January 10, 2014 - OCAT Shenzhen - New Works #1
January 10, 2014

New Works #1

OCAT exhibitions: New Works #1
19 January–12 April 2014

From the Issue of Art to the Issue of Position: Echoes of Socialist Realism / Multi-future /
Keep the Modern Going: Immersion, Awaiting and Idealism

OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) Shenzen 
F2,Enping Road, Overseas Chinese Town
Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10–5:30pm

T 86 755 26915007/ 26915100
info [​at​] ocat.org.cn

www.ocat.org.cn
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New Works #1 is the first of an annual exhibition programme at OCAT Shenzhen, which is intended to introduce new works, new thoughts, and new practices as well as new perspectives on past works, thoughts and practices that were either omitted from existing narratives or set in one particular way of reading.

New Works #1 consists of three parallel exhibitions:

From the Issue of Art to the Issue of Position: Echoes of Socialist Realism
Curated by Carol Yinghua Lu (in collaboration with Liu Ding)
Assistant curator: Qu Chang

Multi-future
Curated by Wang Wei, Shen Boliang

Keep the Modern Going: Immersion, Waiting and Idealism
Curated by Su Wei

From the Issue of Art to the Issue of Position: Echoes of Socialist Realism is an exhibition that will open in OCAT Shenzhen Hall A. This exhibition has derived from an ongoing research project of Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu, which revisits and re-examines the tradition and notion of socialist realism in the context of contemporary art practice in China and how it exerts its lasting influence not only as an artistic language, but as an ideology and an organizational principle of social relationship on artistic practice, the perception of art, the language and discourse about art. This research seeks to place contemporary art practice in the historical context of modernization in China. We argue that contemporary art practice has been perceived under the misleading assumption of being in opposition towards the governing ideology while in fact operating on a parallel track driven by a similar ambition and obsession with being modern while maintaining its own identity, oscillating between the desire to be part of the world and the anxiety to lose its own footing. In this exhibition, we present documentations from the first stage of the research as well as a selection of works and examples of artistic and cultural practices from the 1950s to the present that might be left out or misread under the singular narrative of art based on the discourse of ideological antagonism and absolute opposition. These are works and thoughts that reflect deeply on the inner logic of creativity and have contributed and will do so to the discourse of art regardless of the premises of their making.

Multi-future and Keep The Modern Going: Immersion, Awaiting and Idealism are two new curatorial practices that will be presented side by side in Hall B of OCAT Shenzhen. Multi-future is a project initiated by Wang Wei and Shen Boliang in 2011, to generate an amalgam of texts, images, videos and ways of individual practice through fieldwork and a succession of themes, which could add to our understanding of governmental, or therapeutic, possibilities amidst changing realities.

Some themes of Multi-future borrow a geographical approach, drawing on what occurs in a local environment and touching on how events or actions fit into natural history or the history of ideas. Another set of themes in Multi-future relate directly to particular concepts, such as the future of “mediocrity,” the future of “praxis,” the future of “intellectualism,” the future of the “crowd,” and even the future of “authorship,” hoping to eventually formulate a map of consciousness in China quite unlike one determined by a state perspective or by vested cultural models.

Keep the Modern Going: Immersion, Awaiting and Idealism attempts to reflect on our anxiety of “how to continue.” Similar with China’s socialist construction, China’s art historical construction over the last three decades proves that we share a number of common questions of modernity with other parts of the world, while the question of modernity itself has been always a profound challenge to art criticism. In China’s art industry, reflection on modernity manifests itself as a transitional position to “the post-modern”and an imaginary approach to “the contemporary.” However, the modern continues, not as a historical discourse, but as a spiritual dynamic. What does modernity means to us today? How can it still provide dynamic and energy for thinking and reflection? The selection of works in this project with their highly formalized languages, would appeal to the reconsideration of the spiritual paradoxes of modernity, such as revolution and repetition, contemplation and violence, and its projection on our way of thinking.

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