While blatant acts of government censorship have received attention in the United States, rarely has the American press reported on the more subtle ways that government surveillance has motivated and affected the development of Chinese contemporary art. Drawing on extensive first-hand interviews and primary research, Everything But Freedom will examine the issue of freedom of expression in contemporary Chinese art in all its complexity. Barbara Pollack’s article will highlight the interplay between co-optation and negotiation in Chinese contemporary art circles, exploring the groundbreaking ways that Chinese artists, curators, and gallerists have learned to get approval or get around the Ministry of Culture in order to make, present, and distribute contemporary art. It will also show how the Ministry of Culture has itself changed over time, granting greater leeway and even supporting contemporary projects. Pollock’s subject is a particularly timely one given the Chinese government’s plans to make contemporary art central to its nationwide celebration of the 2008 Summer Olympics.Barbara Pollack has published over 500 articles and reviews over the past fifteen years in The New York Times, Village Voice, Time Out NY, Art in America, ARTnews, Art & Auction, Modern Painters, Art Review, and Departures. Recent articles include “China Art Roundtable” with Richard Vine and Christopher Phillips in Art in America, “China: Art’s New Frontier” in Vanity Fair, and a profile of Cai Guo Qiang for The Washington Post. Pollack is currently writing a book on the Chinese contemporary art scene titled Zoomerang: The Hype and Hope of China’s Art Boom.
2007 — Article
Everything But Freedom: Censorship's Impact on Contemporary Art in China