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.