Venice Biennale: China

Paige Lunde
Just as Marino Auriti dreamed of striving for an unattainable palace to hold all of humanity’s knowledge, so too has artist, Miao Xiaochun, represented man’s technological relationship to knowledge in Transfiguration.

As you enter China’s pavilion, the exhibit first pulls you into an overcrowded class of students, collapsed on their desks – exhausted from their search for knowledge. One man sits awake, driven by his thought. The next image centers on one man amidst an endless supply of books. His drive to find the unknown is never satisfied.

The exhibit then leads you to a 3D box representing a group of animated humans examining and forming a figure. The box is dynamic offering the experience of viewing figures in space from all sides at once. The shapes gradually narrate while morphing into forms.

The final room orchestrates a balance between a painting, a framed film, and a video representing man’s imaginative, spiritual connection with technology. The painting shows a group of figures creating an artificial man – himself inverted and bound. This representation questions man’s need to control and dominate existence. The images together dissect man’s transformation in our contemporary culture to a being that is fully integrating technological forms as extensions of himself.