"Unidentified Artistic Objects Invading Taipei In Droves" is the slogan of the new Taiwan Avant-garde Documenta exhibition (前衛文件展), or C02, as it's been nicknamed. The phrase is appropriate in the sense that the exhibition is unprecedentedly big and many of the works are so baffling in form, expression and intention, that one does not easily know what to make of them.
\nThe exhibition sprawls across five venues in Taipei, and consists of 150 uncategorized works from 250 participants all over the country. Seventy-seven of the works were recommended by organizers, while the rest were selected from 135 submissions. As an open-submission exhibition, the participants are mostly young aspiring artists, with many undergraduates and first-time exhibiting artists among them. The media they use include film, performance, interactive installation, and whatever else one can think of.
\nThe large scale of the first-time event, its timing, which coincides with the 2002 Taipei Biennial at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and its strong non-curatorial stance make it seem like a conscious rival to the Biennial. C02's organizer, the National Cultural Association (文化總會) and convener Lin Man-li's (林曼麗) apparent political affiliation with the DPP president as opposed to the Biennial's being organized under the administration of a KMT-led Taipei city government, only strengthen this suspicion.
\nPolitics aside, C02 does complement the Biennial well in providing those interested with an alternative selection of works which are not likely to show at the far more selective TFAM anytime soon.
\nOne the interesting surprises is Green Corner's (綠色角落) Take a Rest at the Corner (落腳角落), a project by two art majors. For the piece, the group designed a logo, uniforms and advertisements for a cake and instant coffee stall, the kind so common you can find one on every block in Taiwan. Conceptually, it's probably the ideal work of art -- highly interactive, self-financing, and potentially an integral part of life. But is it a work of art?
\nG8 Public Relationship and Consultation of Art Corp's (G8
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL CULTURAL ASSOCIATION
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