A 1000 Plateaus Art Space
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
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.