失落共同體Community of lost
“any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”
《No Man is an Island》—John Donne
“Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”
- “No Man is an Island” by John Donne
The collective of oblivion is born from a lack of many lives disappearing from our life.
Once born as one of the animals, it is unbearable for human beings to affectionately link ourselves to mere species, though, many animals are excluded from the human society when it is finally established. In spite of the familiarity with the world outside human beings’ sphere, we, the mankind, seem to hardly notice the existence of animals. The sense of deprivation from the gradual loss of the sound of nature appears to a telltale sign that human beings are no longer rooted in the world.
Consequently, the spectrum of human kind’s life is filled with each and every thing about animals, such as carpet, leather shoe, sofa and Chicken McNugget. As the link to another life form, remanufactured products losing their original forms are involved in our life, leading to deformities that can’t be called anything but wonders and longings that can’t never be satisfied.
This paradox can be well explained by the techniques of specimens, which were created in the past to display the harvest and show off, but are also used today to commemorate and preserve memories. Outstanding taxidermists can reproduce the appearance of the preserved creatures vividly with superb craftsmanship through the literacy of animal anatomy and the understanding of animals’ living habits.
Specimens whose realism exceeds that of wax figures and video recordings allow viewers to experience a static multi-cluster state in quiet time. They can be touched and felt as if they were accompanying us in the wilderness without us evening knowing it. Through staring, we are able to learn aplenty about their lives and be more certain about the relationship between we and them. It is a mutual, special and hybrid relationship that is both intimate and estranged, making both of the mankind and animals the nourishment of each other’s vitality even though we are completely different and opposite, yet identical.
No matter what the reasons are behind the ownership of specimens, they ultimately can be concluded into one common feature, i.e. specimens are the irrefutable evidences of what were once alive.
The sense of absurdity and independence from give a place to specimens in the human society will turn into a kind of loneliness. Maybe all of us regards people other than ourselves as beasts. Even if we stare at each other, we are all far away except for the physical contact. In this city of human beings, all existences, be it consciousness or life, objectify each other to the fullest.
In the exhibition, different concepts, such as detention/delivery, waiting/staying and interlacing/gazing, are constructed as one and into images and installations. Animals from exotic places travel through the city, wait for opportunities and encounter the world again and again on the streets. With such experience that interprets the involvement and absence, staring and neglecting and feeling and insensitivity in life, we finally witness the absurd moments of animals and human beings.