Three channels video
Colour, sound, 4’43’’
Courtesy of Antenna Space, Shanghai
David (2013), Guan Xiao’s more recent work transforms the same accurate investigation into form and meaning into a captivating music video. Protagonist of the work is the well-known “pop star” David – Michelangelo’s David – exhibited inside the Accademia Gallery in Florence.
While denouncing the failing cognitive capacities of people, Guan warns about the dangers of brainless consumption, which as Guy Debord has reminded us is also a consumption of images (“image became the ultimate form of reification”). ‘I needed to make a video about a Renaissance sculpture using downloadable material from Youtube. I thought that being Michelangelo’s “David” a very famous masterpiece it would have been easy to find material about it. However, against any expectations, to find any suitable material and good videos of David actually turned out to be a very arduous process. I realized for example that among the those who uploaded videos of David, probably up to 95% had no idea of what they were shooting. The majority of tourists could only display one intention: to “register” its presence with a photograph, in order to prove that they were there. We “see” with our eyes but this is not the most important thing: what really matters is how we mobilize all our senses to remember. I wanted to make a satirical statement in a cool way: as the video gradually reached its completion, I began to add lyrics that could transmit information in a relaxed flow.’