Yuxin Jiang

The Instagram Project: Provocative Jokes, 2020

Installation view at the exhibition Broken Secrets at Fondazione Modena Arti Visive, Italy, 2021. Photo courtesy of Rolando Paolo Guerzoni

The Instagram Project is a constellation of works looking at the Instagram images that knowingly or not participate in the construction and consumption of the Chinese as a spectacle of ‘the other’ yet often mistaken as the societal reality.

With a satirical and analytical approach, the project takes the images and the text accompanying them out of Instagram, dissects, alters, and repurposes them to create new meanings and contexts, as strategies to undo the underlying ethnocentric judgements that fuel the popularity of them.

In Provocative Jokes, a handful of the numerous Instagram jokes made at the expense of the objectification of real people are deconstructed, each broken into three parts – people, words, captions. The flicking through jokes, readily to be laughed at, are turned into separate entities demanding viewers’ attention and thinking, making up their own minds on what is at stake with these secret pleasures.