He Lixiao: Minor


Minor [ˋmaɪnɚ]
Adj.,f inferior in importance, size, or degree : comparatively unimportant;
Noun, a minor musical interval, scale, key, or mode.

What does the body mean to us? It seems to be an issue we often overlook. Once in a while, only when the body is in severe discomfort, it would suddenly be treated upon seriously. The body seems to be inferior to its subject. The human body, with the perpetual reproduction of modern knowledge and the forming of rational subjects, _has now been reduced to its _physicality, as Michel Foucault points out in his discourse on body politics. The body is the sin of morality, the illusion of truth, and the machine of production, restricting the body to productive labor. The body is only conspicuous when it is labored. That is, the body can only exist as a tool, a machine: either productive or reproductive. It is also what Nietzsche encounters in physicality: the body is always subordinate, inferior, minor, and humble. In philosophy, it is unsightly (Wang Min’an, Philosophy Ethics).

He Lixiao’s recent three performance videos employ his sensitive physical experience to show us how the vulnerable body struggles and resists in the social and political system. He Lixiao is an artist from Guangdong, China, who graduated from the Experimental Art Department of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2015. In the past few years, he has persisted in making performance video with his body as his main subject. I Invited him to show these pieces in Canton-sardine as an encouragement for him to continue his practice.

Naked Venus listening to the music, a single channel performance video, extends his reflection on the limits of the body and physical labor. The artist lifts a heavy stone and tries to play Paul de Senneville’s Ballade pour Adeline with a corner of the stone. The piece, which originally plays for only two and a half minutes long, had taken He 47 minutes to finish. The body in overload dismembers its function as a productive tool. The title of this work is taken from the work Venus with Organist and Cupid by the Renaissance Italian painter Titian (Tiziano Vecellio). My Speech, a two-channel performance video, shows the artist’s contemplations on body ethics in communication.

The relation of the openness of communication counterposed with the intimacy of sexual desire illustrates when power dominates the body, on the one hand, creates rational needs and desires of the body; on the other hand, rouses repressive illicit desires and needs. In Another Chord, a three-channel performance video, the artist exposes physical punishment in mundane renditions of marching song, trinity, and execution, a work stemmed from the reflection of He’s chronic pharyngitis. In body politics, the negligence of body organs and their function is perceived as a physical deficiency.

This exhibition at the same time exhibits He’s series of work “100 Days in Continuation” made between 2014 to 2015 to provide additional comprehension of his practice.

Steven Dragonn
Oct 15,2018 New York

Minor [ˋmaɪnɚ]
adj.形容詞: 不重要的,次要的; 可數名詞:【音】小調。

身體之於我們為何?似乎是我們經常忽視的問題,偶有身體嚴重不適時,才會忽然被重視起來。似乎身體之於“我”者,是一個次要的問題。猶如米切爾·福柯在關於“身體政治”的論述中指出,隨著現代知識的持續再生產與理性主體的形成,人的身體也從“身體”降格為“肉體”。 “身體在道德領域中是罪惡,在真理領域中是錯覺,在生產領域中是機器。這一切都將身體局限於生產性的勞作中,身體只有在勞作時才能醒目地存在,也就是說,身體只能作為一種工具性機器而存在:要么是生產性工具,要么是生殖性工具……正是尼采面臨的身體局面:身體總是從屬的、次等的、輕微的、卑瑣的,在哲學中,它是不堪入目的。”(汪民安《哲學倫理》)


《光著身體聽音樂的維納斯》,單屏行為錄像,延續著他對身體極限,或者是身體勞動極限的反思。作者搬起沉重的石頭,試圖用石頭一角彈奏保羅·塞內維爾的《水邊的阿狄麗娜》,本來一首僅2分半鐘的鋼琴曲,作者花了47分鐘才勉強完成。身體在超荷的情況下,作為生產工具的功能被肢解。本作品題目取自文藝復興時期意大利畫家提香的作品《沉醉在愛與音樂中的維納斯》;《我的演講》,雙屏行為錄像,呈現的是作者對身體倫理在傳播學的思考。把開放的傳播與私密的性慾兩者聯繫起來,以對立的方式來闡述身體所受到權利的支配一方面生產理性的身體慾望和需要,另一方面也以壓抑的方式生產非法的慾望和需要; 《另一種和弦》,三屏行為錄像,作者以進行曲、三位一體、行刑的方式表達肉體懲罰在日常層面的思考。這個作品源於作者長期的咽喉炎發作的反思。身體器官和機能長期受到的忽視在身體政治學中被視作身體的缺失性。



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