Date & Time
Date: Wed 8 Mar 2023
Time: 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Block F Level 2 #F202, LASALLE
TypeLecture / Talk
This lecture examines several recent editions of the China Pavilion at the Venice Biennale through an exploration of temporality. It considers how these art exhibitions deploy a politics of time by mobilising China’s dynastic past and its technology-driven future to engender images of the nation.
Showcasing artworks from an eclectic mix of Chinese artists and officially sanctioned curators, these contemporary art exhibits often cleave to – both visually and discursively – China’s exceptional history and traditions. This approach has been recently complemented by the staging of AI-generated installations to prefigure a technologically superior country. Both paradigms, however, accentuate how Chinese contemporary art and curatorial practices at this prestigious venue are institutionally guarded and anchored in the conventional explanatory discourses of Chinese traditions and state ideology.
In this way, the pavilion can be better understood as a terrain for cultural diplomacy, nation branding and national projection. These site- and context-specificities often eclipse aesthetic concerns, and simultaneously, illuminate the country’s management of its cultural capital.
About the speaker
Jenifer Chao is Associate Professor of Visual Culture & Journalism at the Leicester Media School at De Montfort University. She specialises in global visual cultures, focusing on the mechanisms of visuality – its logic, techniques and power – embedded within international politics. Currently she is completing her AHRC research grant project 'Art Diplomacy and Nation Branding: The Visual Politics of Reinventing China'. This project investigates the multiple ways that China is regenerating its global media image and its nation brand through the soft power of Chinese contemporary art.
This lecture is presented as:
Image credit: 3D projection mapping installation Streaming Stillness by Chinese artist Liu Jiayu at the China Pavilion at the 59th Venice Art Biennale. Photo: Courtesy of Liu Jiayu. Source: https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202205/1265276.shtml