A Case Study of Transference 一个转换案例的研究
1994
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Exhibited: Performance at Han Mo Arts Center, Beijing
Materials: Performance, mixed media installation / Ink and live pigs.

When this work was initially performed in Beijing, it revealed an unexpected and surprising dynamic between the spectators and the spectacle. Just before the event took place there was some concern that, once confronted with the unfamiliar cultural environment of the exhibition hall, the pigs would become too nervous to perform the crucial act. But in fact the result was just the opposite: the pigs themselves were completely unfazed, and blithely ignoring their human onlookers pursued their lovemaking with great gusto. It was rather the audience members who found themselves in an embarrassing and awkward position. What ultimately was exposed was not any sense of discomfort or displacement on the part of the pigs, but the limitations and the inability to adapt of the human audience. Xu Bing states: ''These two creatures, devoid of human consciousness, yet carrying on their bodies the marks of human civilization, engage in the most primal form of 'social intercourse.' The absolute directness of this undertaking produces a result that is both unthinkable and worth thinking about. In watching the behavior of the two pigs, we are led to reflect on human behavior.'' To the artist, the process of caring for and working with the pigs constitutes ''a kind of ongoing sociological experiment, touching on myriad issues.''