Shanghai Biennale

By Stephanie Hemelryk Donald

Visited the Biennale exhibit in the MCA in People's Park. The MCA always looks as though it hasn't quite left either the 70s or the 40s, a bit dusty round the edges. This does not distract from the exhibits, but they do attract a sense of dustiness. Liu Xiaodong's two paintings of teenagers at lake tai were particularly moving and suited the hall. The teenagers were doing defiant and naive as they are wont to do.  The big draw was Zhang Huan's 'Semele'. A reconstruction of a house that he has already reconstructed in his enormous studio at Songjiang, and then staged an opera in it. This is re-re-constructed in the gallery and parts of the opera are screened. Themes  across the show: reconstruction and deconstruction of homes and cities. leaving Lake Tai, women's faces projected onto destroyed siheyuan, a-home-become-opera-set and then made into a facsimile of an opera set in the gallery. All these things - remind me of the dust.

Stephanie Donald

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