Ke Center for Contemporary Arts, Kai Xuan Road 613(near west Yan An road), Shanghai
Opening reception of exhibition and inauguration of newly opened Ke Center for Contemporary Art: September 8th, 2007, 18:00
Hours: Open daily, 12:00- 20:00, Free Entry
Curator: Biljana Ciric
The Salon of the Rejected or Salon des Refuses was an exhibition that started in 1863 in Paris. The concept was to show works that were submitted to Salon de Paris but were rejected by a selection committee.
This exhibition continued its life for few years until the government cancelled funding. Today these same issues are still being questioned. What are the selection criteria of large-scaled exhibitions like biennales, museum shows, artists’ curated exhibition etc? Each exhibition carries it’s own nature and parameters, curatorial structures, changing roles of artists/curators and institutional policies. These all determines what will be shown in the end as a completed project. What we actually see at the end is already selected outcome.
Today in China with the growing interest in contemporary art, institutional infrastructure and curatorial models still happen under different criteria. In the nineties, curatorship, as a profession started to be repositioned in China. Especially within established institutions and museums, curators become key figures. As they gained importance, they also faced problems of institutionalization. On the other hand some of the curators turned to gallery spaces and artists started getting involved in the curating process bringing their own unique strategies. The frequent presence of Chinese artists in foreign art institutions and their expectations towards exhibitions from China also provide criteria that artists try to question.
Due to different procedures of approvals, institutional exhibitions each have their own criteria. Gallery organized exhibition carry their own, artists curated exhibition again have their own criteria.
How do individual artists deal with these changing modes of critique?
Most of the rejected proposal usually stay in artists computer, some of them may get the chance to be realized, but most, not because the artists changed their proposal or ideas. From another point of view, these rejected proposals actually are reflection of art practice today and it’s complex directions.
This project, Rejected Collection aims without my curatorial criteria to show proposal that artists are willing to show without any selection of the projects. All rejected projects that the artists are willing to exhibit will be part of the project. At the same time, artists also can invite other artist’s rejected projects to be included in the project. The project will be shown as an alternative archive of artist’s rejected proposals.
Through viewing this rejected project phenomenon we get the chance to get a closer look into contemporary art practice, curators criteria of artists work, and the re-positioning of artists in the triangle of institutions-market and experimentation. On the other hand project represents the history of Chinese contemporary art development and it’s slow turn into the public sphere though institutional infrastructure, the laws of the art world and public acceptance.
These rejected projects are not judged based on their artistic quality but in most of the cases on their sense institutional critique or curatorial approach. At the same time project aims to investigate the artist’s creative process of giving proposals, discussing them and finally being accepted or not. If they are not accepted then the artist either continues submitting proposals or just doesn’t take part in the exhibition at all. A certain sense of self-censorship will determine what works will take part in the final exhibition.
This exhibition marks the beginning of a project that will develop into an archive of rejected projects in Chinese contemporary art
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Special Thanks: Martin Strobel
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Access for opening reception with Sh contemporary VIP cards