Oxford Professor Peter D. McDonald will explore ‘The Space Between’: Ways of Looking at the Art of Xu Bing at GIPCA’s first 2013 Great Texts public lecture on Tuesday 9 April 2013.

Xu Bing is one of China’s best known and most critically acclaimed artists. Central to his art is language – how it shapes and what it reveals of different cultures. In 1988 he published Book from the Sky – a text that at first glance appears to be written in Chinese characters, but on closer scrutiny reveals itself to be composed in nonsense characters invented by the artist. In 2012 Xu Bing published Book from the Ground, a novel written in a language of icons. His work, which uses a wide variety of media, disturbs the boundaries between writing and painting, book and artwork, installation and performance. It also challenges us to think about the cultures we inhabit in new ways. In this talk, McDonald will reflect on these aspects of Xu Bing’s work and on the vertiginous experience of viewing it.

Peter D. McDonald is Professor of English and Related Literature at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on writing systems, literature as a specific mode of thinking, ideas of the intercultural, and literary institutions and the law since 1800. McDonald’s most recent book, The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences, appeared in 2009.

Great Texts lectures take place on Tuesdays for the month of April. This first lecture in the series will take place on Tuesday 9 April 2013 at 17:30 at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town, and is free. Refreshments will be served from 17:00; no booking is necessary. For more information on the Great Texts series, please contact 021 480 7156 or fin-gipca@uct.ac.za.

Peter McDonald audio recording available for download.

Venue: Hiddingh Hall

Address: Google Map UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 Orange Street, Cape Town, Western Cape, 8001, South Africa