September 20, 2012 - OCT Contemporary Art Terminal Shanghai - After History: Alexandre Kojève as a Photographer
September 20, 2012

After History: Alexandre Kojève as a Photographer

After History: Alexandre Kojève as a Photographer
21 September–16 November 2012

Opening: Friday, September 21, 5pm

OCT Contemporary Art Terminal
Enping Road, Overseas Chinese Town
Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China
Hours: Tue–Sun, 10–5:30pm

T +0086 0755 2691 5100

Curated by Boris Groys

OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) is pleased to present After History: Alexandre Kojève as a Photographer, a research-based exhibition curated by philosopher and art critic Boris Groys. Formerly part of Hexiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen, OCAT has recently become an independent art museum in Shenzhen and appointed art critic and curator Carol Yinghua Lu as its artistic director.

This exhibition for the first time unveils to the Chinese public the unique photographic work of Russian-born French philosopher and diplomat Alexandre Kojève, which includes nearly 400 photographs taken in the 1950s and 1960s during his extensive travels in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), China, India, Iran, Japan, Nepal, the Soviet Union, and throughout Western Europe. His journey and lifetime collection of postcards will also be presented together with the images in order to capture the essence of both Kojève’s philosophical thinking and his political practice at once.

The collection of both photographs and postcards portrays the world as Kojève articulated it through his philosophical thinking: an aesthetically harmonious and exotic East; a stiflingly complete and hollow West; and Russia, Kojève’s rapidly changing homeland, is shown mainly through old churches frozen in time. Through its premiere presentation, the thousands of repetitive images in the exhibition visualize a post-historical world awaiting an ideal imaginary of freedom, justice, and equality to be realized through activism. By doing so, it questions the critical capacity for change in our contemporary reality and shows us a global stage anticipating the achievement of another tomorrow.

Before touring to OCAT, this exhibition was initially on display at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst in Utrecht, the Netherlands between May and July 2012 and presented as part of the 9th Gwangju Biennale that was opened in early September.

Related lectures and artist talks

Gwen Parry: Alexandre Kojève and the “former West”
Friday 21 September, 2pm
Library, OCAT

Rasheed Araeen: Rasheed Araeen in Shenzhen
Saturday 22 September, 10:30am
Library, OCAT

Boris Groys: Alexandre Kojeve: Being a Sage
Saturday 22 September, 2:30–5pm
Auditorium, Hexiangning Art Museum

Boris Groys in Conversation with Marko Daniel
Sunday 23 September, 10:30am
Library, OCAT

Currently in residency with OCAT
This year, OCAT has invited Marko Daniel, Liu Shiyuan and Constant Dullaart to be in residency in Shenzhen from August to November. A series of lectures, workshops, and open studios will be held during the residency, leading to a discussion about some rising issues on art institutions and practices in the contemporary art world.

Marko Daniel
Marko Daniel is Convenor of Adult Programmes (Tate Modern and Tate Britain, since January 2011) and was Curator of Public Programmes at Tate Modern from May 2006. He is Vice-Chair of the London Consortium, a unique collaboration between the Architectural Association, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Science Museum, Birkbeck College, and Tate that offers interdisciplinary research programmes (PhD and MRes) in the humanities.

Constant Dullaart
Constant Dullaart is an artist with a practice focused on visualizing internet semantics and software dialects, a political approach critical to corporate systems influencing these contemporary vernaculars becomes clear through his minimal and sometimes bricolaged gestures. Editing online forms of representation, and the user’s access to it, he creates installations and performances online and offline. He lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam and is a former resident of the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.

Liu Shiyuan
Born in Beijing, lives in New York, Beijing, and Denmark. Currently finishing her final semester in the Department of Photography, Video and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Most recently, she has participated in projects with The Guggenheim Foundation, exhibited in the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale and Art Beijing for two years in a row. Liu’s work has been shown in group exhibitions in the United States, Germany, Italy, and China.



After History: Alexandre Kojève as a Photographer at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal
OCT Contemporary Art Terminal Shanghai
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