Yishu Journal: Little Movements: Self-practice in Contemporary Art and A Museum That is Not

Little Movements: Self Practice in Contemporary Art
OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Shenzhen

September 10–November 10, 2011

A Museum That Is Not
Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou

September 11–October 30, 2011

Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu on the cover of Yishu Journal No.49

“Edward Sanderson explores the increasingly blurred boundaries among curatorial practice, artistic practice, and institutions through the examples of two innovative exhibitions—Little Movements: Self-practice in Contemporary Art and A Museum That Is Not.”

Giorgio Agamben addresses the concept of movement as “that which if it is, is as if it wasn’t, it lacks itself; and if it isn’t, is as if it was, it exceeds itself.” This ambivalence between lack and plenitude marks the movement as “unfinished, unaccomplished,” suggesting that it occupies a point between the pre-political and the political, and a point without movement in an active sense, and, therefore, without a future or past of failure or resolution. This balancing point, by necessity, also makes “movement” hard to locate or define; hence its sense of being ripe for questioning when applied to the world.

Since 2010, Carol Yinghua Lu, Liu Ding and Su Wei—self-described as “a three-person curatorial team include[ing] an artist, a curator and a critic”—have been developing together what they call the Little Movements project. The recent presentation of this project at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) in Shenzhen, titled Little Movements: Self-practice in Contemporary Art, has provided an opportunity to see the current state of this project in the form of an exhibition.

By a happy quirk of fate, at the same time as this show, Liu Ding was fulfilling his role as an artist by presenting work in the group show A Museum That Is Not, curated by Nikita Yingqian Cai, at the Times Museum in nearby Guangzhou. A Museum That Is Not investigated the parameters of the museum as an institutional experience, with a particular focus on the host museum’s own position with the community around it, and conveniently showcased Liu Ding’s creative approaches to what can be seen as parallel concerns to the content and methods of Little Movements: Self-practice in Contemporary Art.

[To read the full article, please pick up a copy of the Journal or visit the Yishu website]

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