zhang dali: danish pavilion at venice art biennale 2011 zhang dali: danish pavilion at venice art biennale 2011
jun 16, 2011

zhang dali: danish pavilion at venice art biennale 2011

‘a second history (2003-2010)’ by zhang dali at venice art biennale 2011 image courtesy of zhang dali

for the venice art biennale 2011, the danish pavilion hosts an exhibition on free speech titled ‘speech matters.’ rather than featuring only danish artists, the curator katerina gregos has selected works by 18 artists from 12 countries, including ‘a second history (2003-2010)’ by chinese artist zhang dali. comparing unaltered originals of chinese imagery with the versions doctored for historical records, this photography project examines archives and their impact on the creation of memory.

though ‘speech matters’ displays 22 of zhang’s analyses, ‘a second history’ is a much larger series, totaling to 130 works. zhang began the project in 2003, traveling across china to research in publishing house archives not easily accessible to the public. all the images and texts were carefully studied for variations from the original photographic negatives. the discovery of prevalent and systematic image editing provides insight into the contemporary social history of a country in the throes of radical change.

installation view of ‘a second history, 2003-2010)’ image by panos kokkinias courtesy of the danish pavilion

side-by-side comparisons demonstrate the added sheen of prosperity image © designboom

public figures, such as the man smiling in the middle, are airbrushed out of history image © designboom

published images emphasize the country’s drive towards modern and commercial progress image © designboom

photographs of dutiful military servants are selected for publication to boost patriotism image © designboom

artist zhang dali portrait © designboom

commissioned by christine buhl andersen, this exhibition is located at the giardini venue. the 54th international art exhibition in venice, italy, runs until november 27, 2011.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    (37 articles)

    art news