Musquiqui Chihying

(Taipei, 1985)

The Sculpture, 2019

Video, HD, 2 Channels
25 min.

Rough Cut Preview: / Password: togo
Photograph B&W, C-Print, 150 x 150 cm

The Sculpture, a filmed lecture performance that focuses on Mr. Xie, a collector who has donated some 5,000
African artworks to the National Museum’s collection. Accumulated in the 1990s, they are indelibly touched by
elements of both the precolonial and postcolonial, frustrating efforts to view them as the products of timeless,
ethnic others. Here, once again, the politics of recognition—and material redistribution—are complicated by the
three-sided relationship between China, Africa, and Europe. Alongside the film hangs an image in which the artist,
dressed in a black suit, stands amidst a sea of photographic reproductions of art. This is a re-enactment of the
iconic photograph of André Malraux standing next to his “Imaginary Museum,” the prototypical art book; yet in
Chihying’s version, it is the Terminator, rather than a finely sculpted bust, that peers out from one such photo. To
be sure, a new, Sinocentric order may have the power to redefine the aesthetic—but what, asks Chihying’s work,
might such a future look like?