Para Site proudly presents Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? | The Paradox of Choice in a Time of Anxiety:, curator ’s first exhibition at Para Site.
2012 marks the slow recovery of consumer confidence index in Hong Kong since the extreme dip in the latter half of 2011. While pundits have cited 2011 as the second lowest level of this index since the 2008 financial crisis, the recovery of Hong Kong’s consumer market seems markedly cautious in its move from a pessimistic to neutral outlook. Though this surge is propelled mainly by the public’s trust in stable employment, the positivity is, in contrast, conveyed with hesitancy in sectors such as quality of life, the stock market and the economy.
The rise of consumption and the belief in unlimited growth and progress in contemporary post-industrial capitalist cities such as Hong Kong, is often followed shortly by the re-emergence of the ideology of Choice. Herein, Choice is seen as packaged in mainstream discussions of enhancement and self-improvement such as skin whitening, obesity and slimming paid editorials, where the acts of simplifying life and the search for contentment becomes another version of choice and paradoxically, anxiety.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? takes its name from’s 1968 novel and proposes to read Anxiety as the signal and expectation of danger in the everyday rather than a phobia of a specific subject. This state of mind also arises out of a changed perception that one has of themselves, and in direct relation to societal changes at large. The exhibition seeks to explore the condition as it is enmeshed within today’s society, with a particular attention towards the new feeling of inadequacy perpetuated by the nature of contemporary capitalism. It explores the causation, occurrences, inner mechanisms, politics and functions of Anxiety in relation to the development of consumerism in cities like Hong Kong, through the practice of the four participating artists.