Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Want To Believe

This is part of Cai Guo-Qiang's exhibit "I Want to Believe." The exhibit was supposed to be in protest to China's human rights violations and its support for the Sudanese goverment.

This piece immediately struck me because it's so heartwrenching. I think the use of illusion of motion is part of what makes it so powerful, it's the fact that the animal is caught in the middle of the occurrence that makes it so painful to the viewer, as if they just missed the moment it could have been stopped and now the tragic moment of the tiger's death is suspended in front of them. The tiger's position, the arrows and the fact that the piece appears to be floating in mid-air make the viewer fully believe in the motion, and it's immediately striking and very effective in evoking a strong sympathetic response, as well as perhaps some guilt in the viewer, as it feels like if we had only arrived seconds ago we could have stopped this.

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