DELUSIONAL CRIME AND PUNISHMENT | LU YANG
A video installation in the form of a ‘wheel of misfortune’, this is the focus of Lu Yang’s video artwork, 14’37” minutes of graphically constructed images, a narrative pressing rhythm accompanied by pure club music composed by Gameface.
Foundational for philosophical and religious thought are the underlying questions: the origin of the human species and the relationship between crime and punishment, the basis of moral reflection.
To test the topicality of these questions today, in contemporary society, in an aseptic and functional way, free from subjective implications, Lu Yang builds a ‘human creator’ which generates, like a machine, human beings branded ‘made by god’. During the creation stages, the naked, bald and asexual figures are shown with sections, measurements and equivalents functional details to simulate the brain and central nervous system.
The hell, a symbolic and imaginary trans-religious place of sin, guilt and sinners, becomes the principal set of the scene. To replicate the dissuasive, almost didactic, deterrent images of classic religious-inspired painting, exemplary modern punishments – instruments of death sentence – and launches on sharpened stones follow each another in a crescendo of inflicted or self-inflicted punishments.
However, hell is ‘built’ in the same way these human beings who test its pains are created. Then, how the vision and belief of a symbolic place reconcile with a fair and respectful (of human being, communities and individuals’ rights) application of the moral law? How ‘real’ bodies can act in a, by definition, meta-physical place?
Tortures, sufferings and damages that these graphic drawn humans – almost like a pencil line, a cinematographic story board – suffer, test the pain perception and sensations and, above all, the role that these non-marginal elements of life and human beings play in research and scientific studies, often oriented towards a mere mechanism and functional approach.
The artwork is at the same time deliberately disturbing and attractive, the club music leads to a corporal dimension of an almost hallucinatory state. Not a dream, but an alteration of consciousness, which intrigues and leaves no room to look away.
Visually complex, refined, elegant and full of iconographic quotations, accompanied by an almost didactic but not superfluous text, the disappointment it leaves is that of impotence, the feeling of a conscious and serious theoretical reflection lack on the ethical theme in the mechanization age.
Lu Yang is a digital artist and animation designer who uses the language of science, religion, psychology, neuroscience, game culture, biology, pop and music. She create videos and installations characterized by a dark humor that act as a warning to the transience and fragility of our being.
Delusional Crime and Punishment, 2016, video still, 14’37’’, music by Gameface
© Courtesy the artist