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Terms of Encounter: The ’85 New Wave and France, Magiciens de la Terre and Chine Demain pour Hier

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This article focuses on the encounters and exchanges between French and Chinese artists, art critics and curators from 1985–90 and their impact on the development of two important presentations of the ’85 New Wave movement in France: Magiciens de la Terre (1989) and Chine Demain pour Hier (1990). Drawing on interviews with French and Chinese artists, critics and curators, it argues how the politics of intercultural encounters influenced the curatorial frameworks of both these exhibitions. Such politics ranged from the conditions of artistic exchanges between France and China initiated under French cultural policies to issues of linguistic and cultural translation.
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Keywords: Chine Demain pour Hier; Chinese art exhibitions; Magiciens de la Terre; contemporary Chinese art; intercultural exchange; ’85 New Wave

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore

Publication date: February 1, 2015

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  • 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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