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Presented By: Museum Studies Program

“Proregress”: the allure of a word

Looking back at the 12th Shanghai Biennale (2018-2019) with Cuauhtémoc Medina

Poster Poster
This lecture will discuss the curatorial strategies of the 12th Shanghai Biennale, inspired by a neologism invented by E. E. Cummigs in the 1930s: “Proregress”. Among other issues, the presentation will discuss the strategies by which the curatorial team of the exhibition addressed the contemporary situation of the world based on the ambivalence of contemporary ideologies, also considering the task of circumventing the intellectual and artistic controls of contemporary China.

Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico City, 1965)
Chief Curator, MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City.
Art critic, curator and historian, holds a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Art from the University of Essex in Britain. Since 1993 he has been a full time researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and between 2002 and 2008 was the first Associate Curator of Art Latin American Collections at the Tate Modern. He is currently Chief Curator at the MUAC Museum in Mexico city where he has curated exhibitions by artists such as Andrea Fraser, Carlos Amorales, Harun Farocki, Jill Magid, Jeremy Deller, Vicente Rojo, Jan Hendrix, Ai Weiwei y el Raqs Media Collective, among many others.

In 2012, Medina was Head Curator of the Manifesta 9 Biennial in Genk, Belgium, titled The Deep of the Modern, in association with Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades. In 2018 he was chief curator of the 12th Shanghai Biennial titled. Proregress. Art in the age of historical ambivalence at the Power Station of Art.

In 2012 he became the sixth recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement of the Menil Foundation. Among many publications he has recently published a collection of his essays on Mexican art titled: Abuso Mutuo (Mutual Abuse), RM and Cubo Blanco, 2017 and the book Olinka: El sueño del Dr. Atl published by the Colegio Nacional in 2019.

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