August 5, 2019

"Xu likes to cast his series as an act of reclamation, even rebellion—an attempt, as he writes, to 'queer the heteronormativity' of his parents’ household..."

"... and, in so doing, to disrupt the domesticity that smothers him during his visits home. And yet his images transmit a stubborn love for the parents with whom he shares so little of his new life in America, where he goes by Gary."

From "A Chinese Photographer’s Secret Installations Inside His Parents’ Home" (The New Yorker). Interesting photos at the link if you can get it to work for you. I'm a subscriber. It's a very clean, brightly lit home with lots of photos and posters plastered all over the place. The artist, Guanyu Xu, "grew up in Beijing... in an apartment on the seventeenth floor of a military-housing complex," where "he was forbidden from hanging posters on his bedroom walls" but "accumulated a stash of film and fashion magazines." Xu moved to the United States, then, on a visit back to China to see his parents, while they were away at work, he "transformed the family home into a brazen art installation" he photographed and titled "Temporarily Censored Home." He took all the stuff down before his parents got home from work. This sentence appears in The New Yorker: "As far as he’s aware, neither of his parents knows that he’s gay." And: "He hopes that his parents won’t discover his work, but he accepts that one day they may. 'I’m just taking the risk, I guess.'"

26 comments:

Andrew said...

He better hope to fuck the Chinese Army doesn't find out about his "art".

Leland said...

He better hope to fuck the Chinese Army doesn't find out about his "art".

My thoughts too, what a dick.

Kevin said...

Xu likes to cast his series as an act of reclamation, even rebellion—an attempt, as he writes, to “queer the heteronormativity” of his parents’ household and, in so doing, to disrupt the domesticity that smothers him during his visits home.

If his parents put up pictures of heterosexual acts in his apartment, photographed the entire thing, then took it down to "quell the homosexuality" of his household and, in doing so, to disrupt the gayness that smothers them during visits to his home, how would he feel about that?

How would readers of the New Yorker feel?

How would they be made to feel?

"Do unto others..." seems to have so little currency in Progressive politics, other than to be chanted against the non-believers as proof of their own hypocrisy.

Birches said...

What the hell is the matter with people? Don't volunteer you're gay to your parents because you're afraid of changing the dynamic of your relationship? Fine. Whatever. But you're an adult, act like it, not some dumb teenager who gets extra gratification from sneaking around with them unawares.

Derek Kite said...

Yawn.

bagoh20 said...

Everyone always brings orphaned animals to me. Last week a friend's tree fell down and dumped a couple just hatched baby Morning Doves. That means they come to me. The much smaller of the two died within the hour, but the other one is still with me now for about four days and is eating and growing fine. Of course I had to Google about the life and customs of the Morning Dove. Turns out the offspring have a very low survival rate which the parents counter with excessive fornication. Anyway, the parents kick them out of the nest at 12 days and will not return to fed them if they stay. At that age they are still helpless and flightless. They live on the ground and the parents come and feed them there. I think it's a good policy that humans might try using at about 18 years old. Your parents come to you, but you stay out there on your own. I like the excessive fornication idea too.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

""transformed the family home into a brazen art installation" he photographed and titled "Temporarily Censored Home." He took all the stuff down before they got home from work."

So brazen they never saw it. Wow. He may as well have masturbated to gay porn in the bathroom while they were at work. Now that would be queering some heteronormativity.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

Yikes. Guy sounds awful. Also sounds as if he hates his parents. Why not let them enjoy their heteronormativity in their apartment and he can enjoy his homosexuality in his own place?

Is he trying to get them killed with his "installations"? What if he forgets to remove one of them before the folks get home, or the Army shows up?

bagoh20 said...

This person sounds awful.

Ann Althouse said...

It's possible that the parents completely know and saw the installation but he's lying about it to us. He's lying in at LEAST one direction, so there's no reason to trust him. The basis for mistrust is out and proud, though, so I'm not calling him a liar. I'd say he's playing with the complexities of human hiding and showing.

lb said...

what a jackass.

Yancey Ward said...

Yes, it really does sound like he hates his parents. It screams "narcissist", too.

And, really, what are the odds the parents don't already know all about his life in America? I would say the odds are extremely low that they are in the dark. Young people always think they are so smart and clever at keeping secrets, but the truth is that they aren't.

vanderleun said...

Just t he standard New Yorker move to "normalize the perfeverted"

BarrySanders20 said...

"I'd say he's playing with the complexities of human hiding and showing."

It's the classic Chinese children's game of Hide and Peek.

rhhardin said...

I was hoping Xu was the president of China but he appears not to be.

SDaly said...

I thought that respect for elders/ancestors is a big part of Chinese culture. This guy exposes his parents to public exposure and ridicule in a foreign country by publicly claiming that they either (1) won't accept him because he is gay, which makes people in his new environment look down on them; or (2) are too stupid to realize the truth about his life. Also, his parents may not find out about his actions, but the Chinese government will, and this will probably be counted as a mark against them on their "social credit" score.

Narcissist doesn't begin to describe this guy.

Scott Patton said...

Like Kramer alone all day in Jerry's apartment

Freeman Hunt said...

Seems childish. "I hung up naughty pictures in my parents house. Tee hee. Of course, I took them all down before my parents saw them."

Also, callous. What happens to his parents if this is exposed? China isn't America.

Better to recreate his parents' rooms with the installations in the United States.

n.n said...

Transgender, transversal, and, apparently, transgressive.

buwaya said...

Pathetic person.
He violates all the finest ideals of Chinese civilization.
What Confucius would make of him is not in doubt.

daskol said...

I figured Xu was someone's pronoun.

Unknown said...

What would people think of a hetero couple who put up art depicting themselves having sex? Who wanted to talk about their sex life all the time?
And what is this "domesticity that smothers him"--you don't like people keeping house? Having kids? Hint: that's how you came into existence doofus.

gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Obadiah said...

Personally, I am very grateful that none of my kids are sneaking around trying to queer my heteronormativity. I'm rather attached to it.

Unknown said...

Chinese prefer Non-homo

America to blame

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