Friday, 23 January 2009

Contempory Art In The Middle East - Symposium at Tate Britain & Tate Modern

22 January - 23 January 2009
London SW1P 4RG
020 7887 8888
Nafas Art Magazine

Symposium exploring the theme of translation in the context of the Middle East, Part One. This will be the ICF's most ambitious project and it will take place at three sites: Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London and we are in discussion about making our third site the opening of the Sharjah Biennial.

The main partner of this project is Tate National. In this symposium, we want to explore how the Middle East is defined? How does the interpretation of modern and contemporary art from the Middle East and its diaspora effect its understanding at home and abroad? How have ideas about tradition and modernity emerged in art practice? What will be the impact of new and emerging spaces for seeing and exhibiting modern and contemporary art in different parts of the Middle East? This two-day symposium brings together artists, curators and writers to discuss recent developments in contemporary art from the Middle East and its diaspora.

Taking place over two days with a mix of keynote talks and panel discussions, thesymposium revolves around five discrete sessions:

- Defining the Middle East
- Writing and Translation
- Art Now - Recent Exhibitions
- Tradition and Modernity
- The Politics of Space

Keynote talks will be given by Derek Gregory (professor of geography, University of British Colombia, Vancouver) Mourid Barghouti (poet and author, I Saw Ramallah), Salah Hassan (professor, Art History, Cornell University) and Shumon Basar (curator, architect and author of Cities from Zero).

The distinguished group of panelists includes Anas Al-Shaikh (artist), Oreet Ashery (artist), Negar Azimi (senior editor, Bidoun magazine), Bassam el Baroni (co-founder, Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum) [tbc], Yto Barrada (artist and founder of Cinemathèque de Tangers, Goldsmiths College, London) [tbc], Pat Binder and Gerhard Haupt (editors-in-chief, Nafas Art Magazine and publishers of Universes in Universe), Stuart Comer (curator, Tate Modern), Suzanne Cotter (chief curator, Modern Art Oxford), Catherine David (chief curator, Direction des Musées de France), David Elliot (artistic director, Sydney Biennale), Khalid Khreis (director, Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman), Vasif Kortun (curator, director of Platform, Istanbul), Rahraw Omarzad (editor of Gahnama-e-Hunar and founder of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Afghanistan), November Paynter (independent curator), Jack Persekian (artistic director of the Sharjah Biennial and director of the Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art), Khalil Rabah (artist, director of the Riwaq Biennale, Ramallah), Michael Rakowitz (artist), Dina Ramadan (art historian and critic), Andrew Renton (director of curating, Goldsmiths College, London), Zineb Sedira (artist), Nada Shabout (associate professor of Art History, University of North Texas, Denton), Hassan Sharif (artist, co-founder of The Flying House, Dubai), Wael Shawky (artist), Suha Shoman (founder of Darat al Funun, Amman), Issa Touma (artist, curator and founder of Le Pont Art Organization and Gallery, Aleppo, Syria), William Wells (director, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo), Eyal Weizman (director, Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London).

Tate National reflects the growing importance of the ways in which Tate relates to other organisations in the UK and abroad. It includes sections on the Tate Partnership Scheme launched in early 2000, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund; Visual Dialogues, funded by the DCMS, which documents a project initiated and managed by Tate in partnership with a range of art galleries around England; and Tate International, which covers Tate Collection exhibitions and loan exhibitions made in partnership with other museums and galleries and National Collections, and which features the new arrangements for loans between national institutions.

This symposium is organised by Tate and the International Curators Forum and is part of the World Collections Programme in association with NAFAS online magazine. The World Collections Programme is a collaborative initiative between six UK organisations which aims to develop greater access to their collections and expertise by building partnerships with organisations in Asia and Africa.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Santu Mofokeng

14. Jan - 28. Feb 09
Rivington Place
11am-6pm - Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
11am - 9pm Thursday 12am - 6pm Saturday

Santu Mofokeng produces photographs that refuse to be overtly political, but nonetheless contain a fundamental political dimension. He seeks a broader story in which people are portrayed as more than just urban activists locked into violence.

His landscapes are spaces invested with public memory and spirituality, and he investigates them in relation to ownership, ecological impact and power. His Bloemhof Portfolio tells of the lives of rural tenant farmers, while Chasing Shadows is a documentation of religious ceremonies in caves, public parks and urban waste ground.

Another dimension of his work includes an interest in places invested with meaning which led Mofokeng to investigate not only South African but also European monuments and sites of public memory. Mofokeng travelled to British concentration camp sites in South Africa, to Namibia where the Herero were nearly wiped out under German colonialists, to Ravensbrϋck, Auschwitz, Nagasaki, Hanoi and other sites of atrocity.

Autograph ABP in partnership with Izuko SA National Gallery presents a major UK exhibtion of Santu Mofokeng photographs.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of free public events.