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‘Theater of the World: How is Contemporary Art Possible in China?’ TODAY


Kimberly Greene

March 21, 2019

Join us for a presentation by Jennifer Dorothy Lee titled “Theater of the World: How is Contemporary Art Possible in China?” from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 in the Niemann Media Theater, Hedberg Library 172.

Following the recent Guggenheim show “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World,” this talk will introduce the global self-positioning of a selection of contemporary artists in China since the 1980s. Long considered a problematic category that houses an implicit paradox, contemporary Chinese art appears to negotiate multiple politics, genealogies, anxieties, and prohibitions. It is far from homogeneous, yet its diverse experimentalisms are often poorly received by viewers both international and domestic. How are we to engage with such works as Cao Fei’s Walking Dead-inspired zombies? Wong Ping’s sex-obsessed animations? The fleshy substance of Zhang Huan’s “meat suit”? I will offer a workshop-style introduction to talking about these multi-mediated experimental works, and more.

Jennifer Dorothy Lee brings an interdisciplinary approach to the study of modern and contemporary East Asian art in ways that foreground sociality and historicity. In her work, Lee broadens the possibilities of a transnational perspective, primarily through engaging contemporary China. At SAIC, Lee’s courses reflect her interest in comparative aesthetics, the philosophy of art, post-socialism, the moving image, and critical area studies of Asia.