In its 5th edition, the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art
explores concepts of Immortality. The biennial team has provided the interpretations and some of them are:
human immortality as the natural turning point of technological progress
the immortality of the social orders, produced by the entrenched power structures
the possibility of stopping the universal clock and the re-evaluation of the temporal experience associated with the increasingly synchronized global condition
the investigation of the deep-time concept and the relations between man and the geologic earth, the history and the material reality
the notion of post-human, its possible ethos, and corporeality
the alchemic quest for reestablishing cosmic relationships
Unified by this conceptual framework, the biennial provides various narratives through:
the Main Project
the Artist-in-residence program
the Intellectual platform
the Art mediation program
the Parallel program
and the Special projects in the industrial cities of the region
The selection committee has appointed Xiaoyu Weng as the curator of the Main Project.
Main Project and venue
Curated by Xiaoyu Weng, the exhibition departs from a series of enquires such as how to rediscover different traditions of technological consciousness? What does the anticipation of the homo deus say about humanity? What are the systematic paradoxes between universalism and universalization? Is it still possible to imagine different forms of utopia? The exhibition considers a constellation of aesthetic, historical, political, and philosophical propositions that not only shape but also destabilize our understanding of immortality. In particular, the Main Project engages critical reflections on the cultural metaphors of immortality and our imaginations of the future. Perhaps a more crucial question shall be raised: how can we overcome, not death, but immortality?
The Main Project will take place at the Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant in Ekaterinburg. The title, theses and artist selection will be published at a later date.
Xiaoyu Weng is an Associate Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. In 2015, she was appointed to spearhead The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. At the Guggenheim, she has curated the exhibitions Tales of Our Time (201617) and One Hand Clapping (2018). Previously, Weng served as the founding director of the Kadist Art Foundations Asia Programs (Paris and San Francisco) and as a curator at the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts (San Francisco). She has also curated exhibitions and projects at Galleria dArte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo (Bergamo), Guangdong Times Museum (Guangzhou), Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), among many others.
Born in Shanghai, Xiaoyu Weng holds a BA in Art History from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and a MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Weng is the recipient of the 2017 Visionary Awards, which are presented by Art in General, New York, to highlight work that champions the transformative power of art and that nurtures and supports diverse artistic talents. She was also the winner of the eighth edition of Premio Lorenzo Bonald per LArte Enterprize for international curators in 2015.