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Curating Contemporary Art (MA)

Anqi Zhang

Anqi Zhang (she/her) uses curating and painting as the primary medium to explore the relationship between individual bodies, spatial power, visual representations and labelized discourses. She is interested in how queer bodies and pop culture intersected with race and authority to be represented, narrated, and transformed in the shifting cultural contexts she is encountering.

Anqi Zhang (she/her)

Anqi Zhang's practice positions the body as a collection of influences from cultural, historical, social, the other, and political aspects, and uses bodily sensations as a gateway to rethink these aspects. Her curatorial research refers to curating the body to share the liveness that transcends the boundaries of language and enables transnational exchange. She chooses the queer body as an object of study in response to the policy as a geographical boundary to determine the visibility.

She explores how the queer body as performer or spectator is shaped in different spacial contexts, by investigating the institutional power, visual representations, descriptive discourses, or historical control behind the perception. She uses a comparison between ‘queer clubs' and 'art institutions' from the screening mechanism, security policies, social functions, and archiving approaches as an entry point, to uncover the potential intersected spatial functions and to evaluate how these elements construct the space and thus bring (new) physical sensations to the bodies of the people in it. In doing so, she also focuses on how the queer body expands its self-definition to develop innovative viewing relationships and self-archiving through performances, around the intersections of identity, bodily experience, and spaces, that challenge institutional authority and question the 'revision' of heteronormative-based approaches to history.

Her writing research is placed in the context of the constant daily production and circulation of images, videos, and texts in the digital age, pointing towards how queer bodies and pop culture intertwined with race and authoritative powers, represented, narrated, and transformed on different platforms in the shifting cultural contexts she encounters.

By rethinking and questioning the context behind the spatial sensations, discourses, and images, she hopes to create a cross-border imagination that has more inclusivity, and less intuitive classification, for individuals in the queer community and beyond.

O.T.O (One Time Only), is a club night where music videos and moving image meet, taking place at FOLD on 11 May, 7pm-1am, curated by students on the MA Curating Contemporary Art Programme supported by Futur.Shock and Lux. More information about that night:

Responding to the life and work of Ian White, O.T.O is an event using the space of the nightclub to activate the intersections between music videos and moving images to reflect the liveness and shared bodily experience while the individual watching music videos experience encounters the collective art sensations. The night will highlight the often-overlooked format and draw out how music videos have played a role in forming personal identities, imagining alternative worlds and being a source of pleasure.  

The night featured include new collaborative works by artists and DJs including:

Anna Clegg & Tarzan KingoftheJungle,

Ahaad Alamoudi & HabibTati, 

Adam Farah-Saad & Hellikisto 

As part of O.T.O, the curators were inspired by Ian White’s writing practice, with his essays and blogs providing a model where personal experience and critical writing around moving image can be merged. Given that part of the impetus behind O.T.O was redressing the underdiscussion of critical writing about music videos, this zine is an attempt to apply White’s approach to writing about the medium. Intended to be read as a complement to the live event, these texts by the curators address their relationships to music videos and through these relationships, the medium’s connection to the wider world. This publication is intedend to take the form of a seris of rushes, meaning both the raw, unedited tapes produced after a day of shooting on set, and the heightened, pleasurable sensation felt in, for example, a club. Ranging in form from interviews, screenplays to playlists and letters and tackling topics including globalisation, gender and Carly Rae Jepsen, these texts are available to read below this introductory piece by Lewis G Burton. 

My writing topics relate to the transnational and cross-cultural definition of gender, the power reversal under the ambiguous homosexual discourse of fan manipulation, and the possibility of gender fluidity, from the male idol image in the East Asian pop culture.

Reading from here: 



Club night