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.
Contemporary Asian art has had a remarkable impact on global art practice, and simultaneously has produced an enduring record of the history of that region from the moment of decolonisation to the present. Many artists in the region have a deep concern about what it means to be human and to contribute to the development of a better future for their communities as well as having a sustained commitment to making art. This book, written at the start of the ‘Asian century’, focuses on the contexts and conditions which have helped to shape both art practice, and postcolonial society, in the region. Using case studies of selected artists, it discusses their work in relation to issues of human rights, social and environmental wellbeing, and creativity and is one of the first surveys of these issues in contemporary Asian art. It is an important contribution to studies of contemporary Asian art and art history.
Migration, understood as the movement of people and cultures, gives impetus to globalisation and the transculturation processes that the interaction between people and cultures entails. This book addresses migration as a profoundly transforming force that has remodelled artistic and art institutional practices across the world. It explores contemporary art's critical engagement with migration and globalisation as a key source for improving our understanding of how these processes transform identities, cultures, institutions and geopolitics. The book also explores three interwoven issues of enduring interest: identity and belonging, institutional visibility and recognition of migrant artists, and the interrelations between aesthetics and politics, and its representations of forced migration. Transculturality indicates a certain quality (of an idea, an object, a self-perception or way of living) which joins a variety of elements indistinguishable as separate sources. The topic of migration is permeated not only with political but also with ethical urgencies. The most telling sign of how profoundly the mobility turn has affected the visual arts is perhaps the spread of the term global art in the discourses on art, where it is often used as a synonym for internationally circulating contemporary art. The book examines interventions by three artists who take a critical de- and postcolonial approach to the institutional structures and spaces of Western museums. The book also looks at the politics of representation, and particularly the question of how aesthetics, politics and ethics can be triangulated and balanced when artists seek to make visible the conditions of irregular migration.
Art + archive: Understanding the archival turn in contemporary art examines the meaning and function of the notion of the archive in art writing and artistic practices c. 1995–2015. The book takes on one of the most persistent buzzwords in the international artworld, adding nuance and context to a much-discussed but under-analysed topic. The study’s first part outlines key texts about archive art, the interdisciplinary theories these build on, and the specific meaning the archive comes to have when it is brought into the artworld. The second part examines the archive art phenomenon in relation to materiality, research, critique, curating and temporality. Instead of approaching the archive as an already defined conceptual tool for analysing art, the book rethinks the so-called archival turn, showing how the archive is used to point to, theorise and make sense of a number of different conditions and concerns deemed to be urgent and important at the turn of the twenty-first century. These include the far-reaching implications of technological changes; the prevalence of different forms of critique of normative structures; changes to the view of the art object; and the increasing academicisation of artistic practices. This book shows that the archive is adaptable and elastic, but that it is also loaded with a great deal of theoretical baggage. It clarifies why, how and with what consequences the archive is referenced and mobilised by contemporary artists and art writers.
Despite C.P. Snow’s framing of the arts and science as two cultures with little common ground, art, science and technology have long been bedfellows (Snow, 1993 ). Advances in science and technology have stimulated developments in the arts as well as acting as inspiration for cultural activities, and visual techniques from the arts have been used to inform and facilitate research across a broad range of disciplines. From Brunelleschi’s early work on perspective, through to the modern day, examples of cross ‘cultural’ impact abound, with artists exploring
This book presents a study that undertakes an examination of participatory practices in contemporary theatre, performance and the visual arts, setting these against the broader social and political horizons of civic participation. It reconsiders the status of participation, with particular emphasis on participatory art both beyond a judgement of its social qualities as well as the confines of format and devising. The book attempts a cross-disciplinary discussion of participation, bringing together examples from the field of applied and community theatre, performance art and participatory visual arts. Gestures of participation in performance indicate possibilities for reconfiguring civic participation in public spaces in unexpected ways. Thus, less emphasis is laid on direct opposition and instead seeking a variety of modes of resisting co-optation, through unsolicited, vicarious or delicate gestures of participation. The book examines the question of institutional critique in relation to participatory art. It moves on to address the relationship between participatory art and the concept of 'impact'. A close examination of one workshop setting using the methodological framework of the 'theatre of the oppressed' in the context of a political party-led initiative follows. The book follows two conceptually inspired performance projects Where We Are Not? and If I Could Take Your Place? Finally, it emphasizes on how common-sense assumptions around audience participation in theatre and performance theory are called into question by the artwork's foregrounding of sleep as a mode of participation.
This chapter deals with artworks that have migrated from the context of the
art world to those of the law and news, literally from the gallery to the
courtroom and the pages of the daily press. Artworks that cross legal boundaries
and are judged as illegal acts or objects are illuminating examples of how the
notion of art is continuously negotiated by different agents in different contexts.
This chapter seeks to discuss news media as one such agent and context.
Historically, there have been many instances where the notion of art has been
The relationship between art and fashion has never been clear cut, but has
rather been characterized by a complex interrelationship mainly due to the
latter’s ‘intermediate position between the artistic field and the economic
field’.1 Throughout the history of fashion photography there has been an
exchange of aesthetics between visual art and fashion imagery, as pointed
out by Charlotte Andersen among others.2 Moreover, a number of photographers
have managed to establish themselves as artists and fashion photographers
simultaneously, such as
Art and migration: revisioning the borders of community is a collective response to current and historic constructs of migration as disruptive of national heritage. This interplay of academic essays and art professionals’ interviews investigates how the visual arts – especially by or about migrants – create points of encounter between individuals, places, and objects. Migration has increasingly taken centre stage in contemporary art, as artists claim migration as a paradigm of artistic creation. The myriad trajectories of transnational artworks and artists’ careers outlined in the volume are reflected in the density and dynamism of fairs and biennales, itinerant museum exhibitions and shifting art centres. It analyses the vested political interests of migration terminology such as the synonymous use of ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum seekers’ or the politically constructed use of ‘diaspora’. Political and cultural narratives frame globalisation as a recent shift that reverses centuries of cultural homogeneity. Art historians and migration scholars are engaged in revisioning these narratives, with terms and methodologies shared by both fields. Both disciplines are elaborating an histoire croisée of the circulation of art that denounces the structural power of constructed borders and cultural gatekeeping, and this volume reappraises the historic formation of national identities and aesthetics heritage as constructed under transnational visual influences. This resonates with migrant artists’ own demands for self-determination in a display space that too often favours canonicity over hybridity. Centring migration – often silenced by normative archives or by nationalist attribution practices – is part of the workload of revisioning art history and decolonising museums.
Many people in the West can recognise an image of Mao Zedong (1894–1976) and know
that he was an important Chinese leader, but few appreciate the breadth and
depth of his political and cultural significance. Fewer still know what the
Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966–76) was, or understand the extent of its
influence on art in the West or in China today. This anthology, which is the
first of its kind, contends that Maoism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution were
dominant cultural and political forces in the second half of the twentieth
century – and that they continue to exert influence, globally, right up to the
present. In particular, the book claims that the Chinese Cultural Revolution
deserves a more prominent place in twentieth-century art history. Exploring the
dimensions of Mao’s cultural influence through case studies, and delineating the
core of his aesthetic programme, in both the East and the West, constitute the
heart of this project. While being rooted in the tradition of social art history
and history, the essays, which have been written by an international community
of scholars, foreground a distinctively multidisciplinary approach. Collectively
they account for local, regional and national differences in the reception,
adoption and dissemination of – or resistance to – Maoist aesthetics.