Image courtesy Manchester Museum. Stuffed Swamp Deer 2012
(Equus ferus caballus) is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began to domesticate horses around 4000 BCE. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, size, colours, markings, breeds, locomotion, and behaviour. Horses' anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance. Most domesticated horses reach full adult development by age five, and have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years. Horses and humans interact in a wide variety of sport and recreational pursuits, in police work, agriculture, entertainment, and therapy. Many products are derived from horses, including meat, milk, hide, hair, bone, and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares.
The Exhibition «Point at a Deer Call it a Horse» or «Zhi Lu Wei Ma» is based on a popular Chinese idiom which means to purposefully misrepresent something, confuse right and wrong, or distort the facts. It’s derived from the history of the rebel leader Zhao Gao minister of Qin who in 207 BCE tested the court by presenting the emperor with a deer and saying «This is a horse». The exhibition captures the rapidly changing conflicts between the individual, authority and culture in contemporary China. Making deft use of parody, sarcasm and absurdity several works uncover the subversive potential of mass media re-appropriation, in others reenactments or a trenchant documentary and direct socio-political engagement test the limits of free speech and expression.
Point at a Deer Call it a Horse
Unreal socialism in Chinese Performance & Video Art
Ai Wei Wei, CAI YUAN & JJ XI, HALL STEPHEN & REN LI LI, LIU XIN YI, YE FU NA, ZHANG PEI LI, ZHANG DING
2 MARCH – 21 APRIL 2013, THURSDAY - SUNDAY 12 - 6 PM
PRIVATE VIEW: 1 MARCH 2013, 7 - 9 pm
PERFORMANCES 8.30 pm
CUL DE SAC Gallery
65 - 69 County Street
London, SE1 4AD
UK City of Culture 2013
May - August 2013
Open from 14 July 2012