I must be on a Modern performance art kick this week.
Chinese artist Xing Xin has locked himself in small iron box about the size of a refrigerator on Venice's Murano Island on Monday night and plans to camp out there for 49 days during the 53rd Venice Art Biennale. What?
Xing's reasoning for hibernation is a protest against China's 30 year old one-child policy to keep population under control. What is Xing going to be doing in the box? Not some Sudoku my friend.. he is counting the characters in the 150 books that constitute China's nine-year old education program. Supposedly he will not be freed until he completes his task. Wouldn't you hate to lose track?
I don't know if you would call it "enjoy", maybe "view" is a better term, but the public can view Xing inside the iron box on two waterproof, outdoor televisions. The public also need not worry about Xing's well-being as the box is equipped to allow the artist to be fed and relieve himself. He also has two assistants monitoring him throughout the "work."
Xing Xin said of this demonstration, “Maybe because of the loneliness in my deep heart, I want to tell something. Or maybe because I am the only child, I want to show off my uniqueness.”
The title of the project is fitting as"The Black Box." Spazio Berengo, a new glass museum opening later this year in Venice is funding the project. Xing plans to repeat the project in a glass box, ridding the necessity for LED tv's.
I think Xin's box project is leaning on the political protest side more than the art performance side. However, it's a clear expression of outcry through art. I'm anxious to see the outcome of this project. I highly doubt the Chinese will be able to add more kiddies to their crews in 49 days, but it will spark conversation and debate, bringing attention to the policy, which I'm sure is what Xing is trying to stir up.