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2015.06.23 Tue, by
Memory Burns: OCAT Institute Beijing to Open

OCAT’s new Beijing space, the OCAT Institute, is due to open to the public on June 27th. As a non-profit academic research institution, the OCAT Institute will aim at research and publishing, archiving, and exhibition exchanges. It will be the newest space in the OCAT group—sponsored by the OCT (Overseas Chinese Town) property development group—which also runs art spaces in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Wuhan, and Xi’an.

Located on Jinchanxi Lu in Chaoyang district, Beijing, the opening exhibition at the OCAT Institute will be “Memory Burns”, curated by Georges Didi-Huberman, the French art historian and philosopher. Works in the exhibition include those by Harun Farocki, Pascal Convert and Arno Gisinger and the German art historian Aby Warburg. A total of 11 works, exhibited for the first time in China, will encompass textual documentation, photography, documentary film and installation.

At the same time, Didi-Huberman is also the inaugural lecturer for the OCAT Institute’s Annual Lecture Series. He will be giving a series of lectures entitled “Image History Poem: 3 Lectures on the Visual Art of S. M. Eisenstein” along with a seminar series on June 25. Previously, in 2014, the OCAT Institute hosted a series of seminars on the topic of Aby Warburg.

Back at the end of 2013, Huang Zhuan, the Managing Director of the OCAT Institute, had posted a text on WeChat Moments entitled “Farewell, Beijing”. In it, he said that “due to the unashamed breaking of the contract on the part of the investors, I will halt all preparations for the OCAT Beijing Archive and Research Institute—this also means our efforts for the whole year have been in vain.” When asked about the return of the project, he explained to the media: “There’s no secret there. We encountered problems with the investment, and then later this was solved. So the project was able to continue. When the funding stopped, we had an emotional reaction, which is normal.” (Source: Artron).

The OCAT Institute has Wu Hung as the Honorary Director, Huang Zhuan as the Managing Director, and Dong Bingfeng as the Academic Director as well as the Director of Research and Publications.

Poster of OCAT institute opening exhibitionOCAT研究中心开馆展《记忆的灼痛》海报

Poster of OCAT institute opening exhibition