Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cai Guo-Qiang Essay

Cai Guo-Qiang Essay

Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe
I did not understand at first what it was, hanging from the centre of rotunda. Something bright, sparkling and definitely spectacular. But what is it? Does it mean anything, does it really should be here – in the Guggenheim’s museum, in the centre of Frank Lloyd Wright’s rotunda? First feelings are absolutely mixed. Yes, this installation is massive and extraordinary. Yes, it amazes and fascinates. However, what is its message? Nine white cars hanging in different positions, sparkling from light tubes, stuck into these cars. Frankly speaking, you do not often see such installations. But when you hear the name of its author, everything falls into place.


Cai Guo-Qiang can not present something less grandiose and less provocative. He is famous for his absolutely unexpected and innovative approach to modern art. If you think that his works of art are easy to explain, you are mistaken. I would say that are impossible to explain in detail and to analyze. They represent the flight of Cai’s thought and his world outlook combined with a large number of sciences, all of which interweave in his installations. I Want to Believe is not an exception. Could you imagine that these cars hang according to feng shui and represent our relations with space? I could not, but it is so. Cai’s works are profound. I Want to Believe will not make you understand the message of the author at once; you won’t understand it in two hours either.

You will try to read it and the process of its reading will fascinate you as if you are perceiving something important. Your attempt to seize it, this significant thing, but it escapes. It is near, it is in your mind, but you need time to realize it. These are my feelings about I Want to Believe. They are very personal but I want to believe them. I Want to Believe is hard to explain, is hard to describe in such a way that person understands its significance, it is hard to explain why you liked it. Perhaps the only proper way to become a part of Cai’s creative work is to see it. You see the sparkles of tubes and the reversed cars, you might think about something absolutely different or about nothing. You must feel at first and then try to ponder over it.

Almost in all Cai’s works you’ll notice the usage of explosive materials. Perhaps they play a special role. They attract viewers’ attention and highlight Cai’s thoughts that our life is an explosion, it comprises conflict and permanent transformation. It is this transformation that is reflected in his installation.

Its place also evokes many questions. The unique structure of rotunda does not seem to presuppose such ultramodern and shocking installation. However, as for me, they look quite harmoniously. The spiral of rotunda is as infinite as our life and the succession of cars is as explosive as its events. If Cai tried to make an impression on people, he managed to do it. I saw people’s spellbound eyes and I felt that I looked the same way.
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