An Opera for Animals 百物曲
2019年 6月 22日 – 2019年 8月 25日
Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai and Para Site, Hong Kong are pleased to announce the opening of An Opera for Animals on June 22, 2019 at Rockbund Art Museum Shanghai. The exhibition runs through to 25 August 2019 and features 53 artists who challenge existing boundaries between art and other disciplines, including artisans, healers, teachers, researchers, filmmakers, choreographers, activists and poets.
An Opera for Animals takes the history of different versions of opera as a departure point to explore both contemporary and traditional uses of performance, fantasy, and group spectacles in relationship to the environments that they inhabit. Intimately connected to the making of myths, the fabrication of events, orchestration, and invention of new technologies, opera emerged seeking to synthesize different aesthetic forms into a unified experience audiences could immerse themselves within. Like the complex history of the museum or exhibition, it has gradually developed into another collective kind of ritual. At the height of its development in the West, opera increasingly became conjoined to the vision and forceful influence of colonization, and we re-contemplate the medium as a compromised interface that precipitated struggles with indigenous worlds and other knowledge systems.
Despite the fact that colonization has seemingly ended in many parts of the world, the struggle to preserve indigenous forms of heterogeneity still lives itself out into the contemporary age today. This other world outside of what is considered ‘high culture’ has always been a source of fear and intrigue for opera, it has long been an inseparable reservoir of imagination for the medium to replenish itself in spite of its outward ambition to reach and supplant it. Beyond the specter of phantoms in opera, animals and cultural narratives around animals reemerge in the exhibition as extensions to infiltrate and expand the specificity of opera as an institutionalized setting to consider the pattern of the relationship between our modernity and the natural world. Our interest lies in how the medium inadvertently mutated into an expanded stage for other more unpredictable transitions between notions of animality and our humanity. The exhibition at the Rockbund Art Museum will unfold throughout the different levels to offer a different operatic environment to explore these interrelated themes.
The exhibition is part of a long-term collaboration between the two institutions and the institutional exchange will see another exhibition at Para Site, Hong Kong in September 2020.
Rockbund Art Museum and Para Site are leading contemporary art institutions in Asia. Para Site plays a central role in nurturing artistic talent whilst also fostering cross-cultural dialogue and critical understanding of local and international issues in art and society. Sharing this vision, Rockbund Art Museum aims to bridge the local art ecology in Shanghai with Asia and the wider international community. The collaboration between Rockbund Art Museum and Para Site explores connections between performativity and research, considering both historical and contemporary practices, to further the remit of each organization.
本次展览是上海外滩美术馆与香港Para Site艺术空间之间长期合作项目的一部分，由两个机构共同策划和举办的下一档展览将于2020年9月在香港Para Site艺术空间开幕。
上海外滩美术馆与香港Para Site艺术空间均是亚洲领先的艺术机构。香港Para Site艺术空间的成立旨在培养艺术人才和推动跨文化交流，其对于亚洲以至全球化社会议题的探讨，具有深入并广泛的研究。同样地，上海外滩美术馆一直以来致力于策划大胆创新的项目，以多样的展览及公众活动不断促进本土文化与国际间的交流与对话。此次机构合作探索剧场表演与研究间的联系，关注从历史至当代的不同艺术形式与实践，在一个语境化和再语境化的过程中，突破机构既有的局限。