X+3=1

In 1997, French sociologist Jean Baudrillard published an article titled Illusion , Désillusion Esthétique in which he harshly criticized contemporary art. Baudrillard argued that contemporary art has fallen into a spot of blindness without prospects, occupied by endless path of self-recycling and reuse.

The first type of contemporary art that Baudrillard came under his criticism is film. “They explored the insignificance and meaninglessness of the world while their works further rendered the world inconsequential,” he pointed out in his article, offering film directors’ works like Jean-Luc Godard as examples. Baudrillard consecutively wrote articles during the mid and late 1990s that triggered a wave of debate about whether contemporary art is detached from reality and the people. The debate pretty much ended up with the conclusion that “contemporary art has embraced its demise.”

Two decades passed and now we try to seal the debate in hindsight. Departing from Godard’s statement at the recent Cannes Festival that “X plus 3 equals 1. That is the equation of cinema” and leveraging 20 films created by cross disciplinary artists, we attempt to prove that contemporary art, as an extension or renewal of modern art, has not yet reached its end. The true predicament lies not in art itself, but in the capital structure, which dictates the survival of contemporary art. At least, the works of these 20 artists strive to find another path for art outside the roadmap outlined by the film industry.