Anton Vidokle appointed Chief Curator of the 14th Shanghai Biennale

Anton Vidokle

The Office of the Shanghai Biennale is pleased to announce that after careful consideration of numerous candidates by the Power Station of Art Academic Committee, Anton Vidokle has been selected to work as the Chief Curator for the 14th Shanghai Biennale. Vidokle will work with a team of collaborators, to be announced soon. Themed as “Cosmos Cinema”, the 14th Shanghai Biennale will open on November 9, 2023 and conclude on March 31, 2024, and will take place in the Power Station of Art (PSA). As China’s longest running contemporary art biennale, the Shanghai Biennale is one of the most influential art events in Asia.

Anton Vidokle is based in New York, where he founded e-flux and the Institute of the Cosmos. About the 14th Shanghai Biennale, he says: “For as long as we have been able to look up, humans have been observing the sky, intuiting a relation between our lives on Earth and events beyond its atmosphere. The interpretation of stars and planets gave rise to our origin stories, religions, systems of time, navigation, agricultural planning, science, social order, and most other key aspects of the organization of human life. Nonhuman forms of life are just as conditioned by its forces: no part of the terrestrial world can be separated from the effects of the sun, the moon, and the heavenly bodies. The 14th Shanghai Biennale will reflect on how artists have advanced our understanding of the relationship between life on earth and the cosmos that nourishes and conditions it. Shanghai is uniquely suited for such a project because of China’s rich history of philosophical and artistic engagement with the cosmological, the city’s cosmopolitan history as a connecting point of East Asia to the world, and now—as a city set to become one of the main hubs for the country’s rapidly expanding civil space program—to the cosmos.”

About Anton Vidokle
Anton Vidokle was born in 1965 in Moscow. In 1979, he started studying painting at the studio of the Soviet-Armenian artist Konstantin Karamyan. In 1981 he immigrated with his parents to the United States and continued his studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He first encountered the philosophy of cosmism in 2012 in conversations with Boris Groys and Ilya Kabakov. Later, Vidokle traveled to Siberia, Kazakhstan, and other regions of the former USSR to research the traces left by the cosmist scientists, thinkers, and artists and has since completed seven short films based on writings by such cosmist authors as Nikolai Fedorov, Vasily Chekrygin, Valerian Muraviov, Aleksandr Svyatogor, and Vladimir Vernadsky. Vidokle has initiated the English translation and publication of historical texts as well as contemporary writing on this topic for e-flux journal. Jointly with Arseny Zhilyaev, Vidokle started the Institute of the Cosmos, an online publication and an open archive of research on this subject. Vidokle’s work has been presented in international exhibitions, festivals, and institutions including documenta 12, Venice Biennale, Shanghai Biennale, Berlinale, Locarno Film Festival, Gwangju Biennale, Taipei Biennale, Yokohama Triennale, the Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern, Tretyakov Gallery, MuHKA, Reina Sofia, MMCA Seoul, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), and The National Gallery in Washington DC.

About the Shanghai Biennale
Launched in 1996, the Shanghai Biennale is not only the first international biennial of contemporary art in mainland China but also one of the most influential art events in Asia. In 2012, the Power Station of Art became the organizer and permanent venue of the Shanghai Biennale. From Open Space in 1996, to Inheritance and Exploration in 1998, Spirit of Shanghai in 2000, Urban Creation in 2002, Techniques of the Visible in 2004, Hyper Design in 2006, Translocalmotion in 2008, Rehearsal in 2010, Reactivation in 2012, Social Factory in 2014, Why Not Ask Again in 2016, Proregress in 2018, and Bodies of Water in 2020, the Biennale has always maintained Shanghai as its primary locus, upholding the mission of supporting academic and cultural innovation, while continuously tracking social evolution and trends in knowledge production in a global context with an open view. Gathering in Shanghai every two years, the Biennale has also become a large-scale platform for the international presence and exchange of contemporary art.

About the Shanghai Biennale City Projects
As a unique urban identity and cultural trademark, the Shanghai Biennale has long been committed to enabling active dialogues between contemporary art and the booming city of Shanghai. First launched in 2012, the Biennale’s City Projects interact with public spaces such as exhibition pavilions, cinemas, and cultural centers, mobilizing local actors to explore the regional context through shows, screenings, field surveys, and workshops. This program aims to extend the Biennale beyond the white cube and establish a closer relationship with the city’s residents and its cultural ecology.

About the Power Station of Art (PSA)
Established on Oct 1, 2012, the Power Station of Art (PSA) is the first state-run contemporary art museum in mainland China. It is also home to the Shanghai Biennale. Renovated from the former Nanshi Power Plant, PSA was once the Pavilion of Future during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Having borne witness to Shanghai’s transformation from the industrial age to the IT era, the museum has provided rich inspiration for artists with its raw architecture features. As a central hub for Shanghai’s booming urban culture, PSA is committed to innovation and progress as keys to its long-term vitality. The museum aims to provide an interface for the public to come into contact with and appreciate contemporary art, to break down the barrier between life and art, and to promote cooperation and knowledge production across diverse fields of arts and culture.

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