Memory Burns

Publisher: China Nationality Art Photograph Publishing House

French Title: La Memoire Brule

Series: OCAT Institute exhibition and archival research series

Paperback: 280 pages

Language: Chinese and French

ISBN: 9787512207110


OCAT Institute Exhibition and Archival Research Series presents publications that focus onshowcasing research achievements in the field of Chinese contemporary art of OCAT Institute. With a historical approach, OCAT Institute is committed to the exploration of the relations between contemporary art and the histories of human spirit, ideas, ideology, and visual culture. It concentrates on bridging the theoretical gap between art histories of contemporary and ancient periods.

Memory Burns includesan article  by Georges Didi-Hubermanin  both Chinese and French for an exhibition hosted by OCAT Institute under the same name. It studies in depth the works of the art historian and artists who participated in the exhibition includingGerman art historian Aby Warburg, German filmmaker Harun Farocki, French artist Pascal Convert, and Austrian artist Arno Gisinger. A major work in the exhibition, the legendary Mnemosyne Atlas (Atlas Mnémosyne) by Aby Warburg, although only partly included in the book, was published for the first time. Memory Burns is also Didi-Huberman’s first academic publication in China in both Chinese and French.

As the first book in the OCAT  Institute Exhibition and Archival Research Series and the catalogue of the opening exhibition of OCAT Institute, Memory Burns strives to balance scholarly research and visual presentation. The exhibition Memory Burns attempted to break the conventional mode of contemporary art curation, and instead discussed art historical documents, documentary films, and contemporary installations as a theoretical whole. Also, the exhibition challenged the status of artworks as being classic and sacred conceived in the conventional art historical framework. “Exhibitions in an age of mechanical reproduction” is the issue in focus for both the exhibition and the following academic studies. We hope that our readers can also enjoy the pleasure of thought exchange from this publication.


About the author

Georges Didi-Huberman is a renowned French philosopher and art historian who currently works in School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS / École des hautes études en sciences sociales) in Paris. He has published more than 50 academic works on image theory and art history, which cover a wide research fields including Italian Renaissance painting, contemporary political visual culture, and the theories of Aby Warburg and Walter Benjamin. His major recent publications are:  L’ album de l’art à l’époque du musée imaginaire(Hazan, 2013), Essais sur l’apparition: Tome 2, Phalènes (Les Éditions de Minuit, 2013), Essayer voir (Les Éditions de Minuit, 2014), Sentir le grisou (Les Éditions de Miuit, 2014), L’oeil de l’histoire I-IV (Les Éditions de Miuits, 2009-2015).


Didi-Huberman has delivered lectures in many prestigious universities and academic institutes. He has also curated several large-scale academic exhibitions worldwide, including L’Empreinte (Centre Pompidou,  1997), Fables du lieu (Le Fresnoy Studio National d’Arts Contemporains, 2001), and (Nouvelles histoires de fantômes, Museu de Arte do Rio, 2013; Le Fresnoy Studio National d’Arts Contemporains, 2013; Beirut Art Center, 2014; Palais de Tokyo, 2014), all of which were co-curated by Didier Semin.




Memory Burns

Aby Warburg: Tragedy of Culture and the Modern “psychomachies”

Harun Farocki: Assault on the Violence of the World

Psacal Convert: How to Create the Volume of Time

Arno Gisinger: Exhibitions in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction

La Mémoire Brûle (original version in French)

Biography of Georges Didi-Huberman

Biographies of Artists Participated