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I was Chinese artist for a day

I was Chinese artist for a day is the first work in this ongoing project investigating the subject of the status from various perspectives of identity. There are many topics in question here: the matter of the institution of the museum and its role in shaping historic validity, human conception of the future, the insatiability of the markets, valuation of art, power of the state and last but not least the role of the artist.

Through the first gesture of this narrative the artist acquires a fictional and questionable identity. It allows him, in a metaphorical way, to traverse borders and his own limits in a way which is only available through the artistic act.
The large format self-portrait presents the artist proudly stating his affiliation even if for a day (I was Chinese artist for a day). He appears here perhaps like a sort of activist, even though the details make him look more an exemplary user of a social media platform (the green is unrealistic and as such becomes an exemplary colour constructing visual identity, alike to the Facebook’s use of blue). This brings in question the subjects of the contemporary human evaluation, creation of virtual identities, social control, and thus the matter of individual freedom.

This work further investigates the artist’s status through his mode of affiliation and on the other hand through the dramatic pursuit of freedom, which is the condition of the romantic model of the artistic existence (in turn only possible through the act of abolishing any forms of affiliation). Here, the national identity becomes invalid in a twofold way: through it being aestheticized (turned into a work of art) and through the validity date on the fabricated document (i.e. the id card had expired before it reached the artist). In this sense, this work hints towards the subject of national identity from the perspective of it being already history.

-2016

I was Chinese artist for a day

(2016) chromogenic print 100x80 cm

art by Michal Martychowiec

I was Chinese artist for a day

(2016) ID card 5,4x8,6 cm

art by Michal Martychowiec
art by Michal Martychowiec