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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Erró

New Jersey

Year
1979
Height
90 cm
Width
99 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

“Mao only once travelled outside China: when he was very young he went to the congress of the Communist International in Moscow. I have enabled him to travel all over the world in virtual reality,” explains Erró. In the series Chinese Paintings the artist imagines Chairman Mao and his comrades on a triumphal progress through the major cities and iconic locations of the West: Mao in Venice, in Paris, in London, Berlin, Washington, Mao in New Jersey... This, Erró's version of the Long March (when beleaguered Chinese Communists wandered for a year in the wilds in 1934-5 before the party’s rise to power), is an ironic reference to the Maoist movement that swept the Western intellectual and artistic world in the aftermath of the events of May 1968, when a student uprising in Paris appeared to bring the western world to the brink of revolution. But by splicing Chinese propaganda posters together with tourist images of the capitalist West, the artist reveals how deceptive these pictures are. The smiling, bright, perfect European and American stereotypes are no different from the corresponding pictures from the Communist bloc. By juxtaposing the images the artist communicates how images are used to manipulate the public.

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