New York reception for 14th Shanghai Biennale: Cosmos Cinema

New York reception for 14th Shanghai Biennale: Cosmos Cinema

Graphic design: NONPLACE Studio

New York reception for 14th Shanghai Biennale: Cosmos Cinema
September 14, 2023, 8pm
172 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux on Thursday, September 14 at 8pm for the New York reception of Cosmos Cinema, the 14th Shanghai Biennale exhibition.


Special screening of rare short films about the cosmos, made at the very advent of cinema.

Cosmos Cinema: An Introduction: The curatorial team of the 14th Shanghai Biennale, slated to open on November 8th, will present the concepts behind Cosmos Cinema. With Anton Vidokle, Zairong Xiang, Hallie Ayres, Lukas Brasiskis, and Ben Eastham.

Shanghai Shanghai: Concurrent with refreshments, there will be a rooftop screening of two remarkable films: the first science-fiction film made in China, 小太阳 (1963), as well as a cosmologically themed, silent-era film made in Shanghai, 盘丝洞 (1927). The films will be accompanied by music from DJ Chamberlain Zhang.

About Cosmos Cinema
We have always looked to the night sky to make sense of ourselves, as we might look to a screen onto which the past and the future is projected. Titled Cosmos Cinema, the 14th Shanghai Biennale will offer visitors a spacetime in which to reflect on the operations of the universe and our place within it. The Greek word from which “cosmos” derives connotes not only the universe but also beauty and harmony; the Chinese term yuzhou connotes infinite time and space, resonating strongly with the cinematic.

The cosmos shapes every aspect of our lives, whether wittingly—the interpretation of stars and planets, after all, gave rise to our origin stories, religions, systems of time, economies, means of navigation, agricultures, sciences, and social orders—or unwittingly, in the movement of the tides or the effects of solar flares. Cosmos Cinema considers how the terms of our relationship with the cosmos condition all life on earth. The principles on which cinema is built—light, shadow, and encounters with images over time—are inherent to the human experience of the cosmos. Indeed, Alexander Kluge suggests that the universe is the original cinema, in which all past events are stored as visible “tracks of light.” André Bazin states that cinema “has not yet been invented,” and so contains boundless potential. Combining these two perspectives—one looking to the past, the other to the future—Cosmos Cinema posits that cinema is not only a medium for storytelling but a cosmic phenomenon, with the potential to change our understanding of the universe and our place within it.

About Shanghai Biennale
Launched in 1996, the Shanghai Biennale is not only the first international biennial of contemporary art in mainland China but also one of the most influential art events in Asia. In 2012, the Power Station of Art became the organizer and permanent venue of the Shanghai Biennale. From Open Space in 1996, to Inheritance and Exploration in 1998, Spirit of Shanghai in 2000, Urban Creation in 2002, Techniques of the Visible in 2004, Hyper Design in 2006, Translocalmotion in 2008, Rehearsal in 2010, Reactivation in 2012, Social Factory in 2014, Why Not Ask Again in 2016, Proregress in 2018, and Bodies of Water in 2020, the Biennale has always maintained Shanghai as its primary locus, upholding the mission of supporting academic and cultural innovation, while continuously tracking social evolution and trends in knowledge production in a global context with an open view. Gathering in Shanghai every two years, the Biennale has also become a large-scale platform for the international presence and exchange of contemporary art.

For more information, please contact program [​at​]

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue. 
–For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.         
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the event space and this bathroom.


Biennials, Cosmism, The Cosmos, Experimental Film, China, East Asia

Anton Vidokle is an editor of e-flux journal and chief curator of the 14th Shanghai Biennale: Cosmos Cinema.

Zairong Xiang’s research, teaching, and curatorial practices engage with cosmology and cosmopolitanism in their culturally diverse, historically specific, and conceptually promiscuous manifestations in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Nahuatl. He teaches literature and art at Duke Kunshan University, and was cocurator of the 2021 Guangzhou Image Triennial and “Ceremony (Burial of an Undead World)” at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, among many other projects. He is the author of Queer Ancient Ways: A Decolonial Exploration (punctum books) and is currently completing his second book, Transdualism.

Hallie Ayres was on the curatorial team for the 14th Shanghai Biennale, Cosmos Cinema, and is associate director of e-flux.

Lukas Brasiskis is a Curator of Film and Video at e-flux. He is also a cocurator of the 14th Shanghai Biennale (2023–24). He received his PhD degree in Cinema Studies from New York University in 2022. His writings on moving image are widely published, and most recently he was the coeditor of Cinema and the Environment in Eastern Europe (Berghahn Press, 2024) and Jonas Mekas: The Camera Was Always Running (Yale University Press, 2022).

Ben Eastham is editor-in-chief of e-flux Criticism.

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