July 23, 2009 - SH Contemporary - What Is Contemporary Art?
July 23, 2009

What Is Contemporary Art?

Shanghai Exhibition Center

What Is Contemporary Art?
A Lecture Series at ShContemporary09
September 10-13, 2009

Organized by Anton Vidokle

1000 Yan’an Zhong Lu, Jing An
(near Tongren Lu)
延安中路1000号
近铜仁路

Often there is some hesitation in developing any kind of fixed strategy for understanding art that emerged in the past two decades because it is somehow assumed that its still in its emergent stage. Meanwhile, this work has made its way into museum collections, academies and auctions, and formed a very concrete context for art production whose parameters are somehow taken for granted but not explained specifically.

It has to be acknowledged that much of the activity responsible for this condition is no longer under development, but has assumed a fully mature form, (but one that refuses to be historicized). Or are we simply not trying hard enough? Perhaps it is time to approach the notion of contemporary art as a fully formed cultural project with certain defined parameters, complete with logics of inclusion and exclusion similar to the modernist project, define these lines and ultimately render a historical form that can be accessible to non-practitioners and the uninitiated, a menu structure in essence for browsing all of this activity that has, for practical purposes, already been browsed (through its inclusion in museum collections, academic journals and curriculums, etc).

In this sense we are looking at two distinct approaches to contemporaneity – one that has already been fully institutionalized, and another that still evades definition.

There is a lot of work to be done here – how do we acknowledge the parameters that have already been established? At the same time, there is some agency in how it is left open: how can we also use this to form our own parameters for browsing, historicizing recent activity in a way that recognizes the agency of its still-incompleteness, of its complex ability to play host so many narratives and trajectories without necessarily having to absorb them into a central logic or determined discourse… before it forms a historical narrative and logic of exclusion that we would much rather disavow?

The conference will be structured as a four-day series of short lectures, the contents of which will be subsequently published in e-flux journal.

Participants:
Hu Fang, Hal Foster, Boris Groys, Jeorg Heiser, Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula & Shuddhabrata Sengupta) , Carol Yinghua Lu, Cuauhtemoc Medina, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Martha Rosler, Gao Shiming, and Jan Verwoert.

For program description and schedule please go to www.shcontemporary.info

ShContemporary, Asia’s most dynamic and international contemporary art fair, will launch its third edition on September 9, 2009 with a new artistic direction and initiatives to engage with emerging collectors from the region. A unique curatorial team consisting of Wang Jianwei, Mami Kataoka, and Anton Vidokle is working with Fair Director Colin Chinnery to give ShContemporary09 an experimental and daring artistic vision.

What Is Contemporary Art? lecture series takes place as part of the special section Discoveries, comprising an exhibition curated by Wang Jianwei and Mami Kataoka, and including artists such as Anri Sala, Martha Rosler, Xu Zhen, Shinji Ohmaki, Heman Chong, Marina Abramovic, Fiona Tan, Joseph Kosuth and others.

For Further Information write to: inquiry [​at​] shcontemporary.info

ShContemporary09
Shanghai in Art
September 9-13, 2009
Venue 

Shanghai Exhibition Centre 
No.1000 Yan An Road (Middle)
Shanghai 200040 
CHINA

http://www.shcontemporary.info

ShContemporary09

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