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Staging Art and ChinesenessThe Politics of Trans/Nationalism and Global Expositions$
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Jane Chin Davidson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526139788

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526139795

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

The archive of Chineseness: the global exposition and the museum

The archive of Chineseness: the global exposition and the museum

(p.155) 5 The archive of Chineseness: the global exposition and the museum
Staging Art and Chineseness

Jane Chin Davidson

Manchester University Press

One of the reasons why global expositions, biennials, and artfairs appear as ‘new’ global institutions is due in part to the museumifying permanence of objects reflecting the manufacture of the art / science divide. Throughout the twentieth century, it was the museum, not the biennial artfair, that inscribed the artwork and the artefact according to the categories of the modern and the primitive, the west and the non-west. The historical objects collected by museums in Europe and the United States have come to represent the colonialist past, and its archival methodology is defined by the temporary collections of some of the same cultures represented in global artfairs worldwide. Ultimately, this chapter’s contextualization of the discursive domain of museums, global expositions, and their representation of Chinese states is conceived as a study of the ‘performative archive.’ In the analysis of the first artists representing China, Taiwan and Hong Kong in official pavilions at the Venice Biennale between 1993 and 2005, the individual case studies offer an understanding of how cultural and national identities are performed and produced in the expositions’ metaphorical spaces.

Keywords:   art archives, performing archives, world art, Documenta, Venice Biennale, Chinese diaspora art, anthropology museums

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