Date : 24 Jan 2015
Time: 7 pm
The conception of “curating topography” (or “topographic curating”) I raised here can be briefly described by the graph of curating topography (see figure 1). The “origin” in the middle refers to the origin of “cognitive mapping”, which emphasizes the cognitive mapping proposed by Fredric Jameson. It tries to endow individual subjectivity by intensifying new sense of place in a global system, and creates new model of representation with complex represent dialectics, in order to enhance the self-positioning accuracy, prove the ability of understanding the world, and represent the imaginative relationship between oneself and the real situation . The “origin” is similar to the “standpoint” and “point of viewing” of traditional landscape painters, and is also the origin of curating topography”. Only by starting from this “origin” is the topographic curating able to show the representation of space with a sense of place, and to lay a real foundation for subject positioning.
Curating topography also starts from and aims at the place outside the “origin” and the concentric circle of “sense of place”. Cognitive mapping is related to self-positioning and understanding the world, and “place” is also “a way of seeing, knowing and understand the world”. “If we regard the world as a composition of different places, we can see different matters. If the ‘origin’ is the self-position of cognitive mapping, then ‘place’ is the positioning anchor of one’s identification and worldview. ” Just like what Harvey has said, “The preservation or construction of a sense of place is then an active moment in the passage from memory to hope, from past to future.” The place is regarded as the foundation of resistance of politics and an important force to fight capitalist commodity flow and monetization. It activates the environment and society by combining local characteristics and recovering collective memories. However, Harvey also emphasized the dangerousness of exclusive nationalism and local fascism in particular. If, the memory of place is closely related to local conceptions, and it’s difficult to share with outsiders, then insurmountable barriers, exclusive nationalism and localism will take shape.
The “sense of place” is like what Massey has said, “What we need, it seems to me, is a global sense of the local, a global sense of place.” No matter in Harvey’s “cosmopolitanism” or Massey’s “global sense”, the sense of place expressed by art language may surpass the limits of place and acquire more universality because the art language can be shared more easily. Besides, the imaginative “place” is greatly powerful, because it’s away from the present and the past, and aims at the future. Driven by the utopian thoughts and desire, it plays a more important role in politics. Then, what is more appropriate than art to describe the utopian imagination? In the art reality of the globalization, biennial exhibitions and art fairs, which are seen everywhere, are the mainstream art trends. They are not only the main functioning operational mechanism in global art that increasingly converge, but also an important link of transnational capitalism economy. Curating topography maybe a way out to break through the mechanism that confine the power of art and wear down the creativity of art.
In my theory of curating topography, the art that stems from the origin of cognitive mapping and the sense of place reappears some “landscapes” of place, which I name them as “being landscapes” and “becoming landscapes”. The “landscapes” of these two types interact as both cause and effect with the “sense of place”. However, “landscape” is different with “place”, the former, in general, combines physical landscape (object of being seen) and viewpoint (way of seeing). Most viewers are outside the landscape; on the contrary, they are in it as far as “place” is concerned . Both of “being landscapes” and “becoming landscapes” stem from and are shaped by the “origin” of cognitive mapping, in which viewers are exposed to both outside and inside of the landscape, and afford the cognitive mapping of place—“sense of place”. If there is a deeper connection between “being landscapes” and “imaginative” place, then “becoming landscapes” is more closely connected with the place in the real world. Eventually, “being landscapes” and “becoming landscapes” that stem from the “sense of place” will become new elements of it and jointly compose the huge collage of the place.
Sandy Lo Hsiu-chih lives in Hsin-chu, Taiwan, and works as an independent curator, art critic, film critic and filmmaker.
Her major curatorial projects include “Di Hwa Sewage Treatment Plant Art Installation: A New Cosmopolitan World”(co-curator, Taipei, 2004-2005), “Pop Pill” (“Shanghai Cool”, Taiwan Section, Doland Museum, Shanghai, 2005), “Border-crossing: the Shadow Dance of Cities”, (Taipei, Tainan, 2005), “Border-crossing, A Tale of Two Cities” (Taipei, Shanghai, 2005-2006), “ Exorcising Exoticism”(Taipei, 2006) ,“Poetic Borderline” (“Borderliner”, Taiwan Section, Festival of Contemporary Art Varna, Bulgaria, 2007). She is the co-curator of the related project of 9th Shanghai Biennale “Zhongshan Park Project”(Taiwan, China, 2012-2013). Her recent curatorial works are “A Revelation from Ponso no Tao”(Orchid Island, Taiwan, 2014) and “Taitung Ruin Academy”(Taitung, Taiwan, 2014).
在「原點」外圈和其成同心圓的「地方感」（sense of place），是策展地誌學的另一個起點，同時，也是目
獨立策展人， 獨立影片工作者, 淡江大学讲师