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The politics of trans/nationalism and global expositions

Staging art and Chineseness is about the politics of borders ascribed to Chinese contemporary art and the identification of artists by locations and exhibitions. The paradoxical subject of Chineseness is central to this inquiry, which begins with the question, what does the term Chinese Art mean in the aftermath of the globalized shift in art? Through an exploration of embodied and performative representations (including eco-feminist performances) by artists from China and diasporic locations, the case studies in this book put to the test the very premise of the genealogical inscription for cultural objects attributed to the residency, homeland, or citizenship of the Chinese artist. Acknowledging the orientalist assumptions and appropriations that Chineseness also signifies, this study connects the artistic performance to the greater historical scope of ‘geographical consciousness’ envisioned by past and present global expositions. The emergence of China’s shiyan meishu experimental art movement in the 1980s–1990s has largely been the defining focus for ‘global art’ during the period when artfairs, biennials, and triennials also came into prominence as the new globalized art institution (exemplified by China’s first biennial in Guangzhou). The political aim is to recognize the multiple contradictions and repetitions of history engendered by art, nationalism, and capital in the legacy of Althusserian/Maoist interpellations – the reifications of global capitalist illusions in the twenty-first century are conveyed in this book by performative artistic expressions and the temporal space of the exposition.

Anne Ring Petersen

exceptions to citizenship and what has been described as the citizenship gap. This term refers to the legal discrepancy between citizenship rights and human rights, and it manifests itself especially at the border zones that mark the geographical and political limits of national entities.2 Rights of citizenship refer to the individual’s membership of a body politic, whereas the concept of human rights disconnects from this in anchoring them in a universal humanity. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 defines human rights as the natural rights

in Migration into art
Abstract only
Caroline Turner and Jen Webb

The period of art practice we have documented in this book in, through and out of Asia inaugurated a new way of making art, thinking art and seeing art. Though it clearly builds on the work of artists from earlier periods in the twentieth century, and often looks much further back, into local traditional practices, it is an art that is of the contemporary globalised era. It is also an art of people who have become citizens  – of their own nations, and of the world. With citizenship comes civic responsibility; and, as Ai Weiwei notes, ‘If artists betray the social

in Art and human rights
Gender, migration, and refugee arts
Rachel A. Lewis

political asylum bureaucracies intersect with questions of gender, sexuality, age, or ability. And yet, as I have argued elsewhere, practices of credibility assessment in the political asylum process are linked to the state’s reproduction of homonationalist and neoliberal ideologies of sexual citizenship – ideologies that have a disproportionately negative impact upon refugee women, children, sexual and gender minorities, and individuals with disabilities (Lewis, 2014 ). Closer attention to the ways in which diverse groups of asylum seekers engage with the concept of

in Art and migration
From the 1960s to the 1990s
Nizan Shaked

. © APRA Foundation Berlin. Rights movements, intersectionality, and multiculturalism: identity politics in historical and cultural context Following the surge of Civil Rights activism in the 1950s, rights movements of the 1960s fought for subjects to gain the full benefits of citizenship, equal access to resources, and protection under the law. In the 1970s a multiplicity of smaller interest groups expanded the focus on policies and legislation into every realm of familial, social, and cultural life—concerns centered on identity politics. Much contemporary usage of

in The synthetic proposition
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Staging art and Chineseness
Jane Chin Davidson

genealogical inscription for Chinese contemporary art and the ways in which cultural objects are attributed to territories, usually through the status of residency, homeland, or citizenship of their makers – the artist determines the category of Chinese art more so than the object’s affiliations by cultural tradition, style, or practice. As a discourse, Chineseness has meant different things in different contexts, as shown by theorists such as Gao Minglu and Ien Ang, who provide various perspectives on the term’s use in defining Chinese exceptionalism, stereotype, and status

in Staging art and Chineseness
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Activism and design in Italy
Author: Ilaria Vanni

Precarious objects is a book about activism and design. The context is the changes in work and employment from permanent to precarious arrangements in the twenty-first century in Italy. The book presents design interventions that address precarity as a defuturing force affecting political, social and material conditions. Precarious objects shows how design objects, called here ‘orientation devices’, recode political communication and reorient how things are imagined, produced and circulated. It also shows how design as a practice can reconfigure material conditions and prefigure ways to repair some of the effects of precarity on everyday life. Three microhistories illustrate activist repertoires that bring into play design, and design practices that are grounded in activism. While the vitality, experimental nature and traffic between theory and praxis of social movements in Italy have consistently attracted the interest of activists, students and researchers in diverse fields, there exists little in the area of design research. This is a study of design activism at the intersection of design theory and cultural research for researchers and students interested in design studies, cultural studies, social movements and Italian studies.

Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

This book analyses the use of the past and the production of heritage through architectural design in the developmental context of Iran. It is the first of its kind to utilize a multidisciplinary approach in probing the complex relationship between architecture, development, and heritage. It uses established theoretical concepts including notions of globalism, nostalgia, tradition, and authenticity to show that development is a major cause of historical transformations in places such as Iran and its effects must be seen in relation to global political and historical exchanges as well as local specificities. Iran is a pertinent example as it has endured radical cultural and political shifts in the past five decades. Scholars of heritage and architecture will find the cross-disciplinary aspects of the book useful. The premise of the book is that transposed into other contexts, development, as a globalizing project originating in the West, instigates renewed forms of historical consciousness and imaginations of the past. This is particularly evident in architecture where, through design processes, the past produces forms of architectural heritage. But such historic consciousness cannot be reduced to political ideology, while politics is always in the background. The book shows this through chapters focusing on theoretical context, international exchanges made in architectural congresses in the 1970s, housing as the vehicle for everyday heritage, and symbolic public architecture intended to reflect monumental time. The book is written in accessible language to benefit academic researchers and graduate students in the fields of heritage, architecture, and Iranian and Middle Eastern studies.

An interview with Dieter Roelstraete
Bénédicte Miyamoto and Marie Ruiz

Curator at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago, Dieter Roelstraete reflects on the notions of bordering and borderlessness. He highlights the ineffectiveness of politically constructed borders, sometimes even set in incongruous places. This is perfectly illustrated by Olaf Holzapfel’s installation Trassen, exhibited at the 2017 Documenta 14 in Kassel, co-curated by Roelstraete. He also reflects on the importance of the medium and materials used in artworks as powerful semantic tools. The question of citizenship and national belonging is evoked and challenged by the ultra-mobility of the art world, a phenomenon which is far from new. Roelstraete thus underlines the natural interplay between art and migration. Finally, the intervention of the artistic world in political debates is mentioned, a prickly issue according to Roelstraete.

in Art and migration