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8th Shanghai Biennale "Rehearsal": Long March Project - Ho Chi Minh Trail (Beijing Act I)
by Long March Space
Location: Long March Space
Artist(s): ZHANG Hui, MADEIN, Chieh-Jen CHEN, WANG Jianwei, LIU Wei, WU Shanzhuan
Date: 4 Sep - 14 Nov 2010

Nowadays, the ideological narrative of post-cold war has transformed into a comedy, whereas the ‘global-local’ ploy of capitalism has been turned to a soap opera.
Five decades ago, the Ho Chi Minh Trail once bound together a common idealism and shared historical imagination. In today’s postcolonial and post-revolutionary world, the trail has been relegated to the dusty storage of stage props of the Cold War era. When long marchers set feet on this trail in attempts to reactivate the network’s latent powers of surpassing boundaries, they find that this once vital conduit of the Cold War system has been fragmented, procured and monopolized by the spectacle of global capitalism.
Ho Chi Minh Trail is a renaming of Long March Project; it is not a continuation or extension of A Walking Visual Display (2002), instead it is conceived with critical reflection of the failures and successes of our previous endeavors. Initiated in 2008, The Ho Chi Minh Trail project is divided into six stages of realization, including field research (2008 – 2009), educational residency (July 2009), physical journey (June to July 2010), ‘rehearsal’ (September to November 2011) and ‘theatre’ (October 2010 to February 2011) and the project’s ongoing database. The project’s ‘rehearsal’ and ‘theatre’ stages constitute the first act of the 8th Shanghai Biennale ‘Rehearsal.’

As a whole, the Ho Chi Minh Trail project is a rehearsal, which implies a call to arms of ideas and expression, an action derived from form, and criticism and self-criticism administered between the intellectual left, artists and curators. It attempts to suspend and anatomize their roles, a reverse engineering of artistic production. In a day and age in which the capitalist cultural industry leaves no stone unturned, we aim to rehearse rather than produce. Our act of ‘rehearsal’ is the way of journeying on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

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