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The 14th Shanghai Biennale, Cosmos Cinema

International biennale including the work of Deimantas Narkevičius
Power Station of Art, Shanghai
November 9, 2023 - March 31, 2024

The curators and the organizing committee of the 14th Shanghai Biennale, Cosmos Cinema, are pleased to announce the participating artists including the work of Deimantas Narkevičius. This year’s edition considers how the terms of our relationship with the cosmos condition life on earth. Cosmos Cinema will include works by more than 80 artists working in China and around the world, dating from the early twentieth century to the present.

We have always looked to the night sky to make sense of ourselves, as we might look to a screen onto which the past and the future is projected. Titled “Cosmos Cinema,” the 14th Shanghai Biennale will offer visitors a spacetime in which to reflect on the operations of the universe and our place within it. The Greek word from which “cosmos” derives connotes not only the universe but also beauty and harmony; the Chinese term yuzhou (宇宙), connotes infinite time and space, resonating strongly with the cinematic.

The cosmos shapes every aspect of our lives, whether wittingly—the interpretation of stars and planets, after all, gave rise to our origin stories, religions, systems of time, economies, means of navigation, agricultures, sciences, and social orders—or unwittingly, in the movement of the tides or the effects of solar flares. “Cosmos Cinema” considers how the terms of our relationship with the cosmos condition all life on earth. The principles on which cinema is built—light, shadow, and encounters with images over time—are inherent to the human experience of the cosmos. Indeed, Alexander Kluge suggests that the universe is the original cinema, in which all past events are stored as visible “tracks of light.” André Bazin states that cinema “has not yet been invented,” and so contains boundless potential. Combining these two perspectives—one looking to the past, the other to the future—“Cosmos Cinema” posits that cinema is not only a medium for storytelling but a cosmic phenomenon, with the potential to change our understanding of the universe and our place within it.

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