History of Art and Architecture

Colloquium - Ellen Larson

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 12:00pm

University Art Gallery (UAG), Frick Fine Arts Building

"Materializing Memory: Contemporary Video Art from China" 

Curator's Talk and Gallery Tour

Exhibited in Pittsburgh for the first time, "Materializing Memory: Contemporary Video Art from China" presents the work of five young Chinese artists, all born after 1980. These artists are part of China’s balinghou and jiulinghou (post-1980 and post-1990) generations. Unlike earlier practitioners, they came of age following the dramatic 1978 economic and cultural reforms. Through the medium of video art, these artists explore contemporary Chinese society during a period of profound technological and urban transformation. Their work is deeply informed by the Internet, rapid economic development, international communication and exchange, as well as opportunities to earn advanced degrees abroad. These videos document personal and collective experiences. Some record feelings of boredom and isolation, while others investigate social contradictions and complexities. Together, these works illustrate the plasticity of contemporary experience, and ask what it means to remember during a time when progress accelerates the urge to forget.