Long March Project is an ongoing curatorial and institutional practice initiated in 1999, and begun in 2002. Its multifaceted practices including collective walks, discussions, writing group, and visual displays among others. By introducing China’s revolutionary “Long March” (1934–35) as the guiding metaphor, it potentiates the discursive lines of enquiry into a range of different Long March Projects in China and abroad. In it, the ‘Long Marchers’ practice across various geographies, discussing ideas of revolutionary memory in the present-days context, and collaborating with participants from around the world to reinterpret historical consciousness and develop new ways of perceiving political, social, economical, and cultural realities. The authorship of Long March Project aims to provocatively rewrite the presumed discursive framework of contemporary art.
The ongoing journey of the Long March Project can be conceived as:
1. a process of movement through space, time, or thought without a fixed beginning or end, involving multiple transformations
2. a methodology which stresses adaptation to local and temporal circumstances, focused on artistic, social and educative activities that are designed to interrogate contemporary visual economies
3. an artistic intervention, operating on a national and international platform, in collaboration with artists and an increasing range of public, private and independent arts organizations and individuals.
Selected projects and exhibitions
2015–ongoing, Sheng Project
2010–2011, Long March Education––Rhizome Forum
2008–2010, Long March Project––Ho Chi Minh Trail
2007, Long March Project––Korea 2018
2006–2009, The Yanchuan Primary School Paper Cutting Art Education Curriculum
2006–2007 Long March Project––Why Go to Tibet
2006–2008, Long March Project––Yang Shaobin: X-Blind Spot
2004–2006, Long March Project––Yang Shaobin: 800 Meters Under
2005–2007, Long March Project––Chinatown
2004, Long March Project––The Great Survey of Paper-Cuttings in Yanchuan Country
2002, Long March––A Walking Visual Display
2010, 7th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China
2008, 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China
2008, Art and China’s Revolution, Asia Society, New York, USA
2008, 16th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
2007, 3rd Auckland Triennial, Auckland, New Zealand
2007, Performa 07, New York, USA
2007, 8th Dutch Electronic Art Festival, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2006, 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial, Brisbane, Australia
2006, 27th Sao Paulo Biennale, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2005, 2nd Yokohama Triennial, Yokohama, Japan
2004, 4th Taipei Biennial, Taipei, Taiwan
2004, 5th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China
2004, The Monk and the Demon, Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France
The Long March Glossary
Long March: 1) a process of movement through space, time, or thought without a fixed beginning or end, particularly one that involves excessive hardship or multiple transformations; 2) short form of Long March––A Walking Visual Display, a series of activities designed to interrogate Chinese visual culture and revolutionary memory, circa 2002; 3) an historic event in which Mao Zedong led a flailing Red Army over six thousand miles from their base in Ruijin, Jiangxi province to Yan’an, Shaanxi province, simultaneously suffering tremendous casualties and developing the ideological and organizational structures which would come to serve as the basis of the People’s Republic of China.
Long Marcher: 1) one who partakes of a Long March involving him/herself alone or in cooperation with others. 2) a member of the artistic, curatorial, or documentary teams of Long March––A Walking Visual Display.
Long March Methodology: A curatorial and organizational praxis that: a) stresses adaptation to local and temporal circumstances; b) continues to seek the implementation of its aims particularly in the face of seemingly insurmountable setbacks; c) sees no boundary between work and leisure or theory and reality; d) seeks a dialogue with history through space, believing that space has memory.
Long Marchist: A particularly tenacious adherent to the Long March Methodology, either in the course of Long March––A Walking Visual Display or elsewhere.
Long March Discourse: Linguistically articulated dialogue, debate, or ideas arising during, as a result of, or in relation to Long March––A Walking Visual Display. Examples include: the proceedings of the Long March curatorial symposium in Zunyi (August 8-10, 2002); an article published in a Chinese newspaper about a Long March Event in Kunming; a lunchtime conversation among residents of Maotai about the Long March Event in which they were participating; an idea that occurs to an artist, or viewer as a result of their participation in or knowledge of The Long March.
Long March Object: Material objects created during or incorporated into Long March––A Walking Visual Display. (Key to this concept is the non-distinction between “artworks” created by “artists” selected for formal participation and objects which enter the collective consciousness of The Long March by happenstance.)
Long March Remains: Objects, ideas, or images left along the route of Long March––A Walking Visual Display. Examples include an installation work by Feng Qianyu left as a bridge across a river in Guangxi province, the countless Long March postcards, stickers and T-shirts distributed to people encountered on the march, and images left in the collective memories of communities in which Long March Events occurred.
Long March Event: A happening along the route of Long March––A Walking Visual Display, either premeditated or spontaneous. Completed temporally, the event continues indefinitely to condition the memory as well as the progress The Long March.
Long March Installation: Different from a typical artistic installation in that its creator is a scholar, critic, or curator as opposed to an artist in the traditional sense, it seeks directly to address issues or themes that have arisen during The Long March in visual form. Analogous to a visual artist’s written statement, it seeks to give the power of visual language to thinkers generally confined to written language.
Written by Lu Jie and Qiu Zhijie, The Long March Glossary was originally published in Long March––A Walking Visual Display, New York: Long March Foundation, 2003.
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