PRINT September 2000


According to the teachings of the Buddha, there is an eightfold path that leads to Enlightenment. This course—calling for the cultivation of right understanding, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration—is eccentrically reimagined in Alexander Ku' s brief video The 8-Fold Path, 1997, set in New York's Chinatown, more precisely in a digitally simulated Canal Street bank. A number of Chinese Americans with George Washington heads grafted to their bodies are lined up in front of eight cashiers' windows (leading, we assume, to a Western Nirvana) when an archetypal American guy—tough-looking, sporting an Abe Lincoln head—enters and tries to cut in front. “Hey, there's a line, asshole,” shouts one of the Washingtons in Cantonese. A ritualistic fight ensues: Blood and teeth hit the floor; a gunshot sounds, and the Abe guy falls dead. Pandemonium

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