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International Curatorial Practice and the Problematic De-territorialization of the ‘Identity’ Show: Deconstructing the Third Guangzhou Triennial, Farewell to Post-Colonialism

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The Third Guangzhou Triennial, Farewell to Post-Colonialism (2008) was intended as a return to a searching deconstructivist critique of the relationship between identity and social inequality. This article seeks to problematize that intended significance by drawing attention to ways in which the position adopted by the curators of the exhibition was rendered critically ineffective as a result of the de-territorializing effects of localized discursive restrictions on public display and discussion. In reconsidering the international ‘identity’ show more generally, attention will be drawn towards the necessity of a renewed deconstructive attention not only to specific instances of cultural dominance, but also relationships between curatorial practices and their particular discursive contexts.
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Keywords: (Johnson) Chang Tsong-Zung; Gao Shiming; Sarat Maharaj; Third Guangzhou Triennial; exhibitions in China; identity; post-colonialism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Nottingham

Publication date: February 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Curatorial Studies is an international, peer-reviewed publication that explores the cultural functioning of curating and its relation to exhibitions, institutions, audiences, aesthetics and display culture. The journal takes a wide perspective in the inquiry into what constitutes "the curatorial." Curating has evolved considerably from the connoisseurship model of arranging objects to now encompass performative, virtual and interventionist strategies. While curating as a spatialized discourse of art objects remains important, the expanded cultural practice of curating not only produces exhibitions for audiences to view, but also plays a catalytic role in redefining aesthetic experience, framing cultural conditions in institutions and communities, and inquiring into constructions of knowledge and ideology.
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