The concept for the Tai Chi Army grew out of the artists long-standing interest in the gaze of the other, as well as his study of Tai Chi, a martial art based on concepts of self defense and a heightened awareness of the space in which we move. Drawing a parallel between this awareness and the current emphasis on national defense, homeland security and increased levels of alert, Beirne offers an absurd alternative to preemptive aggression as a means of defense.
Beirne said, I do not consider myself an advanced student of Tai Chi. Although my study has continued for several years it is the imperfections in the playing of the form that most interests me. While this piece is intended as a commentary on the length to which our government has gone in the name of self defense and national security, and although the practice of Tai Chi is beneficial to the general well being of anyone who would practice it, the idea that Tai Chi could be used in any practical sense as a deterrent to the weapons of modern warfare is left for the viewer to decide.
Beirnes work has been featured in New York at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, The Sculpture Center, The International Center of Photography, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Fashion Moda, Artists Space, DArc Gallery and 112 Greene Street Workshop. His work has also been shown at The National Center for Contemporary Art in Kaliningrad, Russia, the TV Gallery Moscow and at MITs List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Mass.
The Tai Chi Army is scheduled for deployment to Art 3 in Valence, France, in the fall.
For more information, call the Rockaway Artists Alliance at 718-474-0861 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2003 Community News Group
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