. As Sohn is presented with the seedling of an oak tree at the awards ceremony, he lowers his gaze and covers the national flag on his jersey with its leaves. In his 16mm film projection The Camera (2016), Musquiqui Chihying reenacts this ambivalent award ceremony, but he does not depict the silent protest of Sohn Keih-Chung. Rather, he portrays those behind the camera: Leni Riefenstahl and her assistants, who had intended to create a film in the service of the Third Reich, and instead caught a moment that would become iconic to Korea's struggle for independence.

Text / Sophie Jung


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