CIDRAL Key Ideas Seminar: ‘Waste, Precarity and the Artwork in China’ led by Margaret Hillenbrand
|Dates:||20 February 2019|
|Times:||13:00 - 15:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||University staff, External researchers, Adults, Current University students|
This event is part of CIDRAL's Spring 2019 programme, 'Work, Leisure, Culture'.
Margaret Hillenbrand (Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Wadham College, University of Oxford) will lead a key ideas seminar on 'Waste, Precarity and the Artwork in China'
In recent years, waste has become a dominant signature in Chinese art and documentary film. Many leading artists now work profusely with refuse – building site debris, landfill, and e-waste – scavenging for material that can be reclaimed, and redeemed, through art. In this seminar, we explore the relationship between art, waste and precarious experience, focusing in particular on how the identity of the waste-picker is represented, and sometimes appropriated, in Chinese visual culture. How do waste and precarity intersect? What is the impact of living and working on the dump on the people who carry out this labour? Is it problematic for artists to assume the role of ragpicker in works that tend to circulate among privileged audiences? How can artists and filmmakers most appropriately explore lives far more precarious than their own?
Film to watch:
Plastic China, dir. Wang Jiuliang, 2016.
Patricia Yaeger. 2008. “Editor’s Column: The Death of Nature and the Apotheosis of Trash; or, Rubbish Ecology.” PMLA 123(2): 321-339.
Travel and Contact Information
Samuel Alexander Building