news: CUI Jie & XU Qu at Long March Project: Building Code Violations III – Special Economic Zone in Guangdong Times Museum
Cui Jie and Xu Qu will participate the "Long March Project: Building Code Violations III – Special Economic Zone" at Guangdong Times Museum.
This curatorial program is part of an exhibition series initiated in 2006 by Long March Project. The series takes the temporary nature of illegal architecture as a metaphor, advocating the following working method for the production of new knowledge: the classification of informal architecture as outside of norms, and of permanent architecture as the standard, should be reversed. The latest installment posits that the exceptional space of “Special Economic Zones” constitutes a new type of normality, and takes this as the starting point for research.
At present, studies of free trade zones around the world focus on how these operational spaces serve as policy tools and infrastructure to facilitate global economic integration. Yet in China, Special Economic Zones—which sprung up right after the nation’s economic reform began in 1978—are not simply just windows to the outside world welcoming foreign capital and technology, but experimental sites to cope with a series of epistemological ruptures created by the reform in almost all aspects of life. “Time is Money”; “science and technology are primary productive forces”: such catchphrases help to encapsulate our technological, temporal and cultural landscape. As art historians tend to postulate economic reform in China to be the starting point of Chinese contemporary art as we know it, the exhibition is a Bildungsroman that narrates the life stories of the children of reform—contemporary art, the market economy, and the development of science and technology. We ask how “they” would contemplate the technological shift that has occurred since the beginning of reform and opening-up.
Reflecting on technology, the key is how to approach and grasp the supposed equilibrium between “human – technology – nature.” Looking at mainstream views on science and technology in Chinese society today, focus is placed on the exact opposite: people emphasize how to create further disequilibrium. Yet there can be no simple dualist binaries when thinking about these complex relationships, and a plethora of perspectives is needed to accurately cross-reference the issue. Through the eyes of the 15 participating artists and collective, the exhibition enters into the theoretically-rich arena of various technologies and special areas, sharing multiple views on the story of science and technology’s growth in contemporary China.
This curated project was first exhibited at Long March Space in Beijing from 21 July to 26 August 2018, speculating on the accumulation of capital and technology from Reform and Opening Up to the present. Building upon the previous installment in Beijing, this exhibition in Guangzhou is co-presented by Long March Project together with Guangdong Times Museum. In a context-sensitive manner, it looks at the unfinished discursive development of technology as well as the temporalities that could have been otherwise, projecting itself towards the politics of speed, which is intrinsically linked to the present.
Participating artists and collective: Cui Jie, Junyuan Feng, Hao Jingban, Li Wenguang, Liang Shaoji, Liang Yongtai, Liao Bingxiong, Liu Chuang, Lu Chunsheng, Wang Jianwei, Wu Shanzhuan, Inga Svala Thorsdottir & Wu Shanzhuan, Xu Qu, Yan Lei, Zheng Yuan.