Macalline Art Center presents Multispecies Clouds, the first chapter of a three-part research-based curatorial project, “Who Owns Nature?” from December 27, 2022 to April 16, 2023.
The exhibition aims to give a metaphor for new interspecies relationships that, on the one hand, point to the networked nature of diverse life forms and, on the other, include a global system of exchange in which Anthropocene species move about through information, material, and energy. The boundaries of species blur within the “clouds,” obliterating the boundary between the center and the periphery; as a result, their “identities” constantly intermingle, remodel, and morph, and this interweaving process progressively grows into a sprawling and wide open universe.
Despite the fact that humans frequently intervene on the boundary, these creative agents have their own way of responding—like “the multitude,” they continue to engage, co-evolve with, align with, and confront us, sometimes personally, sometimes distantly. “Our futures lie at the junctures where forms of the human, animal, and microbe meet and where each sustains—and clouds—the limits and possibilities of the other,” writes anthropologist Celia Lowe. Each species carries its own cosmology model that extends beyond the bounds of the senses, perceptions, and bodies, blending organic and inorganic narratives and eventually arriving at the metaphorical world of animism.
Multispecies Clouds artists work as integrals of multispecies ethnographers and shamans who re-create these cosmological models through encounters with plants, animals, viruses, bacteria, and fungi and translate them into visuals, poetry, and politics. In Multispecies Clouds, ecstasy and delusion represent the vibrancy of existence, meaning that we hear the call of a Multiverse and answer with emotion and imagination. The sophisticated and dense “sympoietics” brews here, which no longer focuses aesthetic attention only on what is usually considered “glamorous,” but instead discovers, through visible and perceptible forms, those forms of life that are forgotten or obscured, or “translates” the stories between species, as tribal shamans once did—conjuring the energy of art here.
Multispecies Clouds is curated by Yang Beichen, director of Macalline Art Center, and presented by Huang Wenlong and the Exhibition and Research Department.
Special public program: Meshwork
“Meshwork” is a special public program throughout the course of Multispecies Clouds, consisting of forums, lectures, conversations, podcasts, screenings and book clubs. “The metaphor of “meshwork” refers to how individuals and knowledges are entanglements; they emerge through encounters with others—as “lines of becoming,” they are not pre-existent, self-contained and separate entities.”(Tim Ingold) As Ingold points out, this notion describes how we build connections through encounters and contacts, and thus form the intersecting courses of action in personal, intellectual, and interdisciplinary research activities. Like Multispecies Clouds, “Meshwork” as a metaphor is also a way of “storytelling,” a way of unfolding the emergent, the fluid, the contingent, the historical, and the narrative “lines of becoming”. We will invite practitioners from various fields to participate in this “entanglement” and to work together to create new indeterminate networks.
About Macalline Art Center
The physical space of Macalline Art Center in Beijing’s 798 Art District will open to the public on January 15, 2022. The Red Star Macalline Holding Group Co., Ltd. supports the Macalline Art Center, a non-profit art institution created by philanthropist Che Xuanqiao. Macalline Art Center, housed in a 900-square-meter, two-story facility, will bring together artists, curators, and cultural professionals from across the world working in a variety of media. The Center will create a practice-oriented location centered on modern visual inventions and will serve as a new cultural coordinate on the map of contemporary art.
Participating artists: Carolina Caycedo & David de Rozas, Sergio Rojas Chaves, Sheryl Cheung, Rometti Costales, Patricia Domínguez, Jes Fan, Fei Yining, Liu Chuang, Long Pan, Uriel Orlow, Rice Brewing Sisters Club, Pamela Rosenkranz, Yi Xin Tong, Wu Chi-Yu, Trevor Yeung, Zhang Wenzhi, Zheng Mahler
Curator: Yang Beichen