The group exhibition “The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away” is the final episode in the Times Heterotopia Trilogy, a continuation of “A Museum That Is Not” (2011) and “You Can Only Think About Something If You Think of Something Else” (2014). In these self-referential projects, Times Museum explores the possible role that an art institution might play in contemporary society’s complex and diverse realities, histories, and futures.
By Efi Michalarou
Photo:Guangdong Times Museum Archive
“The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away”, borrows its title from an Installation of the same name in Ilya Kabakov’s “Ten Characters” (1988), the installation is a narrow, small room, more like a short, irregularly-shaped corridor with two doors, one of which is always closed. Inside, the room is similar to a kind of museum. Everywhere can be seen collections of innumerable ‘garbage’ items (scraps of paper, rags, empty boxes, jars) gathered into bunches, packages, all carefully arranged in two cabinets, in glass display cases, glued on special cardboard stands, hanging on the walls. Everything, even the tiniest junk, has a label attached to it, an inscription, everything is numbered and cataloged… As an artist of the former Soviet Union, the recognition of Kabakov and his works in the West occurred alongside the Post-Cold War period’s increased accessibility and gradual democratization of archives. Once moving beyond the Cold War ideology, “The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away” can be seen as a fable of the internet era, the archive can now be expanded to hold records of all media. For those artists who are motivated by the “archival impulse”, the creativity of working with archive lies in the suspended moment that the archive is removed from its original context, and yet to be rendered as meaning. Artists do not only collect existing images, materials, information, documents, and footages produced by others, but also carry out processes of editing, reconfiguration, and even fictionalization. The archive provides freedom for artists to move nomadically between text and image, between perceptual networks and systems of knowledge. Participating artists: Theater 44, Chen Yin-Ju, Duan Jianyu, Geng Jianyi, Ha Bik Chuen (Leo Li Chen as Research Curator), Huang Xiaopeng, Liu Chuang, Luo Jr-Shin, Tang Kwok-Hin, Wang Jianwei, Yan Xing, Yang Yuanyuan and Yip Kin Bon.
Info: Curator: Nikita Yingqian Cai, Guangdong Times Museum, Times Rose Garden III, Huang Bian Bei Road, Bai Yun Avenue North, Guangzhou, Duration 7/1-19/2/17, Days & Hours: Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00, http://en.timesmuseum.org