2005.03.05
2005.03.05

2005.03.05 is a single project that comprises a series of different artworks. The use of the opening date as the exhibition’s title signifies the handover of the exhibition by the artist to the general public. Using a large number of apples, bananas, and artificial materials for various site-specific installations, Gu encourages the audience to participate in the exhibition. The audience can consume the fruit at will and thus become included in the process of reshaping the artwork as the exhibition progresses. Deliberately placed inside gallery’s atrium is a large-scale plinth. A close examination shows that the plinth was conceived with the proportion of the whole atrium in mind. One would normally expect to see a classical sculpture on the top of it to sanctify the architecture of that space. Gu subverts such a trope by painting the plinth with bright red paint, thereby making the object self-referential. Furthermore, Gu deflates the imposing spectacle of such an out-of-proportion plinth by placing a "sea" of bananas on the marble floor. Within a short time, the rotting bananas have left their marks on the marble floor. If the very identity of the atrium is derived from the art object, Gu’s strategy is to counter this architectural conceit with a completely natural phenomenon. The viewer is confronted with a sense of helplessness, witnessing thousands of bananas gradually rotting away.

About Gu Dexin

A pioneer of contemporary Chinese art, Gu Dexin is best known for his subversive installations that explore the concepts of decay and permanence. Since the 1980s, Gu has rejected the exploration of China’s socialist legacy that preoccupies many of his contemporaries, instead filling galleries with fruit or meat, which he would allow to rot in the gallery space. For other works he installs arrangements of mass-produced plastic, as in the toy automobiles of 2004.05.09 (2004), its title reflective of his insistence to not impose meaning on to his works. Gu’s artistic output is extremely varied—he began his career producing surrealistic, figurative paintings, and in recent years has turned to animation and a quieter, less graphic mode of installation, exemplified by 2009-05-02 (2009), a peaceful, cemetery-like piece accompanied by accusatory texts like “WE KILLED HUMANS.” Gu ended his career upon completing this work.

Chinese, b. 1962, Beijing, China, based in Beijing, China