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【Documenta 15 Lecture】Mirage: Disused Public Property in Taiwan

DURATION: 2022-06-29 ~ 2022-07-05
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Ruins as the Epistemological Frameworks of Contemporary Art’s Practice: case study “Mirage: Disused Public Property in Taiwan”

June 29 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm CEST

Yao Jui-Chung+LSD+Sandy Hsiu-chih Lo will share the collaborative project “Mirage: Disused Public Property in Taiwan” as a case study for using ruins as the Epistemological frameworks of contemporary Art’s practice.

In February 2010, Yao Jui-Chung, in the first classes of the fine arts departments at Taipei National University of the Arts and the National Taiwan Normal University, asked the students about their expectations for this class: did they wish to follow the normal class format, where the teacher would teach related knowledge, or would they like to use the class to do a “mosquito hall” investigation? The fifty-some students at the two universities decided to make a Taiwan-wide “mosquito hall” survey as the assignment for this semester. Through half a year of investigation across the island, the students identified one hundred and forty seven “mosquito hall” locations, compiling the 684 page book Mirage: Disused Public Property in Taiwan, which outlines an absurd situation in Taiwanese society, embodying the fact that “misguided policy is worse than corruption.”A total of seven bookss were published by the end of 2019, revealing more than 800 cases. Sandy Hsiu-chih Lo has been following this project as a documentary film director since the beginning.

All the public facilities have been becoming ruins rapidly which are covered in “Mirage”. The argument we try to unfold is that the students choose “to do a ‘mosquito hall’ investigation” and not “to follow the normal class format, where the teacher would teach related knowledge” is an attempt to engender liberations with respect to thinking, knowing, understanding, and living based on confronting the reality. “Ruins” are the metaphors of the epitomes of the failure of modernity in Taiwan, and the scars caused by developmentalism. Hence, we use the ruins as the epistemological frames of contemporary art’s practice to think the possibility of the onto-epistemological diversity, and to preserve the heterogeneity of individual practices whilst presenting a cohesive narrative in the collaborative project.