May 20, 2011

On Tuesday I attended a lecture by Xu Bing of the round glasses, narrowed consonants, and found art fame, though “found art” is too simplistic a term to describe his work. Yes, he uses discarded materials picked up from his surroundings—dust from the streets of New York City in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, for example, and his phoenix sculptures made up of construction debris—but these things, in being recalibrated while being reconstructed back into our day-to-day environment, acquire a loose, ethereal texture.

May I say that he is re-creating heaven using earth.

When I left the lecture, the fog had completed itself over the city. I was amazed to experience one half-truth and one full truth, both involving the found objects in my heart. This is why I love fog. We all become equally obscured by a palpable mist, as though magic, not rain, were threatening to fall. At the same time, clarity of both ourselves and the objects around us, the meanings both inside and outside, is attainable merely by sticking out our hand and continually feeling our way.

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