beijing

Song Ta, These Are Your Test Scores, and You’re Still Playing Around? (detail), 2014, paper, found objects, dimensions variable.

Song Ta

Beijing Commune 北京公社

Song Ta, These Are Your Test Scores, and You’re Still Playing Around? (detail), 2014, paper, found objects, dimensions variable.

Entering the exhibition space, viewers were greeted with two rows of elementary-school examination papers, hanging like Tibetan prayer flags. Each sheet bears the same score, 59.5—just half a point under the passing grade of 60. The exams were culled from schools in poor and remote mountainous regions, some of them populated by ethnic minorities. The quasi-religious mode of display may have allegorized the students’ hopes, but in choosing to display only the tests of those who failed to pass by just half a point, Song Ta projects his coldly satirical intent, evident in the work’s title, These Are Your Test Scores, and You’re Still Playing Around? (all works 2014). As Song himself put it to me, he has “played a prank.” Its effect may have been to make the audience chuckle bitterly but also to question the educational system responsible for this awkward and hopeless situation.

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