los-angeles

Wu Tsang, How Do I Play?, 2013, C-print on aluminum, 50 x 34".

Wu Tsang

Michael Benevento

Wu Tsang, How Do I Play?, 2013, C-print on aluminum, 50 x 34".

“I’ve done research,” says Wu Tsang in Mishima in Mexico, 2012, the centerpiece of his recent solo show at Michael Benevento. “I made mood boards.” Over the video’s fourteen minutes, Tsang and artist Alexandro Segade wrestle themselves into the narrative of Yukio Mishima’s 1950 novel Thirst for Love, entwining their own creative process with an adaptation of the book’s tragic affair between a kimonoed lady and a fundoshied young gardener. “It’s so gay,” quips Segade. Then Tsang: “I wouldn’t say gay. Maybe queer.” “So Japanese.” “That’s why we’re in Mexico.” Cultural transposition is only the beginning. Identity in general is portrayed as malleable (or as one Los Angeles Times reviewer put it, in Tsang’s work, identity, as well as art, is a Q, not an A). The video cuts between luridly shot reenactments and heart-to-hearts or fretful scriptwriting in a mod hotel room. The artists

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