Frieze: Portfolio: Guan Xiao

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By: Guan Xiao

May 31, 2016


I love TV shows that feature a host introducing an artwork in a gallery or museum, or that show spectators visiting an exhibition. I also like travel shows featuring a presenter explaining objects that the camera points at – I find these mostly on YouTube. On some occasions the camera replaces the role of the host, and then we are able to see the exhibit and the spectators at the same time. Different perspectives and ways of seeing are emphasized in these kinds of videos. The presenter’s voice, the exhibits and the viewers (we may also include the host here) become three different types of media which when put together forms an image. I’m interested in the fact that the three components are at the same time distinctive and in tune. What makes this kind of film different from feature films and documentaries is that in these, one can easily differentiate the three things involved: the scene, the host and spectators. Feature films by contrast tend to merge different components as much as possible: the actors, scene, storylines and voiceovers etc. These sort of clips for me do not speak their entirety through images; what emerges is rather some scattered keywords – the images can be described as different components gathered in a way that brings forth a backdrop, without focusing on any one subject. These different perspectives motivate my interest in using the triptych fomat in presenting my videos. For me it allows the flexibility of spectatorship: the members of the audience are themselves the consumers and agents implicated in a new scene.


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