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Yasumasa Morimmura, video still from Egó Sympósion, 2016; digital video

Yasumasa Morimura's video Egó Sympósion (2016) will be included in the 12th Shanghai Biennale. This year's theme, "Proregress — Art in an Age of Historical Ambivalence," will present contemporary artworks that embody an epoch that defies any idealized narrative.

 

The constant combination of gain and loss, openness and fear, acceleration and reaction, which defines our era of “proregression”, also exists as a sensibility characterized by profound ambivalence. In this context, contemporary culture appears as a complex site of reflection defined by excess and powerlessness, transgression and repression, social activism and many brands of nihilism. Contemporary art appears as a production of singularity and refinement made of fragments of the social debris, encapsulating conflicting forces. “Proregress” provides a framework to explore the role of contemporary art as a means by which the struggles and anxieties of many different latitudes are reflected and turned into subjective experience, training the contemporary subject in the ambivalence the allows us to tolerate the contradictory forces of contemporary life.