china power station pt. 1 @ battersea power station

bps.JPGBattersea Power Station is doomed. Its roof is gone, its long glass windows shattered, its cavernous heart empty, except for its iron ribs and red bricks. And today, sunshine, long shadows and the queues which have lined up for a last look at an imposing monument to industrialisation before it gets turned into an indoor playground for adults with expense accounts. It takes me 45 minutes to get in and 30 minutes to get out; The Serpentine Gallery and Red Mansion Foundation have curated a mutimedia exhibition of groundbreaking Chinese contemporary art, but being Asian it’s lost on me. Or maybe I just don’t have a clue. There’s a tank (Xu Zhen), lots of videos featuring the subversion of Chinese propaganda, a bloke (Yang Zhenshong) balancing the Shangai skyline on the tip of his finger, stuffed wolves watching a tv screen full of live sheep, karaoke and apples, lots of apples (Gu Dexin). Most exit thrilled, the French family in front of me become art (their daughter obscures a short film by dancing in front of the projector, replacing the dancing characters on screen). Me? Tomorrow I’m going to see the European masters at The Tate.