On a gray and rainy November day we decided on a Bund gallery tour as well as visiting the Shanghai Biennale City Pavilions that attracted 29 cities worldwide (according to the official website) and brought four handful of international curators to town last September. Despite the whispered problematics during the installation and the opening which did not really happen because doors were already closed at 6 pm on opening night, we were curious to know more about the artistic positions of each city and also the buildings that host the pavilions.

在一个阴沉下雨的十一月的一天,我们参观了外滩美术馆和上海双年展城市馆,上海双年展城市馆吸引了全世界29个城市参展(来自官网数据),去年九月全球20个馆长因此来到申城。尽管布展和开幕期间不为人知的小问题不断,事实上开幕式并没有举行,因为开幕当晚6点大门就已紧闭,但是我们很有兴趣更多地了解每个城市的艺术立场和展览馆建筑本身。

It started with an disappointment on beautiful Yuanmingyuan road, where the shows were badly maintained (videos not turned on at the Lille space with lingering staff that had no information to communicate).  The light of the entire space is broken, as guard told us with a happy smile at the LA pavilion and one other pavilion was not even open. 

最初参观的展馆位于美丽的圆明园路,但是有很失望,因为展览组织的很糟糕(视频没有打开,地方拥挤,不理不睬、敷衍的工作人员)。入口处的灯坏了,导游笑嘻嘻的告诉我们,洛杉矶馆和另一个城市馆根本不开放。

Better results were exposed in the stunning yet run down East Nanjing Road Mac Millan Building, that hosts most of the cities. Still, some videos did not run but most was on and moving image. Lot's of guards lingering around,  sometimes not sure if they became art themselves, yet, the all together installation is a bit "heartless" and again badly maintained and significant inspiring art was missing. The question arises: is the Shanghai Biennale City Pavilions project  a CV-filler? It is a pity for the Biennale, the city of Shanghai, the financial funding and the countless hours of work and preparations and pre excitement for the participants artists. 

在炫目但人挤人的南京东路上,我们看到了好一点的展览:在麦克米兰大厦,集中了大多数参展城市的展馆。虽然还是有些视频没开,好在大部分在放映。很多保安四处晃来晃去,有时候都不确定他们是不是也成为了艺术本身。总体说来,整个展览有一点“无心”,组织的还是很糟,同时没有发现让人激动的艺术作品。至此,不禁想问:上海双年展城市馆项目只是一个摆设吗?这对双年展来说是一个遗憾,对上海这座城市,对投入的资金,对参与艺术家所投入的数不清的时间、准备和期待也是一个遗憾。

On view till Dec 31. 

展览中,持续到1231

heading down to the Bund on a rainy November day 
十一月的一个雨天,驱车前往外滩

storefront of the Lille pavilion 
里尔城市馆的标牌

storefront of the Lille pavilion 
里尔城市馆的标牌
c'mon baby light my fire - absolute pitch black darkness 
c'mon baby light my fire - 黑漆漆的一片

at the LA pavilion 
在洛杉矶城市馆

"lights are broken" said guard with a big smile on his face.
 “灯坏了”一个保安告诉我们,脸上挂在灿烂的笑容

BUT THANK GOD there is Faigo hot pot not far. There you go, art and food don't mix (I thought it did)
谢天谢地,不远处有辉哥火锅!如你说想,艺术和吃的最好别混在一起吧(这儿混了)。


Over at the Mac Millan Building 

在麦克米兰大厦结束参观



part of the fake coffee shop? 
假装一半是咖啡店?

fake coffee shop 
假装是咖啡店

only in China: parking guards with armchairs in rain 
中国独有的景观:雨中,停车场的保安坐着扶手椅

Chinese in Africa 
在非洲的中国人

Chinese in Africa 
在非洲的中国人

Art or not art? 
艺术?

could have been good but did not work or nor work or maybe not work? 
本来可以是好的但是坏了,还是本来就是好的但是坏了?
fake shop 
山寨店
again art or not art? 
又一次,艺术?
from Vancouver 
来自温哥华

Guards - bu keyi - bu keyi 
保安— 不可以,不可以

house 
房子

not sure? 
这是神马?


a working video 
放映着的视频

more working videos 
更多放映的视频

a working TV 
一个好的、在工作的电视


not sure 
不确定

a fake shop 
又一个山寨店

"something you have never seen before"  
“一些你也许从未见过的东西”

a guard sitting in the dark
 一个保安坐在黑暗中

korean
韩国人
and then my i-phone went out of juice ... 
然后,我的爱疯没电了...