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Title: Navigating Floating Worlds: Curatorial Strategies in Contemporary Chinese Art, 1979-2008
Authors: Lim, Michelle Yin Yin
Advisors: Silbergeld, Jerome
Foster, Hal
Contributors: Art and Archaeology Department
Keywords: Art
Subjects: Art history
Art criticism
Asian studies
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In this dissertation, the author examines how curatorial strategies have influenced the production, exhibition and consumption of contemporary Chinese art in the post-Mao era. Over the past three decades, the exhibitionary complex for contemporary Chinese art has evolved to reflect the shifting balance of power between its primary players: the state, collectors, artists and curators. The dissertation is among the first scholarly works to historicize the production, display and consumption of art from the late 1970s to late 2000s, a period marked by the re-opening of China's doors, the 1989 Tiananmen Incident and the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. The shaping of contemporary Chinese art into a coherent global phenomenon can be attributed in large part to the strategic and calculated approach of Chinese artists and curators who have capitalized on their hypersensitive readings of socio-political shifts, a chameleonic ability to adapt and perform to the expectations of the audience(s) in varying roles, and the clever absorption/ translation/ subversion of other cultural vocabularies into an ever-expanding lexicon they have made their own. Their efforts take place against the backdrop of seismic geopolitical shifts in China's relationship to other countries, globalization trends, and the advent of new technology that have transformed transport and communication networks. While the geographic parameters of my study extend beyond China's national borders, Beijing remains the psychological center in this mapping of contemporary Chinese art activities in the late 20th/early 21st centuries. In the first half of the dissertation, the author discusses how the Chinese government and foreign collectors have used exhibitions to further their political and economic agendas. In the second half of the dissertation, the author traces Chinese artists' deepening involvement with exhibition-making, looking closely at how curatorial and artistic practices became entwined as artist-curators developed strategies of collaboration and resistance in order to navigate through the shifting cultural landscape. The author argues for the emergent role of the contemporary curator as an exhibition auteur and highlight how the cultivation of specific and new audiences have been important motivations for exhibition-making efforts, giving rise to new exhibition structures and thematic interests in exhibition-making and art practices by the early 2000s.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Art and Archaeology

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