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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Adelaide Biennial

Carmen Ansaldo EyeContact 3 May 2016
Exhibition view 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object featuring works by Hiromi Tango, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Photo: Saul Steed.

Magic Object - the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art - aims to reconceptualise the practices of 25 contemporary Australian artists as varying forms of esoteric craft, repositioning each artist within the role of a magician. Magic Object has expressed this repositioning through the Renaissance display method of the Wunderkammer or ‘cabinet of curiosities’, a system originally devised to exhibit the imperialist artefact collections of English, German and Dutch royalty some five hundred years ago. 

The objects displayed within these cabinets were regarded by their imperialist ‘collectors’ as magic in the most vulgar sense of the word, as the objects on display were often pillaged from their Indigenous owners and ripped from their original contexts, meanings and usages.

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