Two videos, three photographs, several related masterpieces, and American Art
The title of this series – Two videos, three photographs, several related masterpieces and American art – is paradoxical, suggesting the work is conceived in relation to its medium and a situation in art history and the region of the world in which it was made. Paradoxical but in the end, often true of the way in which art history is written. The presence of black men and the term “American Art” brings us back to Robert Mapplethorpe’s Black Book. Certain critics had judged this book as racist, with the idea that the black man is reduced to an object. For his defenders, it was above all, research into beauty, as in ancient Greece where art has created an ideal beauty in a platonic vision. Yan Xing is interested in transformations and interpretations. This series is conceived as a parody of American art thought of pure abstraction. An America that can refuse to think of itself as a land of emigration, crossed by the themes of racism and gender that are at the origin of the construction of its own identity. The American culture and the culture of appropriation, a certain form of cannibalism that nourishes other cultures, is at the center of this series.