Sunday, 23 March 2014

Global Art Forum 8

I was very excited to be part of the Doha branch of the 2014 edition of Global Art Forum entitled "Meanwhile... History".  The talks, all 15+ hours of them, from Doha and Dubai are viewable on the Ibraaz website

You can also read my preview interview with GAF Commissioner Shumon Basar and the co-directors Ala Younis and Omar Berrada, also in Ibraaz.

Frauke Heard-Bey and Butheina Kazim discuss the "End of Pearling"
(my Doha session also discussed the history of pearl diving in the region)

Shiva Balaghi presents an Iranian time-line through the prism of a private art collection based in Dubai

Farah AlNakib, Kristine Khouri, Sulayman AlBassam are interviewed by Ala Younis on the experimental development in Kuwait between the 1950's and 1970's

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

High Fashion Multi Media: Francesco Vezzoli's Intertextual Parodies

The catalogue for the Qatar Museum Authority's Museum of Crying Women, with my commissioned essay on Italian multi-media artist Francesco Vezzoli's high art parodies, is being distributed by Antenne Books.

on the exhibition:
Gathering together some of the most iconic female figures of the last century, Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli’s (b.1971) debut exhibition in the Middle East celebrates the feminine in its most admired and glamorous form. On view in the QMA Gallery in Katara from 7 October until 30 November, the show will display Vezzoli’s most striking portraits, embroideries and needleworks depicting famous women, from Joan Crawford to Elizabeth Taylor to Lady Gaga.Adorned with Vezzoli’s signature embroidered tears, the exhibition seeks to reflect the drama of the divided female identity and the anguish of being caught in between a private life and a life in the spotlight. Presented in a space reminiscent of the Versailles Hall of Mirrors, Hollywood legends brush shoulders with first ladies and fashion icons meet pop culture celebrities.
Take a better look here

Monday, 3 February 2014

review: Keep Your Eye on the Wall

'Keep Your Eye on the Wall', a book edited by Olivia Snaije and Mitchell Albert 

"The Israeli Separation Wall, snaking alongside and within the West Bank border, presents layers of friction, both physical and symbolic. The Wall has become the structure that solidifies the entrapment, oppression, control, surveillance, ongoing land grab and physical dominance that the Israelis have placed onto Palestinians. The Wall has been an eternal source of frustration and many artists, writers and politicians have come to voice their aversion and anger towards it. The discussion on the wall, which began before the laying of the first brick more than ten years ago, has become a global one; it is not only Palestinian and Israelis who have voiced reactions, but artists, documentarians and writers from around the world."

read the rest of my review
see the book available through Saqi Books

Saturday, 4 January 2014

"Iraq Legacy": 6 short films produced in a Baghdad workshop

stills from films (L) Children of War and (R) Children of God

"I felt childhood was an important subject for the young filmmakers to cover. Much like my students are the future of the Iraqi film industry, children are the future of Iraq." - Mohamad AlDaradji, filmmaker (director of Son of Babylon, 2009)

read more about Al Daradji's filmmaking workshop in Baghdad and Iraq's burgeoning film scene.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Ali Cherri, Image and Imagination

Ali Cherri, Pipe Dreams, 2012
video still, video installation
"I try to link my approach to found footage as a cinematic practice, consisting of reusing and reediting archival images, to Walter Benjamin's remarks on 'historical knowledge' and its relation to montage. In Benjamin's words, historical knowledge 'has to develop to the highest degree the art of citing without quotation. […] Its theory is intimately related to that of montage'. ... Through montage, image re-interpretation reminds us how the most benign everyday work around us is saturated with political discourse, and how our ideological baggage informs our observation of images."
     - Ali Cherri, on how he uses archive footage and found footage to create new ideas

read my interview with Cherri, entitled Image and Imagination, in full in Ibraaz.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Jumana Manna - Expanding the Archive

The Goodness Regime
Jumana Manna and Sille Storihle
HD video, 21', 2013

"Key for us was the contradiction of the Oslo Accords on the one hand, being a shining moment in Norway's diplomatic history, and, on the other hand, a capitulation of the Palestinian revolution, bureaucratizing the occupation and introducing a whole new package of disasters and obstacles to the 'Palestine Question'.  We wanted to come closer to understanding the complexities of this contradiction, and the moral dilemmas of intervention and its responsibilities, without assuming that the failure was to be blamed on a cynical manipulation by Norway. We were curious about how the politics and imaginaries of three different national identities operate when juxtaposed against each other."
                - Jumana Manna on The Goodness Regime (2013)

read the rest of my interview with Manna, entitled Expanding the Archive in Ibraaz

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Fragmented images : my presentation at Shifting Sands

I was recently invited to speak by Contemporary Art Center of South Australia at their two-day forum entitled Shifting Sands, in Sydney and Adelaide.

Here is an essay-formatted version of my presentation:
Fragmented Images: Framing, Performativity and Networks of Circulation

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Hossein Valamanesh

"Migration is nothing new, but the purpose of migration is new.  Some people escape where they are, others move on from desire.  There are certain notions of nationality, those who feel like they belong to a place, where they were born, home will always be home.  But when I was young in Iran, I was and am still fond of that place.  But when I settled down in Australia, very early on I realized that connection is also with the physical place, it is with the actual land itself.  In that sense culture and heritage is all part of it, but the real connection is with the earth itself which is all connected.
In a sense I feel I belong to the Earth but of course you have a passport, a place you are born, a home address.  As an artist, though, in a way you want to be free of all that.  But also be inspired by all that towards the making of your art."

- from interview with multimedia artist Hossein Valamanesh, with me, at Rose Issa Gallery
June 2013