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Postsocialist materialisms | Contemporary artistic practices from China

Bildende Kunst

Guest lecture by Freda Fiala organized by the studio Textual Sculpture. In English.


What happens when sculptures become part of a performance – or even become performance ?

This lecture looks at works of Chen Tianzhuo, Xu Zhen and Yang Lu, three artists who have established themselves in the conditions of post-socialist China. Their multimedia practices joyfully engage with sociopolitical taboos, while simultaneously undermining Western expectations of ‘Chinese artists’. Employing copying, glitching and fusing as main strategies, their works are characterised by the affective dynamism of China’s economic growth and rapid digitalisation. Their works share a topical focus on spiritual practices, avatars, animation and philosophies of the material. Approaching their practices, the notion of sculpture will serve as a focal point, to rethink how nonhuman and überhuman figures are shaping beliefs of everyday life, collaboration and community.

Short Bio

Freda Fiala is a writer working across the contexts of performance art, new media dramaturgy and interculturalism, through researching and curating. She is a fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and currently pursues a PhD on contemporary performance practices in East Asia. She studied Theater and Chinese Studies in Vienna, Berlin, Hong Kong and Taipei. Her research interests mainly include cultural diversity, cross-cultural exchange and 'actionable speculations' in the age of digitalisation.