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.
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。