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Horizons
Liu Yang, Xiong Yu, Katrin Plavcak, Florian Schmeiser, Susanne Schuda

A 1000 Plateaus Art Space
Chengdu, China

January 9th, 2010

 

 

THE PROMISE OF ILLUSION
Text: Katrin Plavcak

In Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote (1605) we meet the man from la Macha who is obsessed by reading the old stories about knights and totally giving in to his phantasies and becoming a knight errant. Don Quixote is noble-minded, an enthusiastic admirer of everything good and great, and loving Dulcinea, the imaginary damsel of his heart with all his strenght. His companion is Sancho Pansa, who is convinced that all his fine qualities accidentally are blended with a relative kind of madness, but he is also following him with devotion. As the story continues the people around him see the beauty and joy they find in someone who is passionately following his ideals.

An interesting aspect of the book ist the meta-level in which our hero hears in the second part of the book the adventures about himselve, believing that this has to be another Don Quixote, because he himself knows better what happened to him. He also hears about stories, that are going to happen to him in the future, because people meeting him in the book already read the second part of the novel.
With a trick a writer of his village fights him in person of the knight of the mirrors and gets his promise, that if he is inferior, Don Quixote has to go back to his village and is not going to be a knight errant anymore for a years lenght.
Being deprived by his phantasies Don Quixote returns to his home village and dies.

This is a beautiful picture of how important it is to get along with your ideals and follow your passions. Like Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983) an American architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist writes in his essay „Doing your own thinking“ :

„...that we are here then as problem-solvers, and particularly metaphysical
problems - to solve in principle. Therefore, we're going to have to get more
and more courage to really go along with the principles, and have less and less
fear of upsetting the tradition and the game, and be less and less afraid of those
who are afraid.“

Don Quixote ist the main character in this installation of found objects, a borrowed modell for a sculpture by Professor Xu Bo-Chu, a shape of a chengduan telefone booth, paintings and a murial. In the exhibition we find a hanging sculpture of Don Quixote’s suit of armour lapidary put together out of poor materials like he tinkered his own.

We see Don Quixote leaving his house for his first adventure and how he is passing
the small paintings of Katrin Plavcak with portraits of foreigners, the interpreted and sometimes mistaken environment, images taken from the media and the surrounding she is confronted with. The images are small glimpses on China, the past and the present, things the artist saw and heared.

The paintings are combined with a murial, which tries to flap and fold the city in a two dimensional space, combines Chengdu, Chongching and a modell of the city.

Like Don Quixote is fighting a reality where everything which comes upon himself seems to be an adventure, the artist is travelling with her mind through the images she faces in China.

 

   

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