Zhang Huan and Groupthink

smithsonian.com

I was just reading through an article on Chinese contemporary artist Zhang Huan and I couldn’t even finish it, I was so annoyed.

Zhang is quoted about halfway through the piece as saying, “I like very much having so many people around. I am very open-minded to all the ideas from all different people—either a graduate student or a carpenter in the street or even my doorman; everybody can scribble down an idea, a drawing, or whatever, and I can see if I’ll take this or that or if I don’t like that idea at all."

When did art become creation by committee? When did the artist turn into an arbiter, picking and choosing from other peoples’ ideas like a finicky eater at the buffet table?

Who talks like that? As if everyone else’s ideas are fodder for your appropriation. Someone get this man a publicist.

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