120 MOGANSHAN LU July 18 2010
A "guerrilla exhibition"!
Unregistered and unauthorized art event,
"M120, Moganshan re-used", in Shanghai China.
Initiated and organised by Konstantin Bayer and Susanne Junker.
The rubble site, 120 Moganshan Road in Shanghai, China, is located right next to the gallery district in Shanghai, the so called M50 on 50 Moganshan Road. Just over 10 years ago, artists and galleries moved to an old textile factory located at this address. This complex was threatened with demolition for years while newly build high rises changed the surrounding of this art oasis. Eventually it became more commercial over the years and could so secure its existence.
The modern apartment buildings and new galleries also had other neighbors, the residents at number 120. A typical chinese neighborhood, just as we imagine it in the west. Small lane houses meandered in narrow alleys. Laundry dries above our heads and people cook their meals in the entry ways of their houses. The inhabitants lived in this area for many decades. Even still, when M50 was already established with its cafes and bookshops and the loving art visitors from the West.
Now it is over. 120 Moganshan Road has been destroyed. Most residents are gone, still one graffiti screams off the wall: " Ha ha! We are still here!" Lost shoes can be found in the rubble, glimpses of wallpaper are visible on certain walls. A daily scene in Shanghai.
Konstantin Bayer, German artist and initiator of the gallery "Eigenheim" in Weimar / Germany knew this neighborhood very well. He curated a small exhibition space, the "Island 6 shack", during his university exchange program in 2008 at 120 Moganshan Road. This established a continuous dialogue between tradition, art, East and West. Where this exchange took place is now a gaping hole.
After two years, Konstantin met some of the remaining residents again. The already existing mutual sympathy was still in place. In his familiar manner to create art in urban living spaces Konstantin is now planning a 24 hour art project on this site along together with a handful of renowend Shanghai galleries. 2000 m2 demolition land will be revived in order to make space for art and to point out the rapid development and change of life in China as well calling attention on the specific characteristics of temporary urban structure. The demolition site appears now as a counterpart to sparkling Shanghai with its new Expo site and countless renovated facades all around the city.
Generally it is expected of art and artists to identify with the current progressive urban development. But especially artists and creative people often draw the short straw, however, work space gets destroyed or simply turns out to be unaffordable. "M120 - Moganshan re-used" is an example of the positive exchange between people from different parts of the world using art as a common language. There is also a thought to be pointed out to the many creators of our near future. Before everything is gone. Before everything is uniform. Look closely! Art doesn’t need white walls!
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