Why do we do useless things? Irrelevant Commission curated by Qiu Xunlin
Tang Contemporary Art, 798 Art District, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
24 March – 29 April, 2012
Two week ago I reviewed Wang Du’s aircraft carrier, sitting in Tang Contemporary’s main spaces, and this week I am returning the same gallery but moving my attention to the group show running alongside, this being the second appearance of the Irrelevant Commission in Beijing.
I was lucky to catch the first appearance of Irrelevant Commission, in their self-organised show ‘We Are Irrelevant Commission’ (curated by Gu Jing) at the Miao Pu Art District, but I remember at the time being troubled by the meaning of this group. Although they are forthright in their self-presentation as a group, I wondered if their chosen name was perhaps an indication of the value (or lack of value) they place on the idea of a group. Their major claim to collectivity was that they all graduated from the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou within a year or two of each other (from 2006–2008). In terms of their work, there was apparently little to connect them, neither in terms of style, content, or theory. So this could perhaps be classed as a institutional grouping, but beyond that this first group show held no particular stylistic cohesion, no clearly expressed curatorial framework, and—although individually there were some nice pieces—there was not enough to really get to grips with or to pull together for a review (speaking for myself).