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.
Oct 15，2018 New York
adj.形容詞： 不重要的，次要的; 可數名詞：【音】小調。