About the Workshop 关于工作坊

Our workshop aims to investigate the contact zones in which Sinophone queer artists, writers, curators, and cultural activists meet, cooperate, and occasionally conflict with each other. By developing nonlinear, non-chrononormative, transmedia storytelling, these actors have disidentified with hegemonic and (self-)orientalist representations. Their works show a personal grasp of living experience in China to a global context. The organizers of this workshop seek to deepen the understanding of fluid subject positions that emerge in these complex spaces and to transgress the boundaries between visual arts, literary texts, activism, identity politics and scholarship.

Globalization and digitalization of culture, distribution, expertise, and service have facilitated the appearance of increasingly multifaceted zones of contact between national and transnational actors (e.g. exhibition spaces, websites and NGOs). However, the growing interest of international curators and scholars in queer, feminist, non-gender-binary art, literature, and activism does not immediately grant more rights to queer subjects in their own societies. Moreover, in many Sinitic-language communities, artists and writers who aim for popular or commercial success blur their critical agenda in queer-themed works and compromise artistic narratives by simulating legitimized expressions. Thus, representing queerness means negotiating between its unveiling and veiling in a search for equilibrium. 

Our workshop will inquire into queer representations in the Sinosphere. It asks “to what extent the growing visibility of queer expressions undermines narratives of hegemonic heteronormativity and whiteness around the globe?” Furthermore, we will examine the different strategies applied by cultural producers from the Sinosphere when they walk the tightrope between hetero- and homo-normativity, imitation and authenticity, personal and political, self and other. The workshop is dedicated to enhancing the visibility of queer subjects. By bringing together academics, activists, curators, and artists, we aim at establishing a sustainable network that will amplify non-binary voices. Our workshop will consist of five sessions. 

The first session ARTISITC AND ACTIVIST CROSSOVER will include presentations by the renowned artist-director Fan Popo, activist Wei Tingting, and activist-artist Shi Tou. This session will interrogate the boundaries between art, activism and space. How do actors in the field navigate personal positions and conventional artistic modes of expressions shaped by particular political, cultural, and economic contexts? To what extent, does queer social activism become queer art and vice versa? 

The second session ARTIST AND CURATOR TALKS will consist of four artists’ talks by the established artist Xiyadie, artist-curator Whiskey Chow, and the emerging artist Wei Yimu and artist-curator Gandalf. They will share their artistic and curatorial work that engages in gender stereotypes and vulnerability.

The third session READING AND WRITING ON QUEERNESS will center around the relationship between participatory observation and the analytical language of academia. The activist-scholars Dian Dian, Dr. Bao Hongwei and the junior researcher Shen Xiyu will exchange their views on mapping “queer” in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary contexts: What does it mean to historicize “queer” art and visual culture? How does one analyze and theorize differences in subject positions, their expressions, and individual and collective queering strategies? How does one translate liminal visual representations into academic work and what could one do with the works which refuse translation?

The fourth session BODY AND POLITICS IN CHINA’S ART will include presentations by artist Li Xinmo, artist Ma Yanhong and curator Juan Xu. They will discuss the politics of the body in China’s female-authored art.

In the last session QUEERING TEMPORALITIES, we will screen the artist Ergao’s latest dance film Kung Hei Fat Choy N+. It will be followed by a discussion about the queering of temporalities and lowbrow culture between Dr. Wang Qian, UZH PhD candidate Tan Diyi, and the artist Zeng Burong.

Due to the pandemic, all sessions will take place at the Institute of Art History at the University of Zurich via Zoom. This event is co-organized by the Chinese Studies at Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies. We are delighted to welcome these internationally-renowned artists, curators, and academics, as well as emerging actors in these fields. We hope that particularly junior scholars involved in this workshop will benefit from the in-depth academic exchange and international networking.

这次工作坊将探索的目标聚焦在一个“接触地带”。这是华语酷儿艺术家、作家、策展人和社会活动者之间交汇、协作与分歧的地带。在这个地带,他们发展出非线性的、非常规时间逻辑的、跨媒体的叙事,从而脱离对霸权和(自我)东方主义表述的认同。这些作品呈现他们各自对中国乃至全球语境下个体生存经验的独特见解。这是一个错综复杂的地带。针对其中初显的流动主体身份,本次工作坊的主办方希望同大家一起越过视觉艺术、文学、社会运动、身份政治及学术的边界去更深层次地剖析它,理解它。

得益于文化、信息、专业和服务行业的全球化和数字化,多样化的国内及国际协作区间(如:展览场地、网站和非政府组织)不断涌现;各个艺术领域的体裁和观念日趋丰富。酷儿、女权、非二元性别艺术、文学和行动主义也愈发受到国际策展人和学者青睐。然而,在酷儿主体的权益问题上,这种热度并无立竿见影之效。此外,大多华语社群里的文艺人士掣肘于大众和商业的桎梏,在酷儿艺术创作中妥协于更含蓄的性别议题谏言,表述里亦止步于合乎审查制度的艺术表达。如此一来,酷儿意象的创作在极脆弱的平衡中进行着拉锯,进而走向了一种“暧昧”的状态。

本次工作坊将探究华语圈酷儿的形象/再现,提出了这样的问题:酷儿表述如何从全球异性恋本位和白人至上的叙事中突围而出?我们将考量华语圈中的文化生产者们是怎样在异性恋本位与同志正典、模仿与原创、个人与政治、自我与他者之间如履薄冰?他们又是采取了哪些不同的策略应对这些对立的挑战?本次工作坊着力提升酷儿主体的可见性。我们希望将从事酷儿艺术创作、写作、社会活动以及酷儿与性别研究的实践者聚拢起来,从而形成一个强化非二元声音的可持续的人际网络。工作坊包括了以下五节,请随我们来一探究竟。

I 第一节“艺术与社运之交界”将涵盖艺术家/导演范坡坡、社运人士韦婷婷和社运参与者/艺术家石头的分享。这一节将重点考量艺术、社会活动与空间的边界问题。该领域中的实践者是如何协调其个人立场和特定政治、文化、经济环境中沿袭的艺术表现模式?在何种情形下,酷儿社会运动可被解读为酷儿艺术,反之亦然?

II 第二节“艺术家、策展人分享”将包括来自艺术家西亚蝶、艺术家/策展人Whiskey Chow和青年艺术家魏一目和艺术家/策展人Gandalf的个人演讲。他们将分享各自的艺术创作/策展中对性别刻板印象和脆弱性的表达。

III 第三节“阅读与书写酷儿性”将探讨参与式观察方法及学术语言之间的关系。社运参与者/学者典典、包宏伟博士以及青年学者沈喜裕将就“酷儿”在跨文化和跨学科的定位方面交换意见。例如:“酷儿”艺术和视觉文化的历史性写作将有何种意义?如何分析艺术创作里的主观因素;梳理学术研究中的一家之言;辨识个人与集体间的策略异同?如何把杂乱的标准下的视觉形象转译为学术著作,以及如何处理创作中不可翻译之处?

IV 第四节“中国艺术的身体与政治”将由艺术家李心沫、艺术家马延红和策展人庸现做分享。他们将谈论中国女艺术家创作中关于身体的政治。

V 最后一节“酷儿时间性”将播放艺术家何其沃的最新舞蹈影像作品《恭喜发财N+》。随后,王黔博士、苏黎世大学在读博士生覃笛一和艺术家曾不容就酷儿时间和俗文化内容展开讨论。

鉴于新冠疫情持续蔓延,本次活动将于通过Zoom,在苏黎世大学艺术史研究所举行。本次活动由苏黎世大学亚洲与东方研究所(中国研究)协办。我们很荣幸能邀请多名享誉国际的艺术家、策展人、行动者、学者,以及新生代同行。我们尤其希望青年学者能从工作坊活动的深度学术交流中获益。