Chinese Ideology, 1999, inkjet on A4 paper
This is a straightforward list, set in Letter Gothic, of ideological categories collected from the period just prior to the Chinese Cultural Revolution. These would have been collected for embassies in China by readers scouring the newspapers and political speeches for new terminology. Such compilations were to have helped political diplomacy. This is interesting to me as evidence of political intoxication. Repetitive, absurd, frightening, and pointless, it’s an image of a regime trying to deal with unrest and isolation through obsessive classification. Amongst the given categories are these ones for a familiar late-nineteenth century tendency: Art-for-art’s-sake-ism, Baudelaire-ism, Decadent-ism, Oscar Wilde-ism, Ruskinism.