"The Imaginations of A Museum" Group Exhibition
City: Shanghai
Curator: Liu Zhangbolong
Duration: 2018-02-03 ~ 2018-03-09
Opening: Saturday, 3 February 2018, 4-7pm
Venue: J:GALLERY
Address: #102-103, Building 17, No.50 Moganshan Road, M50, Shanghai
Participating Artist(s): Cheng Xinhao、Dandan、Liu Jialin、Shi Jiayun、Shi Jingyu、STAFFONLY STUDIO、Tang Fei、Wu Ding、Zhang Wenxin & Tangrenti

J: GALLERY is honoured to announce the opening of “The Imaginations of A Museum” on 3 February, 2018. The Museum of Science Fetish commissioned 9 artists (/groups) to create works for this exhibition. The Museum of Science Fetish was founded in 2014 by Liu Zhangbolong, its collections are from some renowned “scientific thought experiments” in history. Participating artists include Cheng Xinhao, Dandan, Liu Jialin, Shi Jiayun, Shi Jingyu,STAFFONLY STUDIO, Tang Fei, Wu Ding, Zhang Wenxin & Tangrenti. Inspired by the collections of the Museum of Science Fetish, the artists represent their imaginations of the “museum” as an ideology from multiple angles including scientific, social, historical, psychological, etc. The exhibition will continue until 9 March, 2018.

Museum is the outcome of imaginations. The origin of modern museums can be traced back to the cabinets of curiosities flourished in the 16th century, of this collecting mode the only criteria is the interest of the collector. From animal taxidermies, fossils, historical relics to oil paintings and sculptures, among them there are also legendary oddities – for example, the horn of a unicorn. The cabinets of curiosities have no clear taxonomy, nor any universal standards, they are a theatre of memory, or rather the collector’s imaginations of the world.

Geoffrey Sonnabend pointed out in his Obliscence: Theoties of Forgetting and the Problem of Matter that, memory is ‘the most elaborate of human constructions’, it helps to ease the pain we suffer when ‘buffering ourselves against the intolerable knowledge of the irreversible passage of time’. However, memory is nothing but illusion, oblivion is the end of experience. The collectors therefore use imaginations inspired by the cabinets of curiosities as a powerful instrument to resist oblivion.

The evolution from cabinets of curiosities to modern museums is a process of establishing intellectual authority. Individual memories have transformed into collective memories, while individual imaginations of the world have become imaginations of power agencies to “the other”. Imagination becomes no longer an instrument to resist oblivion, but instead an instrument to make up identities. Hence, we might free ourselves from the bound of museum’s imaginations and instead to imagine about the museum itself.

The Museum of Science Fetish is not a conception about institution, but a platform built to inspire human imagination. It produces a space to broaden imaginations while presenting exhibitions. It owns a relatively independent context, this independence means that it opens to various contexts including artistic, scientific, social, historical, psychological, etc.


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