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OCAT Shanghai Project Space, 1016 North Suzhou Road
2018.04.08 Sun - 2018.06.10 Sun
Opening Exhibition
1016 North Suzhou Road, Shanghai (MTR Line 8&12 Qufu Road Station, Exit 2)
Opening Hours
10:00-19:00 (from Tuesday to Thursday & Sunday )

11:00-21:00 (Friday & Saturday) / Closed on Mondays

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On Struggling to Remain Present When You Want to Disappear
OCAT Shanghai
[Press Release]

The exhibition On Struggling to Remain Present When You Want to Disappear opens on April 8, 2018, at OCAT Shanghai. In collaboration with KADIST, the exhibition brings together immersive video and sound installations as well as photographs by 13 artists from Angola, Argentina, China, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. While the displayed works of art are from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, the curatorial narrative of this exhibition brings them together into a cohesive presentation that explores the worlds of the formal, the imaginary, and the virtual. The concept of “real” goes beyond the simple definition of truth, to encompass and question the norms and perceptions associated with both tangible and intangible forms of existence, thereby allowing the viewer to re-investigate the actual implications of “The time of the Real” we are in.


The dialectic of the real and the virtual are not recent ideas, as demonstrated by Plato in The Allegory of the Cave of the Greek classical age and more recently in Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Jean Baudrillard’s 1981 treatise Simulation and Simulacra. The present moment of ultra-rapid developments in technology has brought infinite possibilities to the development of human society, but at the same time, this speed of change demands introspective reflection on the times we live in. Does the virtual realm have the potential to fully replace reality, thereby possessing the functions of the real itself?

These thoughts and inspirations, which have touched upon philosophical and sociological concerns for centuries, are poetically anchored in this exhibition. If some of the works on view were produced over a decade ago, they offer new meanings about our current times in which the real and the virtual have grown increasingly indistinguishable. As these considerations continue unfolding, the fluidity between the real and the virtual reflect the increasing anxieties of these merging worlds.