Taiping Tianguo Lower Manhattan walking tours

Taiping Tianguo Lower Manhattan walking tours

Courtesy of e-flux.

Taiping Tianguo Lower Manhattan walking tours
February 19, 2014

In conjunction with Taiping Tianguo, e-flux has organized a series of guided walks in the East Village, Lower East Side, and downtown Manhattan led by Ryan WongJulie Ault and Amy Zion, and Gregory Sholette. These walks—given by artists, colleagues, and historians—will address cultural activities that took place in these locations in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Each will provide unique and personal contexts for considering the work of Ai Weiwei, Frog King Kwok, Tehching Hsieh, and Martin Wong included in the exhibition.

Taiping Tianguo explores connections between these four Chinese artists, who lived and worked in New York during the heady days of the 1980s and early ’90s. During that period, New York was welcoming a diaspora of creative people while also experiencing the critical early years of the AIDS pandemic. At the same time in China, the contemporary art scene was battling authoritarian censorship and repression.

Ryan Wong: “Basements and Murals”
Saturday, March 1, 2pm
RSVP here

A partial art history of Chinatown during the 1970s and ‘80s, emphasizing the connections among activism, alternative art spaces, the streets, and artistic creation. Sites include the former location of Basement Workshop (a groundbreaking space that was integral to New York’s Asian American movement), now-lost CITYarts murals, the former Asian American Arts Centre, and proposals for unrealized public art projects.

Ryan Lee Wong is the curator of Serve the People: The Asian American Movement in New York at Interference Archive. He was previously Assistant Curator at the Museum of Chinese in America, where he organized the exhibition June 4, 1989 and assisted on numerous other exhibitions. He has contributed writing to HyperallergicThe Brooklyn Rail, and ArtSlant.

Julie Ault and Amy Zion: “Everything Must Go”
Saturday, March 8, 11am
RSVP here

A discursive experiential itinerary including locations in Lower Manhattan that were the subject matter of Martin Wong’s Losaida paintings in the 1980s, and the apartment building where Wong lived during that period. Part conversation, part visual presentation, part reading—Julie Ault and Amy Zion discuss the differing contexts of then and now, combining visual material and readings from several of Wong’s writings and their respective writings about Wong, in part drawn from the Martin Wong Papers at the Fales Library and Archives.

Julie Ault is an artist and writer who works both independently and collaboratively. She often assumes curatorial and editorial roles as forms of artistic practice. Ault’s work emphasizes interrelationships between cultural production and politics and frequently engages historical inquiry. She is a devotee of all that is Martin Wong.

Amy Zion became interested in Martin Wong through her work with Danh Vo and Julie Ault. In 2012, she curated Damnatio Memoriae: Danh Vo with Julie Ault and James Benning as part of her Master’s in Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Subsequently, she assisted Vo, Ault, and Heinz Peter Knes with their Martin Wong project embodied by the exhibition The Neptune Society at Galerie Buchholz, Berlin and the publication I.M.U.U.R.2., as well as Vo’s installation IMU UR2, first exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, NY in March 2013.

Gregory Sholette: “East Village Artists Battle Gentrification Circa 1984
Saturday, March 8, 2pm
RSVP here

Gregory Sholette will take you on a trip back to the mean streets of the Lower East Side in the 1980s. This tour will visit sites where the activist art collective Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D, 1980–1988) staged a series of ephemeral projects in opposition to the gentrification of the neighborhood. The group invented a series of imaginary art galleries, including The Leona Helmsley, Discount Salon, and Guggenheim Downtown, which were in reality a string of boarded-up buildings covered with posters decrying real estate speculators and the “East Village” art scene.

Gregory Sholette is an artist and writer whose publications include It’s The Political Economy, Stupid, coedited with Oliver Ressler, Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture, (both Pluto Press UK), as well as Collectivism After Modernism with Blake Stimson (University of Minnesota Press), and The Interventionists with Nato Thompson. His recent solo exhibition Collectibles, Action Figures and Objects was on view at Station Independent Gallery in New York City, and his participatory project Imaginary Archive will be traveling to Kiev, Ukraine in the spring. Sholette is an Associate of the Art, Design and the Public Domain program at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, a member of the Curriculum Committee of Home WorkSpace, Beirut, and a faculty member of the Queens College Art Department, City University of New York, where he helped establish the new MFA Concentration SPQ (Social Practice Queens).

Additional information on the Dark Matter Archive

All tours are free with RSVP. For further information please contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

Contemporary Art
AIDS, China, Authoritarianism

Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist, writer, and activist whose latest book, The Art of Activism and the Activism of Art, is published by Lund Humphries (2022). Together with Chloë Bass he co-directs the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded Social Practice initiative SPCUNY at CUNY Graduate Center. He blogs at Welcome to Our Bare Art World.

RSVP for Taiping Tianguo Lower Manhattan walking tours

Thank you for your RSVP.

will be in touch.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.