The catalogue of the Second Yinchuan Biennale articulates itself through
the themes of the desert, nomadism, and ecology. Taking the
form of an illustrated atlas, the publication documents works by more than
90 participating artists.
Conceived with the aim of measuring itself against a specific
geo-historic context, the Second Yinchuan Biennale—curated by Marco Scotini
with curatorial team Andris Brinkmani, Paolo Caffoni, Zasha Colah and Lu
Xinghua, and held from June 9 to September 19, 2018—intended to respond to
contemporary urgencies (not only in China) by adopting an “archaeological
method.” Northwest China is still considered a remote corner, but one which,
owing to the historic Silk Road, has been defined through time as a place of
great flows, hybridizations and exchange of people, knowledge, languages,
technologies, religions, animals, spices and goods. The biennale goal was to
read the modalities of “group-being” at the crossroad of heterogeneous
components, as indispensable to a new ecology that intends to emancipate all
forms of life. The catalogue symbolically takes the form of an illustrated
atlas, comprising different systems of cartography and multiple geographies.
If curator Marco Scotini chose the desert as the starting point for the
biennale's exhibition theme and as the site for experimenting with a
“nomadic science,” this publication had the difficult task of searching for
what a cartography of the desert could be. It is in responding to this
challenge (or rather, positively embrace its impossibility) that we
understand how the desert can only ideologically be considered an empty
space, one without human trace. As Marco Scotini states: “It is always said
that the desert only has a geography but not a history. Perhaps because the
desert wipes out traces and does not maintain signs of orientation or
direction. However, the task of this Biennale is to unearth historical
memories and uncover potential reserves with a view to optimizing
Published following the Second Yinchuan Biennale,
“Starting from the Desert. Ecologies on the Edge”, at Museum of Contemporary
Art Yinchuan, from June 9 to September 19, 2018.
Edited by Paolo Caffoni.
Texts by Michel Blancsubé, Andris Brinkmanis, Paolo Caffoni,
Luca Cerizza, Zasha Colah, Michelangelo Corsaro, Deserts, Silvia Federici,
Li Feng-La, Joshua Gong, Zhang Longxi, Anna Lovecchio, Hu Yi, Mia Yu, Huang
Renyu, Ho Rui An, Lu Peng, Lu Xinghua, Carol Yinghua Lu, Lyno Vuth, Juan
Pablo Macías, Simone Menegoi, Gabriele Sassone, Marco Scotini, Yin Shuai,
Elvira Vannini, Ilaria Zanella.