12th Shanghai Biennale “Proregress: Art in an Age of Historical Ambivalence” to open in November 2018

Words by Alessandra Bellomo
November 7, 2018

The 12th edition of Shanghai Biennale opens the doors to the public in November 2018 under the curatorship of Cuauhtémoc Medina. Art critic, curator and historian, Medina has chosen as leading thread of the exhibition “Proregress: Art in an Age of Historical Ambivalence“, word coined by E. E. Cummings in his 1931 writings and reinterpreted by Zygmunt Bauman who, in 2017, spoke of “retropia” as “negation of negation of utopia”.

Taking place from November 10, 2018 – March 10, 2019, the exhibition intends to deal with the complex relations between past and present, marked by a feeling of nostalgia and constant adjustment. Art is an active witness to this constant process of evolution and stagnation; as a consequence the biennial “provides a framework to explore the role of contemporary art as a means by which the struggles and anxieties of many different latitudes are reflected and turned into subjective experience, training the contemporary subject in the ambivalence the allows us to tolerate the contradictory forces of contemporary life” – as stated by Medina. The topic will be centred, in particular, on the influence which Chinese development and cultural production has on the current world.

Besides Medina, three co-curators have been appointed between professionals from non-Western part of the world, rarely represented artistically in China. The selected names are María Belén Sáez de Ibarra from Bogotá, Yukie Kamiya from New York and Wang Weiwei from Shanghai.

Launched in 1996, Shanghai Biennale is China’s most influential international biennale of contemporary art and one of the most important in the Asian continent, gathering for every edition international and cutting edge artists and curators.

12th Shanghai Biennale
Proregress: Art in an Age of Historical Ambivalence
November 10, 2018–March 10, 2019
Power Station of Art
200 Huayuangang Rd 
200011 Shanghai

Keep up to date with My Art Guides
Sign up to our newsletter and stay in the know with all worldwide contemporary art events