ISSUE 4 Curatorial Consciousness in the Times of Post-Nationalism
Curatorial Consciousness in the Times of Post-Nationalism

In the times of post-nationalism where different degrees of globalization and de-globalization have taken place, exhibition-making in biennials, museums, and art fairs reflects a curatorial consciousness that has always dealt with a nation’s historical past and cultural pride, or rather the unconscious as something repressed. Curating practices in the sense of a “cure” fabricate the politics of memory, i.e., what to remember, to forget and to resurrect, for the public to retrieve from the collective amnesia as a result of national traumas or bio-power control. Therefore the curatorial consciousness is to recognize what is excluded from the conventional national identity to include the otherness that has been ignored along its nation-building process, or even what is repressed under national traumas. Curatorial consciousness, being aware of the short-sighted vision of national cultures, can become a public therapy through making exhibitions in the post-nationality in which borders are constantly rendered unstable and reorganized in various geopolitical, ethnic-economical, or pandemic situations. 

Sophie Goltz’s “Curating Commemoration” indicates that the performative curating, a post-studio production mode of art, can well traverse from the collective trauma of the national past to the urgent plight of transnational immigrants. Taking the commemorative exhibition in Taiwan’s White Terror Memorial Park as the entry point, Goltz uses the curatorial project, “Conditions of Political Choreography” to demonstrate possible futurology between Germany and Israel since the 1990s through sets of performative interventions and exhibitions in activating what lurks in the trans-national history. Here, choreography is the curating poetic device to compose what is repressively invisible to the noticeable foreground, where multiple dialogues can be engaged. 

Jau-Lan Guo’s “Pathways and Challenges: Art History in the Context of Global Contemporary Art” investigated the knowledge production of today’s art history in relation to the current transnational exhibitions, where biennials, traveling museum shows, and art fairs are the popular norms. In Guo’s view, today’s art history has to reinvent itself from a story of the time in keeping art’s stylistic changes into a synchronic narrative of the here-and-now. The geographically expanded version of art histories, due to the long-term effect of colonialism and imperialism, cannot be overlooked without the cultural-political factors including the age-old issues with nationalism or the problematic definition of “Asia”. Today’s art history has to perform self-criticism from its own old enterprise within the parameter of statehood in becoming the knowledge of self-reflexivity.    

Manray Hsu’s curating practice in recent years has been concerning the indigeneity in the context of Taiwan’s nationality de facto. Drawing references from an anthropologic-historical archive, Hsu critiques several ideas such as the Austronesian and Zomia, which over-romanticized the indigenous cultures. The identity politics of the Taiwan natives cannot be regarded as culture essentialism, but rather as a para-logical construction along the development of Taiwan’s nation-state which can be traced back to the settler colonialism since the invasions of the Spanish, the Dutch, the Chinese, to the colonial subjugation of Japan and KMT, and finally to today’s 3-dimensional governmentality. Hsu’s curatorial practice is a critique of Han-centric political unconsciousness, which has always already repressed the native other, as a necessary conspiracy of post-nationalism for the prolonging ethnic apartheid.
Modern curating always goes hand in hand with nationalism, and the exhibition history of mega-museum such as the Louvre or the MOMA can sufficiently demonstrated the co-operation. However, curatorial consciousness is to cure the impaired situation in the times of post-nationalism, which can be well disguised as the camouflage of globalization, urbanization, and even technopoly. The self-definition of the curating subject is a reflexive attempt in understanding its guilty past and in promising a prominent future.
Manray Hsu is an independent curator and critic. His intellectual work focuses on cultural conditions of globalization, the relationship between aesthetics and politics, and geopolitical situations of contemporary art. Manray Hsu has curated exhibitions include Wayward Economy (2005, Taipei); Liverpool Biennial (2006, co-consulted/curated with Gerardo Mosquera); Naked Life (2006, Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art); Taipei Biennial (2000, co-curated with Jerome Sans; 2008 co-curated with Vasif Kortun, Taipei Fine Arts Museum); Forum Biennial of Taiwanese Contemporary Art (2010, TCAC); Autostrada Biennale (2017, Kosovo); The South – An Art of Asking and Listening (2017, Kaohsiung Museum Of Fine Arts). Manray Hsu often engages in collective work on workshop, conference and publication in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.
Issue 9 Curating Against Forgetting
Editorial / Transgressing Epistemic BoundariesZian Chen
Icon and Network: Solidarity’s Mediums and a Materialist InternationalismHo Rui An
Settlers and the Unhomely: The Cinematic Visions of Infrastructure in Eastern TaiwanZian Chen and Chi-Yu Wu
Memories of Underdevelopment: Revisiting Curatorial Methods and the Asian ContextWan-Yin Chen

Issue 8 Reformatting Documenta with lumbung Formula: documenta fifteen
Editorial / Reformatting documenta with lumbung Formula: documenta fifteenSandy Hsiu-chih Lo
Harvesting and a Single Story of LumbungPutra Hidayatullah
The Politics in the Ramayana / Ramakien in documenta fifteen: Decoding the Power of the Thai Ruling ClassJiandyin
Malaise of Commons: on the Quality of the Relationships in documenta fifteenHsiang-Pin Wu

Issue 7 The Heterogeneous South
Editorial / The Heterogeneous SouthHongjohn Lin
The South - An art of asking and listening Manray Hsu
Uncharted Territory: The Roots of Curatorial Practices in Eastern Indonesia Ayos Purwoaji
South Fever: The South as a Method in Taiwan Contemporary CuratingPei-Yi Lu

Issue 6 The Beginning of Curating
Editorial / The Beginning of CuratingSandy Hsiu-chih Lo
Are Curators Really Needed? Bùi Kim Đĩnh
The Documents 15 and the Concept of Lumbung ruangrupa
The Three Axes of Curating: Ethics, Politics, and AestheticsSandy Hsiu-chih Lo

Issue 5 Curatorial Episteme
Editorial / Curatorial EpistemeHongjohn Lin
Epistemic EncountersHenk Slager
The Curatorial ThingHongjohn Lin
Ethics of CuratingMeng-Shi Chen

Issue 4 Curatorial Consciousness in the Times of Post-Nationalism
Editorial / Curatorial Consciousness in the Times of Post-NationalismManray Hsu
When Kacalisian Culture Meets the Vertical City: Contemporary Art from Greater SandimenManray Hsu
Pathways and Challenges: Art History in the Context of Global Contemporary ArtJau-Lan Guo
Curating Commemoration: Conditions of Political Choreography, a Performance Exhibition in RetrospectSophie Goltz

Issue 3 Curating Performativity
Editorial / Curating PerformativityI-wen Chang
Choreographing Exhibitions: Performative Curatorgraphy in TaiwanI-wen Chang
Living and Working Together in the Now Normal: Visual Arts and Co. at Bangkok Art and Culture CentrePawit Mahasarinand
The Curatorial as A Praxis of DisobedienceMiya Yoshida

Issue 2 Curators' Living Rooms
Editorial / Curators' Living RoomsSandy Hsiu-chih Lo
Extended Living Room: Space and Conversationruangrupa(Ade Darmawan, Mirwan Andan)
Freeing the Weights of the HabitualRaqs Media Collective
Curating TopographySandy Hsiu-chih Lo

Issue 1 Curatography
Editorial / One Step Forward, Two Steps BackwardHongjohn Lin
What is Curatography?Hongjohn Lin
Les fleurs américainesYoann Gourmel, Elodie Royer
There are No Blank SlatesEileen Legaspi Ramirez
Issue 9 Curating Against Forgetting

Issue 8 Reformatting documenta with lumbung Formula: documenta fifteen

Issue 7 The Heterogeneous South

Issue 6 The Beginning of Curating

Issue 5 Curatorial Episteme

Issue 4 Curatorial Consciousness in the Times of Post-Nationalism

Issue 3 Curating Performativity

Issue 2 Curators' Living Rooms

Issue 1 Curatography