The Power of Doubt
A world that violently imposes fictions of happiness and peace, by flattening the reality into an interface that compress every human activity into act of communication of a single truth. Behind the “freedom” of expression and communication provided by Google, Facebook, i-Phone etc, in the field of economy, we have only one option: to survive in a liberal capitalist system. Ironically, we are “informed” that we have gained far more freedom than ever before. Here lies the fundamental paradox of our time. Artists, as the most sensitive and imaginative individuals, continue to be leading the struggle for this emancipation, not unlike they did during the “underground avant-garde” years of the Cold War and Anti-Colonial era. They should – and can – perfectly embody the power of doubt.
The urban-scape series, » Towers of Babel », by Du Zhenjun, demonstrates this perfectly. Turning the world into new Towers of Babel, he presents a contemporary version of the apocalypse: barely have the new towers-symbols of newly gained wealth and superpower–been built, than they are already on fire and the earth is flooded. The opening ceremony is orchestrated with earthquakes and war. Du’s catastrophic scenarios obviously remind one of Hieronymus Bosch’s infernal scenes. However, nothing is really fictional or surrealist here. They are all images of real events.