Universes in Universe / Caravan / Shanghai Biennale 2004
From a press information by the organizer, 7 September 2004:
shanghai 5 biennale
Techniques of the Visible
Dates: September 29 - November 27, 2004
Location: Shanghai Art Museum, 325 W Nanjing Road, Shanghai
Gala Opening: Tuesday, September 28, 2004
3:00 pm - 03:30 pm Opening Ceremony
8:00 pm - 12:00 am Opening Gala - Hisun's Night
Directed by the Shanghai Municipal Culture Broadcasting Film & TV Administrative
Organized by the Shanghai Art Museum and East Morning Newspaper, Shanghai.
Co-organized by Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Dongjie Advertising & Media Co., Ltd., Shanghai People's Park Management Company.
Since its first edition in 1994, the Shanghai Biennale has been China's first and foremost international exhibition for contemporary art. Continuing this commitment to contemporary artistic practice, the theme of the 2004 Shanghai Biennale, Ying Xiang Sheng Cun, "Techniques of the Visible", will focus on the close relationship between art, science, and technology, in particular how art has revealed the interdependent social and political forces that produce and subject technology and humanity.
By bringing together the work of more than 120 artists from Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America and Europe, the curators have worked towards a diversity of approaches to technology, revealed both through the number of artist's projects exhibited and the variety of sites in which these installations are located.
The exhibition space of the Shanghai Art Museum is divided into five areas, focusing on projects dealing with spaces of visual production and consumption: the film studio, the dark room, the theatre, the painting studio and the cinema. In the Museum, the contemporary practices range from traditional forms, to photography and film. To emphasize the multiple interrogations by artists towards technology by bringing together practices from around the world, the curators of the 2004 Biennale have expanded beyond the main venue of the Shanghai Museum. The dispersal of these projects in the public spaces outside the Museum reveals an effort made by the curators to highlight a multifaceted approach to the theme of the Biennale.
In the People's Park, located beside the Museum, more than ten installation spaces will be constructed to act as Media Houses for projects that investigate the relationship between technology and human action. The works exhibited here will utilize every possible new media method.
A more historical dimension of the theme of the Biennale will be investigated in an exhibition geared towards the establishment of a Museum of Chinese Photography in Shanghai. The exhibition will look at the development of photography in simultaneity with the emergence of Modernism in China. Pictures and captions representing historical documents of Chinese photography will be displayed in a corridor of more than 100 meters in length, set up in the People's Park.
International Film & Video
In addition to the exhibitions in the Museum and People's Park, a program of International Film & Video will also be shown at the Auditorium of Shanghai Art Museum (4th Floor, 325 West Nanjing Road). Divided into three sections: experimental short films by contemporary artists (including a special screening for Hong Kong Short Art Film); Chinese independent films 2000-2004; and Chinese documentaries, the Opening Screening of this program will be at 6:30 pm on Wednesday September 29th, featuring the films of Yoko Ono. A timetable of screenings will be available on the website www.shanghaibiennale.com.
Along with the exhibitions, the Shanghai Art Museum will host an International Symposium on September 29 and 30, bringing together distinguished scholars, curators, critics and contemporary artists. This two-day symposium will provide a space for the development and concerns revealed by the main theme of the 2004 Biennale. Taken from Chinese terminology of ying xiang and sheng chun, the concept emerges from an interest in the technology-based visual products that retain critical historical and emotive references. Ying Xian Sheng Cun suggests that artistic practice engaging with "technology" is inherently placing itself within a historical continuum, where cultural metaphor becomes critical to its understanding. The Symposium will also take place in the Auditorium of Shanghai Art Museum (4th Floor, 325 West Nanjing Road).
An Opening Gala will be held on the 28th of September in the People's Park adjacent to the Shanghai Art Museum, to coincide with the famous Mid-Autumn Festival. This night will include performances and multi-media installations by twenty artists, as well as internationally recognized D.Js and V.Js.
A Public Lectures program will also be announced, scheduled to take place between September 28 and November 27, where curators, scholars and participating artists will be invited to discuss the exhibitions and other key topics related to issues of technology and art.
The Shanghai 5 Biennale will open its doors to the public on September 29, 2004.
A catalogue with contribution of the curators and the works in the exhibition will be available, together with a Guide for the Public.
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© Copyright Text: Organizers. Website: Universes in Universe, Gerhard Haupt & Pat Binder