The Guangzhou Wedding of Things by MacGuffin & Alexandre Humbert depicts the intricate relationships between objects and citizens in the constantly changing urban environment of the Chinese city of Guangzhou. It was originally made for the sixth Guangzhou Triennial in 2019 on invitation by MU-director Angelique Spaninks who was one of the three curators.
The installation unites two different perspectives on the Guangzhou metropolis. On the one hand there is the so-called Chinese Dream, Xi Jinping’s aspirations “to work assiduously to fulfil dreams and contribute to the revitalization of the nation”. On the other hand there is the parallel reality of the thriving African immigrant community. These opposite worlds literally melt together in the mixed marriages between Chinese citizens and African traders; marriages that enable Chinese citizens with a rural background to climb the economic ladder and embody one of the counter cultural phenomena that are shaping Guangzhou today.
According to MacGuffin’s motto - The Life of Things - the presentation symbolizes these weddings by ‘marrying’ ten objects that represent the Chinese Dream to ten objects that play an important part in the lives of African immigrants in the region. In this way, the objects function as the MacGuffins in Hitchcock’s films - telling the stories of African immigrants as well as those of Chinese brides and grooms.
Photo: Boudewijn Bollmann
Header photo: Joie Willems