Friday, November 6, 2015

Systems 03: Inventory Aesthetics


A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I – XVIII
While visiting the local land registry office, Shivdutt Yadav discovered that official records listed him as dead. His land was no longer registered in his name. Yadav’s two brothers, Chandrabhan and Phoolchand, and their first cousin, Ram Surat, were also listed as dead. Land registry records documented the transfer of Yadav’s property to his father’s other living heirs, allowing them to inherit his share of the family’s ancestral farmland. These relatives reportedly threatened to destroy the family home on the property unless it was vacated immediately.

9. Yadav, Babloo, ~11/12 (birth date unknown). Student. Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. 
10. Yadav, Mukesh, ~10/11 (birth date unknown). Student. Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. b. Letter to the chief judicial magistrate of Azamgarh demanding official recognition that Shivdutt, Chandrabhan, Phoolchand, and Ram Surat Yadav are living and maintain legal title to their land. The letter also requests that legal action be taken against all officers and family members who filed false information. Family file, Azamgarh.
d. Corpse of a person with leprosy floating in the Ganges River. The dead are cremated on the banks of the river or tied to heavy stones and sunk in the water. Dhanaiy Yadav, Shivdutt Yadav’s father, was cremated along the banks and his ashes were scattered in the river. Ganges River, Varanasi.

Contraband (2010) comprises 1,075 photographs taken at both the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Site and the U.S. Postal Service International Mail Facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York. For one working week, Taryn Simon remained on site at JFK and continuously photographed items detained or seized from passengers and express mail entering the United States from abroad.
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Ai Weiwei made headlines back in 2008 for his quest in recovering the truth about the number of student casualties that were a result of the sichuan earthquake that hit china–his citizen’s investigation was aimed at collecting the names of all the victims of the natural disaster, uncovering the truth about the chinese government’s corruption in trying to hide the actual facts. since then he has undergone much scrutiny by chinese authorities for his activism and was incarcerated for 81-days back in 2011 for his involvement.

now, five year’s after the tragic event which took the lives of more than five thousand school children, ai weiwei presents his sculptural installation ‘straight’ at the 2013 venice art biennale. the work is composed of 150 tons of steel rebar which the artist recovered from the sites of the collapsed schools in sichuan following the quake. varying in diameter, ai weiwei has had all of the retrieved metal parts straightened as if new, and has arranged them in stacks, creating an eery landscape which immediately brings forth a feeling of somberness in memory of those whose lives were lost; the action of adjusting the pieces in a way metaphorically speaking of the artist trying to make things right.
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