Wasted Time was a group exhibition presented by two Chinese artists, an economist and a poet, to consider how Duchamp’s proposition that anything could be art resonates within contemporary consumerist society. It formed part of the ongoing exhibition Duchamp 100 Years Later.
As Duchamp introduced the ready-made to the world, blurring the boundary between life and art, the creative act of art was transformed from labour-intensive craftsmanship to a conceptual act. This paradigm shift could be seen to bring about a contemporary art that remains with us today. The works throughout the evening were intended to question this open interpretation, and ask if these ideas lead to new freedoms or a spectacular extraction of value in the current climate of optimal liquidity. How might the low energy activities of sleep and day-dreaming, and other activities that might seem a ‘waste’ of time, open up different rhythms than those geared to optimal production?
In Wasted Time, the artists posed questions asking whether hands-on craftsmanship still has a place in society, or just a waste of time? How do values work outside of systems of value attributed by the market? How do we account for periods of deep thinking before the genesis of artists’ works in the production of art? How do we recuperate value in art for our own ends, and what might these be? Wasted Time was curated by Florence Qian Yang. Artists include: Yuhan Chang, Qianqian She, poet Huiyi Bao, and economist Liang Jie