Today's Yesterday - The 1st Anren Biennale
Anren, Chengdu, China
28. October 2017 - 28. February 2018


curator: Marco Scotini

Seen the rich history of the region, as well as its future development planning, the topic of this edition will explore how to establish a dialogue between history, the present and possible future. Anren Biennale aims to create a meeting point in West-South China in the field of visual arts between artists of diverse cultures and generations, creating an international professional network for the exchange of ideas. The Biennale wants to enhance a sustainable cultural landscape, hoping to leave a long lasting impact on Anren.

Under the general title Today’s Yesterday, with the artistic direction of art historian Lu Peng, the Anren Biennale brings together four different exhibition projects by Chinese and international curators. Today’s Yesterday aims to be a strongly reflective topic about the question of What present actually means? What is the Art of Today? The biennale wants to inquire, how the art of the contingent present may be historicized, how it becomes a geopolitical legacy, questioning the historical narrative of international art.

Working at the cultural crossroads between East and West, the artistic director of the FM Centre for Contemporary Art, Marco Scotini, will curate an interdisciplinary segment “The Szechwan Tale: Theater and History” which investigates the boundaries between fictional theater and real history. The show will use the imagined background of Szechwan (or Sichuan) as portrayed by the German playwright Bertolt Brecht in his play The Good Person of Szechwan (1940) as a departure point. It will also reexamine Rent Collection Courtyard (1964)—a powerful life-sized socialist realist sculpture originally based in Anren, which stood as a testament to the Cultural revolution, and was once hailed as an “artistic atom bomb” when replicas appeared in different Chinese cities as well as overseas—to raise questions on the legitimacy and continuance of art and its connection to the past, present and future.

The Szechwan Tale: Theatre and History curated by Marco Scotini

Artists: Cornelius Cardew, Céline Condorelli, Chto Delat/What is to be done?, Stano Filko, Peter Friedl, Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, Piero Gilardi, Dan Graham, Joris Ivens, Joan Jonas, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, William Kentridge, Julius Koller, Mao Tongqiang, Rithy Panh, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Lisl Ponger, Qiu Zhijie, Pedro Reyes, Santiago Sierra, Sun Xun, Wael Shawky, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Marko Tadić, Ulla Von Brandenburg, Clemens Von Wedemeyer and Maya Schweizer, Wei Minglun, Yang Yuanyuan, Mei Lanfang and the Russian Proletarian Theatre (research curator Andris Brinkmanis),

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