RAM Talk: Pleasure-Based Narration and Idol Consumption: Visual Politics in the “Tiny Era”
May 18, 2019 Saturday 16:00 - 17:30
Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai 20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District)
On the fifth floor of the exhibition, Tobias Rehberger presents the latest version of the pixel series (2015-). The audience needs to constantly adjust the angle and distance to identify the image composed of monochromatic mosaic tiles. These abstracted images, deriving from popular culture, form a pixelated scene of modern life, which makes the audience think about how we view these visual cultural icons in an era flooded with images and videos.
The idol consumption is one of the most representative image symbols in Chinese contemporary mass culture. It reflects the pleasure-based narrative strategy and visual politics in the “Tiny Era” formed by mass culture around “Eye-catching Economy.” In the diachronic dimension, the evolution of this image symbol includes the spiritual fission history of contemporary culture from idealism to consumerism and hedonism. There also hides a history of image evolution from a “spiritual” hero to a “materialistic” successful person and then to a “symbolic” consumer idol. In the synchronic dimension, it mainly produces a kind of image “charm” in the way of "ostentatious display" that makes people have no time to reflect on and urges the public to obtain “intuitive” pleasure of instant experience through the consumption behavior of image symbols.
Li Jian, Doctor of Arts and Associate Professor at the School of Arts, Nanjing University (NJU). He also serves as Managing Editor of the School’s Journal of Art Theory & Art History, and a part-time researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, NJU. Focusing on the research in art theories, aesthetics and cultures, he has presided over or participated in a dozen of research projects at national or provincial/ministerial levels, and published A Vision of Aesthetic Utopia: From Weber to Frankfurt School’s Aesthetic Salvation (Social Sciences Academic Press, 2009) and A Cross-Disciplinary Lens on Modern Art Theories (Peking University Press, 2018).
Free admission, reservation is required.