EX: 1/30/2012
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Goethe-Institute Shanghai
2013.01.18 Fri - 2013.02.23 Sat
Opening Exhibition
01/18/2013 18:00
102A, Cross Tower, 318 Fuzhou Lu,Huang Pu District 200001 Shanghai
+86 21 6391 2068
Opening Hours
10am - 6:30pm

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‘Alternatives to Ritual’ presents fourth solo project: The Goethe Open Space I Drew by Song Ta
[Press Release]

Public program series

Discussion between Nikita Yingqian Cai and Song Ta

[Press Release]

I think exhibitions these days can be quite interesting. They can be a theme, a category or technique. If you ask me what an exhibition is, I will say that it is my brush (or mouse). I see the Goethe Open Space as my subject, whom I am going to paint a portrait of. I am grateful that beautiful images are conveniently presented to us through exhibitions as a technique.

For my solo project, I will paint a portrait of the Goethe Open Space. It is an extension of my project for the Artists Museum section of this exhibition, where I exhibited many portraits. To complete this set, a portrait of Goethe Open Space will be drawn and presented on its own. This is my first impression. This is also how I illustrate first impressions of art institutions, art museums, festivals and biennales.

The Goethe Open Space I Drew is presented as a part of Alternatives to Ritual, an ongoing project.

Public program series

Goethe Open Space is proud to present an ongoing public discussion series during the exhibition period of Alternatives to Ritual. The formats of discussion will range from open public talks to private closed door discussions around each solo exhibition. This discussion series will be held on regular bases to engage the different curators, writers, artists in dialogue with the artists on the exhibitions presented over a half year period. The third in series will be discussion between Nikita Yingqian Cai  and Song Ta held on January 18th 2013.

Introduction of The Goethe Open Space in My Painting discussion

Song Ta’s solo project presented at Alternatives to Ritual features his portrayal of the Goethe Open Space. Together with the drawings shown at the Artists Museum section, it comprises an ongoing project of artist, presenting a portrait to art museums and institutes both at home and abroad. In his view, the concept of institution is subjective as well as full of uncertainties. The portraits he presents are more like fragments excerpted from his personal memory, lacking connections with certain contexts. Within the institutional context of Goethe Open Space, Song Ta in dialogue with curator Nikita Yingqian Cai, will open up discussion concerning individual practice and institutional imagination as well as review his past practice and the collaboration with Biljana Ciric, curator of the exhibition.

About the Speakers:

Nikita Yingqian Cai is the curator of Guangdong Times Museum and a critic. She participated in the 2009/2010 curatorial programme of de Appel arts centre.  Her selected curatorial projects include: I’m Not Here. An Exhibition Without Francis Alys (co-curate, de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam, 2010), A Museum That is Not (Guangdong Times Museum, 2011), Jiang Zhi: If This is a Man (co-curate, Guangdong Times Museum, 2012), No Ground Underneath; Curating on the Nexus of Changes (co-curate, Guangdong Times Museum, 2012). She is a contributing writer to LEAP, www.artforum.com.cnARTTIME and Yishu, her writings revolve around the history, context and case study of contemporary art and institutional practice, as well as reflection on curatorial discourse and exhibition studies.

Born in Guangdong Province, Chinain 1988, Song Ta graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2010. Working with installation and video, he has held solo exhibitions at The 53 Art Museum,Guangzhou (2010), Observation Society,Guangzhou (2011) and Arrow Factory,Beijing (2012). Song Ta has also participated in group exhibition at Galerie.Z, Bregenz (2010) andCAFAArt Museum,Beijing (2012). He is currently based inGuangzhou.

The Discussion will be held in Chinese with English interpretation  


About ‘Alternatives to Ritual’:

Curator: Biljana Ciric

Artists: Gao Mingyan, Hu Yun, Li Ran, Lu Pingyuan, Hu Xiangqian, Song Ta

Art Worlds in the Making: From Utopia to Reality a project by Alexandra Hodby, Seng Yujin, and Biljana Ciric, among others

Duration: September 30th 2012- ongoing

Curatorial assistant: Grace Tng

Alternatives to Ritual invited artists to develop projects over a half-year period. The artists invited have shown an interest in discussing art systems and their values, different levels of relations in contemporary art, and exhibition making through their practice. They also have used display strategies as a tool for engagement. One of the main questions that we pose, through working together with artists, curators and all other participants, is how exhibitions can serve as an open and dynamic resource today?

The artists will reflect on cultural constructions and social frameworks in the special context ofChinaand how all these form individual identities and artistic practices as well as define relations in the system that we urgently need to question. The artists will also explore how different formats of exhibitions, contexts and conditions of appearance can reflect individual attitudes towards our social constructions.

The exhibition tries to open up the discussion on the relationship between institutions, institutional formats and exhibition making in China that has existed since the80’s, which was interrupted after 1989, and had a short appearance again in the mid90’s. It was then interrupted again after the year 2000 due to an institutionalization of the art scene and its market driven existence which are till today its strongest forces.

Alternatives to Ritual attempts to find a way to resist current rituals of production and dominant ways of looking at the art system through proposing alternatives in the form of individual practices and new ways of engagement.

About ‘Artists’ Museums’

Alternatives to Ritual will be presented in a format of constant change, between solo and group exhibitions. The group presentation takes its point of departure from one of the most important exhibitions in history of exhibition making: Questioning Reality – Image Worlds Today, 1972 curated by Harald Szeemann as a part of Documenta 5. “A concentrated version of life in the form of an exhibition”, with the aim of being presented as a 100 day event, provided at that time, a new reading of artists’ production and its relation to institutions and exhibition making. The so-called Artists’ Museum section of Documenta 5 will be taken as point of departure for Alternatives to Ritual to invite artists to present their own artists’ museums.

Individual solo presentations will be on display in the main project space while Artists’ Museums will be presented in office spaces as a group show. Every month artists will leave the Artists’ Museum space in order to present independent project in the main Goethe Open Space and later leave the exhibition.

While each artist has his own presentation in the group exhibition section of the Artists’ Museum, archival material of the Artists’ Museum presentation from 1972 will also be on display. Besides archival material of ArtistsMuseumfrom Documenta 5, in the last stage exhibition will present unrealized project Kunst in der Torte by Daniel Spoerri that originally suppose to be the part of documenta 1972.

The artists will deal with the different aspects of the Department for Culture and Education (DCAE) as an institution and structure through public talks, utilizing its online platform, and employing a specific approach to its library and its history to name only a few. Every space of the DCAE will be used – from the project space to the offices.

Besides being an exhibition space, DCAE will serve as a space for closed door discussions after gallery hours, turning the gallery space into a semi private place for gathering. Discussions organized will be held between small groups of invited individuals with the aim of reflecting on our system and its practices.

Discussions will be organized in collaboration with, PDF artists independent e- journal.

This format of the exhibition will be held over a long period, providing space for reflection and on-going discussions, inviting artists not only to produce and exhibit their works but also to slow down and provide the time needed to reflect on our current cultural conditions and the over production so common in the art field today. The exhibition re-engages institutions which are working together with artists to act as provocateur of thought, giving critical reflections on our system.