The Byazantine Heart:from Rublev to Spomenik

2022.09.25 Sunday 16:00


No.62 West Fuxing Road, Shanghai

Guest Speaker: Avita Guo, Zhangbolong Liu

Moderator:Clement Huang



Are images and artistic creations supposed to exist? When we come to this fundamental question about art, the Iconoclasm, which occurred several times in the Byzantine Empire, may provide the most extreme model for study. The making of religious icons has a very long tradition in Eastern Europe, but these images have often been repeatedly crushed and annihilated, even accompanied by the brutalization of people considered pagan. Today we can see deep traces of power struggles in the historical architecture of Eastern Europe, not only in church frescoes and icons, but also in the monuments of the communist era.

Eastern European art is one of the sources of inspiration for the artworks by Avita Guo and Zhangbolong Liu. By exploring their past memories and internet research of these sites, rich in historical vicissitudes, we will embark on a reverie-filled journey in this conversation on the opening day.

About the Guest Speakers

Zhangbolong Liu (b. 1989), artist and translator, focuses on interdisciplinary practices related to the production of scientific knowledge and the production of urban space.

His photographic works have been exhibited in Taikang Space, He Xiangning Art Museum, Inside-Out Art museum, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, among other institutions. 

Avita Guo (b. 198x) was born in Golmud, Qinghai. Grew up in Qinghai, Shandong, Russia and London. She received her BA degree in Ilya Repin State Academia of Fine Arts, oil painting. In 2012 she was offered scholarship for MA Fine Art degree in University Arts of London, she graduated from Central Saint Martins college of arts and design in 2015. In 2017 she paused her Mphi/PhD of Material and Visual culture of anthropology in University College of London. She was one of the chef-editors in feminism magazine HYSTERIA from 2014 to 2016, meanwhile she established the performance research group ‘White Torture’ with performance artist Bjork Grue Lidin and active often in east London underground art scene. Since 2017, she had experimental personal projects mainly in Beijing. 

Her current works pay attention on the collapse in between personal inner land and realistic political society, the changes of the political filed and personal position in the modernity at large, the changes of the poetic moments in between inner mind and outer cracks. From 2019 she started to re-paint again and trying to explore the relationship between painting and her formal video installation experiments .

Her recent exhibition include: Book of the Current, Mocube, Beijing; Diagonal, Magican Space, Beijing; An impulse to turn, Inside-Out Art museum, Beijing; Narrative of the Past, Xining Contemporary, Xining, etc. 

About the Curator

Clement Huang is an aesthete and anarchist based in Beijing, China, who writes, translates, and researches arts and culture, often with philological, iconographic, or psychoanalytic perusal. He is currently curator and researcher at Macalline Art Center.

About the The Cloister Project

The Cloister Project is Macalline Art Center’s special project space in Shanghai. The Cloister Project is situated on the fringes of Shanghai’s urban culture, embracing artistic intuition and novel creativity. The Cloister Project is the successor of the cultural salon, a place of ongoing encounters. The invited artists, curators, writers, and researchers are constantly shifting between the roles of host and guest, exploring the heterogeneity and spirituality of an artistic community today based on the common value of mutual respect.

The Macalline Center of Art (MACA) is a non-profit art institution located in the 798 Art District of Beijing and officially inaugurated its space on January 15, 2022. Occupying a two-story building with a total area of 900 square meters, MACA unites artists, curators, and other art and cultural practitioners from around the world. Through its diverse, ongoing, and collaborative approaches, the Center establishes a new site on the contemporary art scene. Guided by the “work of artists” and backed by interdisciplinary research, the Center aims to bring together a community passionate about art and devoted to the “contemporary” moment so as to respond proactively to our rapidly evolving times.