Chapter 4 pivots to the subject of global expositions. Located across the
globe in places such as Guangzhou, Taipei, Fukuoka, Gwangju, and Busan in
the regions of Asia, the biennials/triennials serve as the very example of a
de-centered and decentralized institution for art as they are held in
diverse places when once they were reserved solely for Euro-American
nations. But contrary to this notion of exhibitionary innovation, the
biennial’s organizing principle was first conceived in the nineteenth
century – the longest-running artfair, the Venice Biennale, began in 1895.
For this reason, the inclusion of China’s artists in the 1993 Venice
Biennale was an important ‘first’ in the exhibition of China’s xiandai yishu
contemporary art. Significantly, the 1992 Guangzhou Biennale the year before
was the first-ever biennial-type art exposition held in China. The
Biennale’s archetypal institution provides a useful genealogy for
investigating the structural tendencies that were closely related to the
representation of nations in the nineteenth-century world’s fairs. In
contrast, the political way in which curator/director Okwui Enwezor has
contributed to the Documenta quinquennial in Kassel, Germany (inaugurated in
1955) reveals the twenty-first-century potential of the art exposition for
showcasing trans/national issues and advocacies.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.