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Chen Tong

Today, works that are called “projects” or “plans” often emphasize their contemporaneity by employing the display of a comprehensive process, one that might include the reasoning behind, prerequisites to, or project proposals, materials, views, documentations and dialogues, all which are subsequently collected into a book that represents the same process. It’s not hard to see how, through such a process, fashionable sociological rhetoric surpasses the name of aesthetics, and becomes latent to the character and the significance of works, ultimately limiting the scope of discussion.

Superficially at least, the two scenes in “Whose Land? Whose Art?” realized at just about the same time, and implemented not too far away from each other, also seem to belong to the standard model outlined above, especially in light of Lin Yilin’s inclusion of actual facts into one of the scenes. But the dual-sided implication in the question that he takes as title, recalling “the artist’s land” and “art about the land,” also reminds us that a tangled and murky relationship exists between the two, and this multilayered relationship is both fragile and uncertain. The techniques Lin Yilin uses to deal with these issues, do not derive inherently from such relationships, but are more like repetitions of his earlier performances––virtual behavior in a fixed space and under conditions (such as in Safely Manoeuvring Across Linhe Road, 1995), or documenting behavior/performance in a given space or conditions (as in People’s Square, 2008). That is to say, sociological analysis is not a prerequisite concept to understanding his works and dialogue. For example,  because of existent laws,  it is impossible to protect the art zones that naturally took shape in on 


© lin yilin 2018

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