The Artist is Not Available by MIAO JIAXIN

Julie Meneret Contemporary Art

May. 28, 2014, 06:00 am

133 Orchard Street

The Artist is Not Available is an experimental solo project by Chinese artist Miao Jiaxin at Julie Meneret Contemporary Art, inaugurated by a wild live performance on the evening of May 28, and continuing to June 15. Moving between photography and performance, his work focuses on relationships of power, visibility, identity, and the circulation of capital.

Miao will construct a false ceiling in the gallery that will act as storage for his photographs, visible via footage from surveillance cameras mounted in the ceiling. Increasingly the art object itself sits in storage while its image travels. His photographs will be available in the form of a catalogue, one of the mediated channels through which artworks are apprehended.

By the end of the night, Miao will have donned the guise of a stoic hairless Chinese businessman, smudged with newsprint and red wine, newly anointed and symbolically reborn into the welcoming arms of the commercial art world.

This show takes as its subject “availability”—his art objects are invisible except via surveillance imaging and promotional reproductions in the form of a catalog. What does it mean for art to be available? Visible? Physically present, obtainable for ownership, conceptually accessible, vulnerable? Miao questions the place of a work of art that is complicated by our understanding of the artist as a body and the power of physical and virtual presences.

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