Kleiner Nachtrag zum gestrigen Jahrestag des Massakers am Platz des himmlischen Friedens in China: Vor acht Jahren hat Michael Mandiberg das Bild des Tank Men an chinesische Copycat-Künstler geschickt, vier Jahre später hat er die Arbeit veröffentlicht.
Four years ago, in preparation for a research visit to Shenzhen’s Dafen Painting Village, I requested that roughly a dozen Chinese painters paint a copy of the image of the man standing in front of the tanks during the Tiananmen Square protest on June 4, 1989. I did this partly out an interest in copies and reproductions and partly just to see if I could do it: the image is famous worldwide, but I have since learned it is virtually unknown under Chinese national censorship.
Of the dozen requests I sent, most were returned with a price and the universal salutation “it is a pleasure to do business with you.” A few painters suggested I just leave the man and the lamp post out, often for unclear reasons: political or aesthetic? One person outright declared that he could not paint the image. I have titled each image with a snippet of dialogue from the negotiations for each painting.
Bonustrack: Derzeit macht auch Phil Thompsons ganz ähnliche Arbeit Copyright die Runde, der hat geblurte Bilder in Googles Art Project in China malen lassen. Finde ich aber ungleich schwächer, als das da oben.