November 10, 2016 - Power Station of Art - Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories
November 10, 2016

Power Station of Art

The Ghost Hunter, Infra-Curation by Liu Tian, from the archives of Paddy Films, Mao Chenyu. Production drawing. Courtesy the artist.

Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories
The 11th Shanghai Biennale
November 12, 2016–March 12, 2017

Press preview: November 11, 2–7pm, by invitation
Opening: November 12, 11am–7pm

Power Station of Art
200 Huayuangang Rd
200011 Shanghai
China
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm

T +86 21 3110 8550
info@powerstationofart.com

www.shanghaibiennale.org
www.powerstationofart.com
Facebook

Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories
The 11th Shanghai Biennale
November 12, 2016–March 12, 2017

Press preview: November 11, 2–7pm, by invitation
Opening: November 12, 11am–7pm

Power Station of Art
200 Huayuangang Rd
200011 Shanghai
China
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm

T +86 21 3110 8550
info@powerstationofart.com

www.shanghaibiennale.org
www.powerstationofart.com
Facebook

Why Not Ask Again is an ambidextrous epiphyte in Shanghai, an orchid in conversation. Its extension entangles with Shanghai with 51 Personae, and its fold embraces the wider world through the Infra-Curatorial layer.

The protagonists of 51 Personae are urban chroniclers, street hackers, channelers of neighbourhood lore, musicians, candy enthusiasts, acrobats, information aficionados, apartment storytellers, garage impresarios, purveyors of pavement paradoxes, merchants of street-corner dreams, traffic intersection historians and philosophers, busybodies, Shanghainese sharp tongues, and also a wetland, a reservoir, a ferris wheel, and a host of other dialects of the human imagination.

The forms that the 51 Personae events undertake range from the scripted to the aleatoric, from the conversational to the polemical, from the nostalgic to the prophetic, from the intimate to the impersonal. Three personae will meet people each week through the course of the Biennale, in a place and gathering of their choosing, and engage in forms of conversation. These gatherings are sometimes open, sometimes with a few, sometimes with the action of participants, and sometimes a simple viewing. These moments of gathering will reposition points in the map of the city—they will appear, blink and leave behind a comet trail. Chen Yun, with Dinghaiqiao Mutual Aid Society (DMAS), curates this constellation.

51 Personae will be initiated on November 12 with a daylong cooking session with Boss Miao (Miao Yi), and the release of the process book-calendar, in the studio of DMAS.

Seven Infra-Curatorial layers are folded within the biennale. Each of these layers draws upon tessellated thinking and knowledge to produce its own orbit of investigations and attitudes. They are annotations, annexures, and antennae.

Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi maps the cartographies of individual and collective experiences and how they intersect with real, imagined, and speculative histories with eight artists in Future of the Past / Srajana Kaikini brings to a table 12 artists, poets, writers, and thinkers to gather, separate, collapse and sketch through our relative world as trans-human beings in Vectors of Kinship / Liu Tian sorts, rearranges and rethinks the archives of Mao Chenyu’s Paddy Films that explore possible mysteries of moving images, consciousness outside of the known, and poetry that narrates history and mythology, in The Ghost Hunter / Sabih Ahmed redeploys the private archives of the late Ha Bik Chuen (1925–2009) as a way to explore a different axis into the archive in the 21st century through Striated Light / Didem Yazıcı considers the "post-exhibition" as a space of contemplation propelled by traces drawn by viewers, with footnotes, poems, resonations, texts, voices, and collages, and works by six artists in Freedom is a State of Mind / Ivan Isaev explores living with a permanent feeling of uncertainty, the idea of leaving tomorrow, and the extension of the current moment from a second towards infinity with three artists in Leaving Room / Mouna Mekouar spins, with an open-ended publication and exhibition process, a latent imaginary, a space of dream, of intimacy, of exchange and refuge in Flying House, with an inaugural performance by Meriem Bennani.

And then there is Theory Opera, which will shift the sensory and auditory rhythm of walking, stopping, resting, chatting and looking; it will explore the sensation of thought, and introduce an accelerated operatic turn within the exhibition. This sequence of live scenarios combining science, song, ritual, action, and enacted speculation at the intersections of works will unfold throughout the duration of the biennale.

Inaugural Theory Opera acts: November 12: Jimena Canales: Einstein and Bergson in Three Acts: On Physics and Philosophy (Act I: The Debate), read by Raqs Media Collective (in English. There will also be a performance in Chinese with actors and musician), & Prof. Lu Xing-Hua + Yang Peiyi + Zhaomu: An Excellent Excuse, a Theorieoper.

Each week will see a new experiment with performed thought. Liu Tian, with Yao Mengxi, coordinates this sequence.

Chief Curator: Raqs Media Collective
Curatorial Collegiate: Sabih Ahmed, Liu Tian, Chen Yun, and Tess Maunder
Exhibition Architects: Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty
51 Personae Curator: Chen Yun, with Dinghaiqiao Mutual Aid Society
Theory Opera Mise-en-scène: Liu Tian, with Yao Mengxi 

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