UCCA Beijing

“Matthew Barney: Redoubt” Roundtable Discussion:
Myths, Guns and Afterimage


Location:  Auditorium
Language:  English with Chinese translation

The exhibition “Matthew Barney: Redoubt” is centered on a two-hour video of the same title. This work revolves around the theme of the “cosmic hunt,” drawing on a rich background of myth, natural history, and more, to stage the story of a wolf hunt in the Sawtooth mountain range of central Idaho, near the artist’s childhood home. The exhibition also features five large-scale sculptures, more than fifty engravings and electroplated copper etchings, and an artist-conceived catalogue, for which UCCA will publish a Chinese edition.


In “Redoubt,” Matthew Barney showcases the breadth of his personal knowledge and aesthetic framework. His latest creations bring together classical mythology, art history, environmental ecology, dance, cosmology, electrochemistry, and the study of alchemy. How does one begin to interpret this complex web of references, and their refined visual expression? On September 28, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art is honored to invite Matthew Barney, art historian and “Redoubt” catalogue contributor Molly Nesbit, and UCCA Director and CEO Philip Tinari, to discuss and share the background of the exhibition and the many issues it raises.


13:00-14:00   Exhibition Guided Tour

14:00-16:00   Auditorium: Roundtable Discussion

16:00-16:30   Tea break

16:30-18:30   Film Screening


Matthew Barney (Artist)

Matthew Barney (b. 1967 San Francisco, is among the most ambitious and provocative artists of our time, known for epic projects such as the “CREMASTER Cycle” (1994–2002). He works in sculpture, photography, drawing, and film. Beginning his artistic career as a student at Yale University, his early works were privately filmed actions that evolved into sculptural installations combining performance and video, a format that remains a key element of his practice to this day.

Molly Nesbit (Art Historian)

Molly Nesbit is Professor in the Department of Art at Vassar College and a contributing editor of Artforum. Since 2002, together with Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rirkrit Tiravanija, she has curated Utopia Station, a collective and ongoing book, exhibition, seminar, website and street project. She has received many awards for her work, notably from the Guggenheim Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. In 2008 she gave the J. Kirk T. Varnedoe Memorial lectures at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her books include Atget: Seven Albums (Yale University Press, 1992) and Their Common Sense (Black Dog, 2000). The Pragmatism in the History of Art (Periscope, 2013), is the first volume of “Pre-Occupations,” a series collecting her essays; the second, Midnight: The Tempest Essays, was published in 2017 by Inventory Press.

Philip Tinari (Director and CEO of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art)

Philip Tinari is Director and CEO of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, one of China’s leading institutions of contemporary art. Since joining in 2011, he has led its transformation from a founder-owned private museum into an accredited museum across multiple locations, a public foundation, and a family of art-driven enterprises. During his tenure, UCCA has mounted more than seventy exhibitions and thousands of public programs, bringing artistic voices established and emerging, Chinese and international, to an audience of over a million visitors each year. Having written extensively on contemporary art in China, he was co-curator of the 2017 exhibition “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.


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