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Xu Bing

SOFT FASCIST
by Charlie Finch
 
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All you need to know about the deadening effect of the Chinese Communist fascist state on artistic freedom is to read the just published interview with Xu Bing, a show of whose work has just closed at the Morgan Library, on Artinfo.com.

Responding to the typically lame and party-oriented questions that Artinfo always asks ("What's your favorite restaurant?" instead of "What happened to Ai Weiwei in prison?"), Xu responds with the kind of self-satisfied, opaque arrogance that only a coddled vice-president of the official Chinese Art Academy, which he is, would dare to proffer as a backasswards defense of the ChiCom situation.

For starters Bingo blames the current reality of Chinese state-controlled culture on its own people: "They can't tell if it is up or down." He then goes on to name his favorite artist: "myself" and the show he most recently visited, his own exhibition in Virginia! Bingle is so circumspect, except for his own self-regard, that he refuses to name his favorite restaurant, although he offers that he goes to a bar after attending his own openings.

In typical bureaucratese, Bingalo describes his powerful state-approved post as "a fine arts position, not an administrative position," and then launches into a patronizing explanation of his 9/11 piece, made from the dust at Ground Zero, citing author Andrew Solomon with approval.

I detest Artinfo and its ridiculous puffy-faced, China-genuflecting owner Louise Blouin, but go to Artinfo, for a few seconds, not just to see the risible photos of Blouin honoring wealthy fatso Carlos Slim at the cheesy Metropolitan Club, but to see what a terrifying drivelhead that Xu Bing has become under Chinese Communist dominance. Then come back to Artnet, where we aim for truth instead of sucking up to the elites. She's not called "Blouin" for nothing!


CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).


 



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