A cocktail was held on Friday 22 March 2019, on the occasion of the inauguration of “What Was I?”, The new exhibition project conceived by the artist Goshka Macuga, presented at Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai, with the support of Fondazione Prada.
The exhibition is open to the public until 2 June 2019.
In the presence of Goshka Macuga, more than 600 guests from the world of art, fashion and design participated in the event, including artists Ding Yi, Liu Jianhua, Yang Fudong, Zhang Peili and Zhou Tiehai; the director of the Center Pompidou Bernard Blistène, the director of the Power Station of Art and of the Shanghai Biennale Gong Yan, the founder of Art021 Kylie Ying, the founder of Bank Gallery Mathieu Borysevicz, the director of the Shanghai Museum of Glass Zhang Lin, the founder of ShangArt Gallery Lorenz Hepling, the curator of the Starr Museum Chao Jiaxing, the director of David Zwirner Hong Kong Leo Xu, the founders of Lisson Gallery Alex and Nicholas Logsdail; the models Cici Xiang and Kiki Kang; influencers Anny Fan, Leaf Greener and Linda Li.
“What Was I?” Is a futuristic journey into the post-anthropocene era, in the age that follows the collapse of humanity. An android created by Macuga in 2016 is the central work of the project which also includes 26 works from the Prada Collection and a selection of collages recently made by the artist. The robot recites a monologue composed of fragments of speeches and texts fundamental to human history.
During the event, the android’s monologue was accompanied by the performance of a calligrapher who will be repeated twice a week for the duration of the exhibition.
Goshka Macuga decided to enrich the inauguration with a special musical event, with the intent to explore the history of Rong Zhai, and in particular the style of view of its owners in the 1930s, and to investigate the notion of identity, one of the central themes of the exhibition. During the cocktail, two actors from Beijing Opera, Tian Hui and Lan Tian, played a scene from the traditional piece The Confession (Zuo Gong), composed in the mid-1800s, in the garden of Prada Rong Zhai.