Friday, April 24, 2015


Well, the conference turned out to be more and less than I hoped, as is often the case. Accident and serendipity offer more new insights and angles than planned collaborations, especially perhaps in comparative contexts. (Part of the pleasure of this particular gathering was organizer David Jasper's clarity about just this: teaching short courses here over several years has persuaded him that not just breakthroughs but simple understanding will more likely come from shared exploration of an artwork than ambitious efforts to enumerate and engage the systems and categories of different cultures.) I had a great time with the Scottish brigade (above) and their busy Chinese interlocutors (not above). The only bad thing that happened was that, as we foreigners were being given a whirlwind tour of the 798 Art District, I dropped my beloved camera! That thing at right is the last picture I took; the lens was jammed, probably beyond repairing, before I could snap the name of the ENJOY ART MUSEUM where we'd just seen a particularly lugubrious set of paintings of post-industrial wastelands... Oh well, happily a friend has lent me a camera for the rest of my time here, and, judging from a first foray near gaudy 静安寺 Jing'an Temple in Shanghai (below), it'll do nicely!

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