Wang Hongzhe: Elemental Spirits — Marie Curie and the Turn-of-the-Century Parapsychological Mediums

2024.01.20 Saturday 14:00


706 N. 1st St.798 Art Zone, 2 Jiuxianqiao Rd., Chaoyang, Beijing

Speaker: Wang Hongzhe

The discovery of the elements and the fading of magic, as a common narrative of modernity, is currently under scrutiny. Increasingly, historical studies reveal that at the pivotal moment of transition from the fin de siècle to modernity, science did not necessarily render nature lifeless. Empirical examinations of "elements" and "vitality" interweave, collectively shaping the landscape of the European scientific and philosophical network. Using the research on Marie Curie's interactions with female mediums (spiritualists) as a case study, this presentation will discuss the fictitious nature of the narrative of the "desacralized material world" and the necessity of restoring a cross-binary relational ontology. This is in response to the recent emergence of "agential realism" or "enchanted materialism."


About the Speaker: Wang Hongzhe

Wang Hongzhe, born in Anshan, Liaoning, is a media historian and a faculty member at Peking University. He is also the initiator of the research groups "Beijing Media Group" and "Cahiers du Jeu", as well as the co-founder of "Assembly".

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.