John Armstrong
Paul Collins

Buddy Holly Spectacles, a ten-minute excerpt from Academy Caochangdi (2012)
digital video projection
projection vidéo digitale

Academy, Caochangdi (2011-12) is a silent, 65-minute video which records the comings and goings on a flooded side street in Caochangdi, a market village in the north of Beijing. Caochangdi is undergoing tremendous change due to its designation as an official ‘art zone’ with newly constructed gallery compounds, artist residencies and restaurants. The side street in the video is located in a gated gallery compound; at the end of the street, is a wall belonging to the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, a gallery and artist residency.

In the video, cars, bicycles, motorcycles and auto rickshaw delivery vans drive down the street through the water. Pedestrians use stepping stones to avoid getting wet when obliged to wade out into the water to get around the gate.

Thirteen English or Chinese texts flow through the video and present anecdotal meditations on art and art education. Length: 65 minutes

English Translation of Anecdotal Narratives in Academy Caochangdi booklet: read >