CANADA'S ONLINE SOURCE FOR VISUAL ART INFORMATION
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Yam Lau+ Michael Yuen
Donkey Institute of Contemporary Art (DICA)
The Donkey Institute of Contemporary Art (DICA) is an initiative dedicated to supporting experimental contemporary art on the back of a donkey. Established in the Beijing summer of 2009, DICA demonstrates a donkey’s spirit of steadfast oblivion. The DICA and the donkey counter all forms of calculated intelligence, promotion and profit making within the market place of contemporary art. They do so with the slowest possible speed, the most idle tactics and wandering work ethics.
Obstinate, dumb and proceeding on blind faith, DICA meanders throughout cities to meet its potential audience, whoever that might be. Yet, DICA makes no claim or appeal for recognition in these encounters. The institute lives by the charm and rhythm that is unique to the donkey’s soul. In this sense, DICA is the most inhuman and radical fulfillment of the avant-garde. It posits an almost complete sort of “standing-still” that refuses to concede to anything.
Recent activities and remarks
Between the summers of 2009 and 2010, DICA has initiated a range of activities. These include over 15 outings/exhibitions and lectures in Beijing and Europe. It has presented contemporary video works and artists’ publications on specially designed monitors and display/storage units mounted on the donkey, supported other artists’ initiatives, supplied free beer on the street…
Given the current geo-political conflicts between a rapidly expanding Beijing and its surrounding rural areas, the donkey is regarded by urban dwellers as an unpleasant reminder of China’s rural past. DICA epitomizes the class and social conflicts between urban and rural Beijing. Its meandering into “prohibited” urban zones and its ability to spontaneously draw crowds has solicited “visits” and censorship from authorities. Hence, DICA is both a site of contestation and recognition.
DICA contact in Canada
Some discussions and images on DICA