8th Shanghai Biennale
On the theme of Rehearsal, the 8th Shanghai Biennale invited artists from around the world to reflect on crisis and constraint in contemporary art.
The last two years have witnessed the latest global crisis. As if on cue, almost concurrently, an unprecedented crisis also befell contemporary art on a global scale. This one is no spiritual crisis experienced by modernists in the depths of their individual creativity, but a malarial torpor endemic to today’s world, or alternatively, a malaise of the system – the fact that the creativity of individual artists fails to match that of the system of artistic production, and by a wide margin. Artists cannot rid themselves of the sinking feeling that they are in the system’s employment, made to order by society at large. Everywhere we look, artists are coplaying their roles.
The 8th Shanghai Biennale raises the following question: What is suppressing and constraining the power of the heart in the economic and political context of contemporary art? Is it because of the ‘invisible hand’ of the art world? Or is it because of ‘trends’ in the international art market? Should we blame all the identikit mega-exhibitions worldwide? Or the omni-present mass culture? Artists are becoming more and more constrained and boring and we are dragged into a ‘post-history’ malaise. So how should we describe this state clearly? How can we get out of the dilemma of creation in the context of an art system constituted by seamless and endless international dialogue, mega exhibitions, art fairs and transnational capital? How do we identify the internal frontiers of the ‘art world’ hijacked by global capitalism while we are ourselves part of it? Is contemporary artistic practice capable of generating a new system of production beyond the throttles of institutional critique and social participation?
Bottoebruno（Italy), Cai Mingliang（Malaysia), Carlos Garaicoa Manso（Cuba), Chourouk Hriech（France), Delphine Balley (France), Anton Vidokle（U.S.) + Liam Gillick（U.K./U.S.), Guan Wei（Australia), Inga Svala Thorsdottir（Iceland), Issac Julien（U.K.), Josef Trattner (Austria), JR (France), Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba（Japan/Vietnam), Liane Lefaivre（Austria) + Li Kaisheng (Mainland), Marlene Mocquet（France), Michael Lee Hong-Hwee（Singapore), Nikhil Chopra (India), Ouka Leele（Spain), Raqs Media Collective（India), SO-SO-LIMITED（U.S.), Superflex（Denmark）+ The Propeller Group (Vietnam), Tom Nicholson（Australia), VERDENSTEATRET（Norway), Vincent Olinet (France), Yeon Doo Jung（Korea), Yuki Onodera（Japan), Yves Bernard（Belgium), WHW（Croatia), Zhou Yi（Italy),Chen Jiere（Taiwan).
Mainland: Liu Qingyuan, Liu Wei, Liu Xiaodong, Lv Shanchuan, Made In, Ma Liang, Mu Baiyang, Qiu Zhijie, Shen Ligong, Tang Hui, Wang Jianwei, Wang Mai, Wang Xiaoshuai, Wu Shanzhuan, Xia Yang, Yang Fudong, Zhang Huan, Zhang Hui.
Curatorial Team: FAN Di’An, LI Lei, GAO Shiming
Executive Curator: GAO Shiming