Sunday September 17 2017
Lecture: Xu Bing’s Book from the Sky and the Meaning of No-Meaning
Dr Lennert Gesterkamp (Utrecht University) takes us on a journey through the work of Xu Bing.
The Chinese script is truly special. It was reformed from several types of writing into the present script with the unification of the Chinese empire under the First Emperor, ca. 200 BC, and it has remained the binding force between all the different cultures, languages, and peoples of this vast country up to the present day. Even though the Chinese could read the characters and understand their meaning, the peoples from different regions could not understand each other’s languages when spoken. Being able to write and read became the basis for governing the empire and education the path to wealth and glory. But what if texts become meaningless and nobody can read the characters?