The Wende Museum Presents (De)constructing Ideology: The Cultural Revolution and Beyond

Culver City, CA (November 3, 2022) – The Wende Museum presents the new exhibition (De)constructing Ideology: The Cultural Revolution and Beyond, open to the public from November 13, 2022 until March 12, 2023.

China’s “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” (1966-1976) was a period of tremendous social and economic upheaval. Recognizing the critical role of the arts in forwarding the socialist cause, Chairman Mao Zedong called on the youth of China to purge the nation of feudal traditions. The resulting Cultural Revolution was marked not only by violence and destruction but also by the production and dissemination of iconic imagery that would spread across China and outlast the movement.

The exhibition uses ceramic production as a starting point to examine the Cultural Revolution, the relationship between art and ideology, and the agency of the artists working within restrictive frameworks. It also looks at the afterlife of Mao in contemporary art, highlighting the artistic practice of appropriation. The exhibition will be accompanied by various free programs, including panel discussions on art and politics as well as a screening of the 1971-72 model opera film The White-Haired Girl.

Also on view will be the exhibition For Ruth, The Sky in Los Angeles: Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and David Horvitz, the open storage installation Gift by Julian Irlinger, and the new guardhouse project Domestic Choices by Bari Ziperstein.

The exhibition will be accompanied by free public programs that explore the complicated historical and artistic legacies of the Cultural Revolution.

November 9, 2022 (online) 
The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History
Frank Dikötter (University of Hong Kong)

November 13, 2022
Fall Exhibitions Opening Day

November 20, 2022
From the Memories of the Cultural Revolution to the Pursuit of Mao
Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans and Mao: the Unknown Story

December 7, 2022 (online)
Living the Revolution
Panel with Yongyi Song (CalState LA) and Hong Cheng (UCLA)

December 11, 2022
Film Screening: The White-Haired Girl (1971-72)
Introduction and Q&A with Michael Berry (UCLA)

January 11, 2023 (online)
Art and Ideology
Conversation with artist Zhang Hongtu

February 1, 2023 (online)
Blood Letters and Dueling Visions of Salvation: Christianity as Heterodoxy in Mao’s
Revolutionary China

Xi Lian (Duke Divinity School)

March 5, 2023
“Revolutionary Friendship is as Deep as the Ocean”: International Maoism and Chinese Diplomacy during the Cultural Revolution
Panel with Robeson Taj Frazier (USC), Catherine Clark (MIT), and Jeffrey Wasserstrom (UCI)

(De)constructing Ideology: The Cultural Revolution and Beyond is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

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