View of “Hu Xiangqian,” 2015.

View of “Hu Xiangqian,” 2015.

Hu Xiangqian

Long March Space 长征空间

View of “Hu Xiangqian,” 2015.

A central concern of Beijing-based artist Hu Xiangqian’s oeuvre seems to be: Is the body a performance artist’s only tool, and are the performative acts of a single body enough to constitute a resonantly critical practice? As if to explore these questions, Hu introduced a second body to Reconstructing Michelangelo, 2014–15, the predominant work in “A Performance a Day Keeps the Doctor Away,” his recent exhibition of four new projects.

Reconstructing Michelangelo considers what the relationship between a master and an apprentice might be in the context of performance art, and attempts to articulate what it even means to teach the discipline. The work consists of a live performance and five videos that follow Hu and his assistant, who wear matching red-and-blue 4S car shop uniforms, as they execute a number of mundane tasks: They eat, exercise, chat, and perform at two museums together

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