The oppression of tilted
Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, directed by Godfrey Reggio and released in 1982 after seven years in production, is a non-narrative documentary film without plot, characters, and dialogue. Instead of preaching to its audiences, the film condemns how advances in industrial civilization have done violence to the natural environment. In accordance with Philip Glass’ film score, the series of flashback delivers the poetic scene, but this alleviate rhyme of image makes people shudder. Koyaanisqatsi is a language spoken by Hopi Native Americans, which implies madness, chaos, unbalance, devastation, and the meaning of alternative lifestyle. When we watch the film in retrospect, thirty years on, the film is indeed a shocking reminder of how our materialistic civilization is merely an affirmative false consciousness. This sense of imbalance that emerges from the material acquisitiveness and ideological manipulation forces us to review our past and educate each generation with the necessary consciousness of this imbalance.
The exhibition title, The Oppression of Tilted, is inspired by a sense of uncertainty deriving from observation of daily social phenomena. Coming from the same generation, coincidentally, the three participating artists all reflect upon the circumstances of imbalance in front of them. Through his oil paintings with bold cutting lines and compositions, LIAO Zen-Ping provides a reading perspective with deliberate declination, which simulates a sense of crisis through the adventurous imbalanced scenes depicted on canvas. The objects presented in KUO Yu-Ping’s installation symbolize members in a family. Adopting methods of excavating and disassembling, the artist renders the tightly imbricated objects into concave and convex forms as a representation of father-mother and yin-yang. By confronting the sense of time, the tediously time-consuming manual labor of the artistic process embodies the artist’s attempt to dive into the abyss of stigmatized memory and to sort out the historical trajectory of family/nation consciousness. TSAI Meng-Chang’s oil paintings disseminate vocabularies such as cement, coldness, rust, time, and oblivion. When the empty community connotes a circle running through prosperity and decline in an unbroken loop, what does the evolution of civilization mean?
History is an axis, being unrest and wander; it loses its balance but propels forward at the same time. Nowadays, the related issues of globalization anchor the phenomena of excess and inequality. After human beings lose their ability to balance their desires, their reflective contemplation hardens into an anger balanced precariously like a snowball on a hillside that begins to roll uncontrollably in accelerating rhythm and oscillation.
By taking up ‘tilted’ as an alternative interpretation of imbalance, the exhibition alludes to a sense of a tumbling force that is exacerbated by an expanding tension between inside and outside. Albert Camus states, “The greatness of a conqueror was geographical. It was measured by the extent of the conquered territories.” Nonetheless, the conqueror confronting us has already transgressed geographical borders and made itself present in virtual space. Information circulates at such an extreme speed that even our sense of anxiety cannot overtake it…