On the occasion of Electric Campfire 2014 at Villa Massimo, Rome, Transnational Dialogues has interviewed artist and cultural producer Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto).
"If art only becomes a way of attracting more public, then we are stepping into entertainment and I think that the artist is not in the first place an entertainer. I think there is a big misunderstanding, which is maybe triggered by the US culture where entertainment has such a strong power. But for me the artist is always the kid who does everything wrong in the first place." - Carsten Nicolai
The full interview is going to appear in the Transnational Dialogues Journal 2014, which will be presented at MAXXI Museum, Rome on 15th November 2014. More information will follow soon on this website.
[Photo: alva noto © VillaMassimo/Foto Alberto Novelli]
Artist Ma Yongfeng tells us about his practice as an interventionist artist in China. He talks about how he integrates elements from society, politics and economics in his work in order to bring new energy into it. He also reflects on how art has lost connection with the people or, as he suggests it, it never actually had it. However he thinks that it is now the time to break all barriers and fill this gap. “We do not want art to be limited to some artistic or cultural elites”, Ma says. Watch the video and find out how!
Ma Yongfeng is a conceptual artist and performer, animator of the art collective Forget Art in Beijing, focussed on interventionist, situationist strategies. He has exhibited widely across Europe, the United States and China – most recently in The Thirteen: Chinese Video Now at the MoMA PS1 in New York. Amongst his various artistic collaborations, it is worth mentioning that with Sensibility Under Control, a project run by curator and artist Alessandro Rolandi.
Urban development in China’s capital faces the viewers and the researchers, as well as the inhabitants, the public government and the developers with countless challenges, such as the preservation of the historical hutong living system, the much‐needed renovation of long‐ago‐decayed‐areas etc. Up to now the practice has been all but the best. Indeed, entire sections of Beijing’s historical centre have been either torn to the ground and substituted by speculative housing or turned into hutong’s chic neighbourhoods for the few or simply left untouched waiting for the time to carry forward its destructive action. In the past few years the neighbourhood of Dashilar, located near Qianmen gate, which used to fall into the third category, has been interested by urban renovation. However, this time a platform named Dashila(b) has been created to explore and implement new urban development approaches within that area.
In occasion of its visit to Beijing in September 2012, the Transnational Research Caravan met with Siwei Sun, a member of the Dashila(b) team, who has been interviewed by curator You Mi.
Will the Dashila(b) experiment succeed in conciliating economic interests with sustainable urban planning? Or will the intellectual work of – hopefully‐in‐good‐faith – architects, designers, sociologists and art professionals be used as a further cover for urban speculation? We cannot provide you with the answer to those questions, but we recommend you watching the interview with Siwei, as well as check out the Dashila(b) experiment, which at least can be regarded as pioneering in the Chinese context of urban development.