“Danger, Desire & Dialect” is an ongoing lecture-performance series initiated by Salt Projects. We chose the three keywords to acknowledge the current situation and take an active position while intervening the dilemmas of historical loop. Danger is a social and political context that could fail, lead to damage, which the art ecology and art workers could suffer at anytime. In a deeper sense, it is also to explore and pursue the other side of safe. Desire is about to offer fulfilment or pleasure of matters or in the subconsciousness. As a long-term focus of Salt Projects, we would more likely to see it as an inspiration for living and creating. Dialect is a language that differs from standard pronunciation and only used among a specific area or community. It is what we want to hear, also to underline the local methodology and personal experience.
Janurary 14, 2018 2pm
“This Marcovaldo had eyes that were not very well adapted to town Life: posters, traffic lights, shop windows, neon signs, public notices - although specially designed to attract attention - never caught his eyes, which seemed to be wandering over desert sands. On the other hand, a leaf turning yellow on a bough, a feather caught up on a tile, never escaped him; there was never a horsefly on the back of a horse, a worm-hole in a table, the peel of a fig squashed on the pavement, which Marcovaldo did not notice and did not reflect upon, observing the changes of the seasons, the longings of his soul and the wretchedness of his existence”
Act One: Mushrooms in the City
Act Two: A Debate on Hospital Beds
Entr’acte: Anachronism 101
Act Three: Mushroom, Harbor, Kuaishou, and the Angel of History (Working Title)
The visual components in the lecture is a collaboration with Ou Feihong.
Zhang Hanlu is an editor, writer, and curator,
Ou Feihong is an artist.
August 27th, 2017 7pm
A STATEMENT FOR THE FAN THESIS (IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CONTENT)
Fan thesis, just as fan fiction, is based on the identification or extreme favor of certain propositional or fictional universe, through which a fan would develop extensive sequels. There’s a sense of voluntarism and is often referred to as fan labor. In these practices, quite often is the case that the style of the canon is kept, while the core elements such as characters and plots would be further developed in the ways that is well versed by the peer fans.
That is to say, although the content of fan fiction didn’t really ever appeared in the canon, but it remains to be the synthetic or prosthetic totality to, and therefore consolidates the aura of, the canon. These plots usually aimed for satisfying the peer group’s consumptive fantasy or even voyeurism, therefore a community. The following essay is a primary attempt on writing a fan thesis, whose fictional universe addresses Ray Brassier’s On Prometheanism, and its plot: JG Ballard.
Spoiler alert: The talk would be held in Mandarin Chinese only.
Zian Chen writes exhibition-novels. He has been given Contemporary Art Writing and Critical Thinking Award, Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco in 2015. Currently he is a researcher of Long March Project.
July 29th, 2017 7pm
Sender: Juan Guo <email@example.com>
Recipient: JingbanHao <firstname.lastname@example.org>
cc: Li Ran Studio <email@example.com>
Time: 2017/06/20, 9:07am
Subject: Re: Language
: Important according to our magic sauce.
……One thing he criticized me for in particular is “lacking a wider persepective”! As he sees it, all clashes of religion, culture and history are basically conflicts of interest. So, if we could manage to mitigate conflicts of interest, then all would be headed on an unstoppable course towards the light. I think what he means by "light" is what profits people. But even from the simplest logic, his theory is less than perfect, because in his description of the future, there’s still people who are not happy about the arrangement he’s so pround of. For example, when the two of us were sitting across from each other at a long conference table in his office, me on one side and him on the other, even though the view outside the window was New Belgrade, I felt like there was no different at all to being in Beijing. From the perspective of social class, being from the mainstream of society he has a million reasons to critique me in a condescending manner—the sort of culture that supposedly guarantees a fine and optimistic future doesn't benefit each individual
……This year in Venice, at the opening ceremonies of a foundation, he suddenly turned to me and said, "You know, actually these white people all discriminate against Asians or Chinese, and it will never change—it's in their bones." When he finished he took a big swig of free champagne and continued, "But neither they will say so, nor you will bring it up, but you just know it." I was stunned after hearing his words, but I didn't know how can I reply to that—and before the sound of his voice had even faded, he had already ran over to a European museum director with a big grin on his face. It seems that they were having a nice chat.
……After you wrote about running into these frustrations with the "bank president”, I went to JD.com to look for books on One Belt One Road, and the selection was dizzying—every last angle delved into with astounding depth, each book is thicker than the last, research that had been carried out for years... There is a book, a typical official one, whose author works at the Central Party School, and he started the research on OBOR since 2013. He said in the preface,"At the opening of a conference, there was a government official leader who offered a metaphorical image: China today stands at the center of the world stage, the spotlight shining on it; this image of China is like a person standing there in a suit, tie around his neck. He is carrying a sack, fulfilled of money. There is a microphone right in front of him —but he can't speak. This is to say, we need to enhance our ability to effectively disseminate OBOR internationally." I feel like that the only situation as a whole that I participated is this collective inability to speak.
Guo Juan (b. 1984) is a writer based in Taipei.
Li Ran (b. 1986) was born in Hubei, China. He graduated with BFA from the Oil Painting Department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2009 and now lives and works in Beijing.
Hao Jingban (b. 1985) currently lives and works in Beijing. She graduated from Goldsmiths College, London, with a Bachelor’s in Media and Communication (2007) and from University of London with a Master’s in Film Studies (2010).
July 8th, 2017 2pm
Through the lens of his extensive art practice, Christopher K. Ho will focus on shifts in contemporary art theory post 1968 to the present as well as identity in a Hong Kong Chinese diasporic perspective. As an artist who was based in the United States in the 1990s who has never worked explicitly with identity, Chris sees his practice turning toward something that could become more akin to identity in the very near future—particularly his autobiographical relationship to the East Asia region.— Hera Chan
Christopher K. Ho (b. Hong Kong 1974) dissects the hidden social forces that implicate contemporary art within capitalist society. He is simultaneously an artist, curator, and critic based in New York and Hong Kong. His solo exhibitions have been reviewed in the New York Times, LEAP, RanDian, Artforum, Art in America, Modern Painters, and ArtReview. He has also written for Modern Painters, Performing Arts Journal, Flash Art and ArtReview, and taught at RISD, Cranbrook Art Academy, and MICA. He is currently at work on an augmented reality project for Art Production Fund that opens in October, and his forthcoming solo show opens at the Bronx Museum in New York in February 2018.
June 24th, 2017 8pm
There are many different understandings of the semantic meanings behind why home/family is called 家 in Chinese. Whether the place of one's birth, growing up, or the place where one currently resides--at the moment, the author believes that "home" is where one can say they currently themselves reside or previously resided.
Seven-and-a-half letters from home, reaching across even time and space and finally arriving at seven-and-a-half sheets of paper in the author's previous dwelling. Naturally, some of these thusly-named "dwelling-places" have been destroyed, some have faded away, some have become other people's property, some continue to provide various travelers with a place to stay, some use the furniture and still lifes the author used to touch, and some are changed beyond recognition. But they are still good, "from blue seas to mulberry fields" [changes over time]. These seven-and-a-half letters from home may, in the future, in some time, on some day, vanish without a trace, remaining only in what we define as "letters from home."
Ma Haijiao (b.1990, Hebei province, China), from 2009 to 2016, study at China Academy of Art, gained a BA and then an MFA, now lives and works in Beijing. His art practice has an enduring concern with the daily “routine” of life, and taking this as the basis, he traces its logic clues to connect the working forms and video narratives. His recent exhibitions include “Message to the Future”(Canvas Contemporary Gallery, Amsterdam, 2017); “The New Normal”(Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2017); “Semantic Satiation”(Tabula Rasa Gallery, Beijing, 2017); “Why Not Ask Again: The 11th Shanghai Biennale”(Power Station of Art, Shanghai, 2016); “Fly Without Wings”(V ART Center, Shanghai, 2015). His work “Mr. Quan” collected by Power Station of Art (Shanghai).
May 20th, 2017 7pm
Artist Wang Tuo and poet Wang Wei will be having a conversation. Destructive endeavours such as text reconstruction, narrative syntax, and concept producing will be approached within the sphere of the artist’s practice. The duo’s designed dialogues act like a performative framework, in which linguistic interpretation of visual arts becomes visible, readable, and audible, padding into the skeleton of the framework. Interpreted with different objects and read in altered contexts, the dialogue will be overlaid by its historical experiences each time.
By intertwining unscripted lived experiences as told by ordinary people with the dramatised archive of predetermined situations performed by actors, Wang’s artistic practice reveals the unstable relationship between the contemporary circumstances of human beings and their cultural heritage. Based on references to existing archives (including literature, film,drama, and art history), his work constructs a maze of melodrama with multilayered narratives – presenting humorous yet dramatic components of contemporary society through the lens of absurdity.The artist focuses on how artificial concepts and ideologies are derived from their historical contexts, and how they adapt to the constantly shifting social conditions.
Born in Changchun, China in 1984, Wang Tuo currently lives and works in New York and Beijing. He is a 2015-2017 artist-in-residence at the Queens Museum in New York. In 2007, he graduated from the Biology Department at Northeast Normal University, Changchun. He then obtained his MA in Painting from Tsinghua University, Beijing in 2012. In 2014, he graduated from the School of Visual Art at Boston University with an MFA in Painting. His recent exhibitions include “Nine”, Queens Museum, New York, USA (2017); “A Little Violence of Organized Forgetting”, Taikang Space, Beijing, China (2016); “Nadim Abbas &Tuo Wang – Only the Lonely”, inCube Arts,New York, USA (2016); “The Real Thing”, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts,Taichung City (2015); “Peekskill Project VI”, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, USA (2015); Tirana International Film Festival, TEN Multimedia Center, Tirana, Albania (2015); “Re-make/Re-build/Re-stage”, VoxPopuli, Aux Performance Center, Philadelphia, USA (2015).
Wang Wei (b.1975) is a poet, critic and playwright basedin Beijing. His works include the collections of poetry, Gulliver in Middle Asiaand The Behemoth Moment; verse dramas “Han Fei and Li Si”, “Roman vonUngern-Sternberg” and“Mao Zedong”, and a collection of literary criticism, Modern Writers, etc.
April 16th, 2017 8pm
He was born in China in 1963, in a small village in Shanxi Province. He had a natural interest in images. Around 12 years old, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was close to the end, his school didn’t really have many classes. He often went fishing with friends, during which, the biggest pleasure for him was not catching the big fish, but looking at the water, and its movements, the delicate patterns created by the wind. He always had a little sketchbook with him and he would draw trees, landscapes. He also learned to play the flute. At 15 years old, he found two books in my grandmother’s closet, selected Poetry of Tang Dynasty, illustrated with prints of traditional Chinese ink and brush paintings. It was supposed to be a set of four books but he only found two of them. Somehow this decadence of feudal society survived the Cultural Revolution, discovered by him, and occupied his dreams:
A crow crows in the frost cold at moonset.
Maples and fishing light 're with my sleepless night.
Chang Yuchen was born in China in 1989, now she lives and works between New York and Beijing.