|Add Red Book, 2000. “Zhonghua” brand of cigarettes, rubber-stamped with English text from Quotations by Chairman Mao (Little Red Book). caption|
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Wall Street Journal Bureau Chief Betsy McKay traveled to Richmond to write an in depth feature on Xu Bing: Tobacco Project. Click the link below to view the interview.
Wall Street Journal Video on Xu Bing
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Eric Burns will speak at VMFA Sept. 30, Friday, on the topic of his book The Smoke of Gods: A Social History of Tobacco. After his talk, there will be a book signing and then the movie Coffee and Cigarettes will be shown. This event complements VMFA’s Xu Bing Tobacco Project exhibition.
Mr. Burns was media analyst and host of Fox News Watch for 10 years cited by Vanity Fair magazine as one of only two programs on the network worth watching and he was especially commended for fairness as a moderator. As an NBC News correspondent, Mr. Burns was named by the American Journalism Review as one of the best writers in the history of television news joining such luminaries as Edward R. Murrow and Charles Kuralt.
Mr. Burns other books include The Spirits of America: A Social History of Alcohol and Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and The Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism.
Coffee and Cigarettes (2004; b&w; 95 min) by Jim Jarmusch is a comic series of short vignettes with characters in offbeat discussions poetically linked by the sipping of coffee and smoking of cigarettes. They discuss things as diverse as caffeine popsicles, Paris in the '20s, and the use of nicotine as an insecticide. The film views our world from an extraordinary angle showing how absorbing the obsessions, joys and addictions of life can be, if truly observed. Stars Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Steve Buscemi, Cinque Lee, Joie Lee, Roberto Benigni, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, The GZA, RZA, and more.
Friday, September 30, 6:30PM
VMFA Leslie Cheek Theater
$10/ $8 for VMFA members
--Trent Nicholas, Media Programs Coordinator
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
|On view at 7 West 22nd Street in Manhattan from September 8-10|
The Bodhi (True Wisdom) is not like the tree;
The mirror bright is nowhere shining;
Where does the dust itself collect?
The body is the Bodhi tree;
The soul is like the mirror bright,
Take heed to keep it always clean,
And let no dust collect upon it.
In the gallery space, using dust collected from the streets of lower-Manhattan in the
aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Xu Bing creates a fine blanket of dust punctuated by the outline of a Zen Buddhist poem, revealed as if the letters have been removed from under the layer. The subdued, quiet space created by this work references the thin, whitish-grey film that covered lower-Manhattan in the weeks following September 11, 2001. The dust is applied to the floor with a leaf blower and allowed 24 hours to settle over a stencil that is later removed to reveal the text “As there is nothing from the first, where does the dust itself collect?”
Upon awarding the inaugural Artes Mundi award to Xu Bing for the work, Okwui Enwezor, Chair of the Judging Panel said "One of the things the judges most liked was the way Xu Bing translates ideas and issues into visual forms that cross cultural boundaries. In the National Museum & Gallery he has created a space for reflection which is both engaging and moving. He consistently creates haunting and lasting images by capturing the fragility of human existence. Xu Bing is an artist with wit, poetry and passion."
The work "Where Does the Dust Itself Collect?" will be presented by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in a storefront at 7 West 22nd Street in Manhattan from September 8-10. The space will be open Tues-Sunday 12 noon until - 6:00 p.m. A panel discussion will be at the Museum of Chinese in America on the evening of September 13.
Materials: Dust collected near Ground Zero in the wake of the September 11 attacks; Chan Buddhist poem; viewing platform and process photos
Dimensions: 25 feet by 20 feet
Previously Exhibited: Artes Mundi: Wales International Visual Art Prize 2004, National Museum &Gallery, Cardiff, Wales (winner); Xu Bing in Berlin, Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin,Germany (2004); 26th São Paulo Biennial, Pavilhão Ciccillo, San Paulo, Brazil (2004)
Note on transporting 9/11 dust: In advance of his 2004 trip to Cardiff, Wales to install this work for the inaugural Artes Mundi exhibition, Xu Bing became concerned that he would not be able to bring the fine, white dust on an international flight. In the post-9/11 security environment, it would be hard for anyone to explain away a bag of dust labeled “September 11, 2001” concealed in one's carry-on baggage. Thus, using a rubber mold based on the form of his daughter's doll, Xu Bing created a small statue, which easily passed through screening and was later ground back into powder.
Xu Bing: Tobacco Project opens at VMFA on September 10, 2011. Admission is free.
Xu Bing Studio