Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bad teeth no TV! 

I direct your attention to a thread on Roger Ebert's blog about the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. Some things of note here, sampled from some of my comments:

1. The ceremonies represent a situation that has been clear in the art world for some time: some of the top Chinese artists (such as Zimou, the formerly dissident filmmaker who directed the ceremonies) are working directly for the state. This includes Ai Wei Wei, who helped design the "Bird's Nest" stadium, and Cai Guo-Quiang, who organized the fireworks. Is this a death knell for the old avant-garde idea of the dissident artist that we saw under the old Communist regimes?

2. News agencies are now picking up on the various "fake" elements in the opening ceremony, such as the poor girl above who got Milli-Vanillied. This is hilarious, because fakery is spectacle: the goal is always a dazzling mirage designed to make real other fictions such as nationhood, unity, stability, globalization, etc. And China has not just screened out its own abuses, but those of Putin as well...

3. Most importantly: to whom/what does this occluded daughter of China direct her innocent gaze?


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