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Blue Skies: A Conversation Series

Jillian Mayer - You'll Be Ok (2014)


Blue Skies – A Conversation Series

Jillian Mayer, You'll Be Okay (Video Still) (2014) Image courtesy David Castillo Gallery. 


The deadline for submitting proposals for the Blue Skies conversation series has now passed. Thank you to all those who submitted a proposal, we will be in touch with the results of the selection within two weeks. 

 

At this moment of physical isolation and hyper-saturation of digital content, we are seeking ways to support our network while fostering open dialogue and exchange amongst us. The myriad of different responses we are seeing to the question of what the long-term impact of Covid-19 might be suggests that there is a need for a more dynamic engagement with the subject. Therefore, we would like to invite you to participate in a collective conversation entitled Blue Skies around the potential for this moment to elicit change, as a means of exploring individual and collective responses both in the immediate present and in the future once the lockdown has ended.

The parameters of what constitutes ‘change’ are left open – this could include change within the arts sector, in relation to ways of working, in the lives of people of colour or those who are disabled, or in the ways that we relate to others and travel freely or work internationally.

We ask anyone who would like to take part in this conversation to send us a few lines of no more than 300 words no later than 8 June 5pm BST detailing who you would like to have your conversation with and why. That person could be anyone – a fellow creative practitioner, a colleague, a family member, a teacher or mentor, a figure of interest that you would like to connect with. Each conversation will be made accessible to a public audience in some way based on the intentions and desires of those participating in it – the conversation can be held live on ICF’s social media accounts or on streaming platforms, it can be recorded or transcribed and then added to the ICF channels in its entirety or in an edited form, or for certain participants who want to treat the conversation as research or one-to-one mentorship, they will be asked to produce a visual, written or creative response to the conversation that can be shared online.

We will select 12 proposals for conversations, and both you and the person you invite to have the conversation with you will receive a fee of £200 for your time and contribution.

Manifestations from all conversations will be posted on the ICF website and activated through our social media channels, creating a digital conversation that responds to this notion of possible change and can be accessed widely and openly.

Image: Jillian Mayer, You’ll Be Okay (Video Still) (2014) Image courtesy David Castillo Gallery. 

This initiative is made possible with Art Fund support 

Global Plantation Series: A Land of Extraordinary Quarantines

Shiraz Bayjoo, Extraordinary Quarantines No15


Global Plantation Series: A Land of Extraordinary Quarantines

A Conversation between Shiraz Bayjoo and Anna Arabindan-Kesson 

The first of a series of artist-directed digital discussions that contemplate the global forms and meanings of the plantation historically, and in our contemporary moment took place on Friday 5 June 2020 with artist Shiraz Bayjoo and art historian Anna Arabindan-Kesson.

When Mark Twain visited Mauritius in 1896, he described it as a Land of Extraordinary Quarantines, referring to the fear of disease transmission associated with ships transporting indentured laborers to the island. The dual image of the island as a space of quarantine and a plantation animates artist Shiraz Bayjoo’s multi-media practice, and the archives-in formation he creates. In this conversation Shiraz and art historian Anna Arabindan-Kesson will reflect on the convergence of extraction and confinement, of humans and natural world, of labor and memory in his Indian ocean landscapes. How does art help us understand the afterlives of these colonial histories, in our current experience of confinement, and provide alternative possibilities for working through this uncertain present?

About the speakers

Shiraz Bayjoo studied Painting at the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff, and was artist in residence at Whitechapel Gallery during 2011. He has exhibited at Tate Britain and the Institute of International Visual Arts, London; 14th Biennale of Sharjah; 13th Biennale of Dakar; 21st Biennale of Sydney; and is a recipient of the Gasworks Fellowship and the Arts Council of England. His work is represented in the Sharjah Foundation collection, UK Government collection, and French National collection, as well as private collections both in Europe and Asia. Born in Mauritius, Bayjoo’s work focuses on the Indian Ocean and the European historical legacies that have shaped the region. Bayjoo has been a visiting lecturer and critic at universities both in Europe and the USA, most notably the Courtauld Institute, Central St. Martin’s college of Art, MONASH university Australia, and Princeton University (forthcoming) USA. Bayjoo is participating in the Diaspora Pavilion 2 programme.

Anna Arabindan-Kesson is an art historian and writer, who is jointly appointed as an Assistant Professor of Black Diaspora Art in the departments of African American Studies and Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. She has lived and studied in Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and England and prior to completing her PhD in African American Studies and Art History in the United States, Anna was a Registered Nurse. Her personal and professional background inflect her academic and curatorial work which focuses on the relationship of vision and visuality to histories of race, empire, and migration.

Images courtesy Shiraz Bayjoo. 

Abbas Zahedi ‘MANNA from below’


Abbas Zahedi ‘MANNA from below’ – Outset Partners Grants Awards Ceremony 

MANNA from below is a lecture performance series by Abbas Zahedi, which was initiated at ICF’s Diaspora Pavilion in Venice in 2017. Zahedi has since adapted the work into various formats and it continues to evolve in response to different exhibition and performance commissions. In March 2019 ICF invited Abbas to present an iteration of the MANNA from below lecture performance at the Royal Academy in London as part of the Outset Contemporary Art Fund Partners Grants Announcement, where ICF was awarded a grant for the development and delivery of the Diaspora Pavilion 2 programme between 2019 and 2021. 

Video copyright Abbas Zahedi. Video recorded by Samboleap Tol. Images courtesy Outset Contemporary Art Fund. 

Diaspora Pavilion Artists Roundtable


Diaspora Pavilion Artists Roundtable Discussion
 

 

Please note that due to Covid-19 and in compliance with government guidelines we have decided to postpone this event until further notice. Please subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on social media for updates on how we are staying in touch with our network digitally. 

Speakers: Shiraz Bayjoo, Kashif Nadim Chaudry, Paul Maheke, Erika Tan & Zadie Xa 
Moderators: Adelaide Bannerman & Jessica Taylor

International Curators Forum is holding a roundtable discussion with artists engaged with the 2017 and forthcoming iterations of the Diaspora Pavilion project. The discussion will reflect on the 2017 Venice exhibition and the capacities of artistic and curatorial practice to complicate and interrogate diaspora as a concept and lived experience. The talk will highlight the approaches that the ICF team has adopted for the next iteration of the project to create a more sustainable and site specific programme of peripatetic research, exchanges and international events, set to unfold between 2020 and 2022. 

The first Diaspora Pavilion programme was launched in 2016 to support ten artists over two years in a professional development capacity and showcased their work alongside nine mentor artists in the Diaspora Pavilion exhibition, which was held in Venice during the 2017 Biennale and curated by David Bailey and Jessica Taylor. The success of the first Diaspora Pavilion exhibition led to a re-staging of a selection of the artworks at Wolverhampton Art Gallery in the UK in 2018 and has motivated a period of research and development undertaken by the ICF team as a means of developing a more sustainable and international exhibition model for the second phase of the project.

Diaspora Pavilion 2 will be an active, multi-site programme of exhibitions and events that will support and showcase the work of a group of international artists who engage with diaspora as a concept in their work. The programme will begin with an exhibition titled ‘I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney’ presented in collaboration with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in Australia (16 April – 7 June 2020), which will create a dialogue between 3 UK-based and 3 Australia-based artists. With aims to hold further site-specific iterations of the project in Venice, London and the Caribbean between 2021 and 2022, the curators of DP2 are attempting to take a more critical look at the ways in which diaspora functions as a distinct sometimes provisional experience, nuanced economically, historically and regionally. This unfolding programme will interrogate and complicate the term diaspora through a series of conversations about the navigations, imaginings and lived experiences of diaspora subjectivities through the works of a group of artists from around the world.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS  

Shiraz Bayjoo (b. Mauritius; lives and works in London and Mauritius) studied Painting at the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff, and was artist in residence at Whitechapel Gallery during 2011. He has exhibited at Tate Britain and the Institute of International Visual Arts, London; 14th Biennale of Sharjah; 13th Biennale of Dakar; 21st Biennale of Sydney; and is a recipient of the Gasworks Fellowship and the Arts Council of England. His work is represented in the Sharjah Foundation collection, UK Government collection, and French National collection, as well as private collections both in Europe and Asia. Born in Mauritius, Bayjoo’s work focuses on the Indian Ocean and the European historical legacies that have shaped the region. Bayjoo has been a visiting lecturer and critic at universities both in Europe and the USA, most notably the Courtauld Institute, Central St. Martin’s college of Art, MONASH university Australia, and Princeton University (forthcoming) USA. Bayjoo is participating in the Diaspora Pavilion 2 programme.

Kashif Nadim Chaudry (b. Nottingham, United Kingdom; lives and works in Nottingham) is informed by his family heritage in tailoring which has influenced and focused his practice around the importance of materiality and craftsmanship. His work is characterised by the working, shaping and moulding of physical objects through the use of elaborate textile-based techniques to create monumental installations from fabric and found objects. Negotiating his identity as a British born gay man of Pakistani Muslim heritage much of Chaudry’s work questions how people choose to position themselves in the world. It is increasingly the sculptural and three-dimensional possibilities within his work that address the idea of positioning power, the sacred and the ceremonial. Recent exhibitions include Swags & Tails as part of the Asia Triennial, Manchester, UK (2014) and The Three Graces, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2016). Chaudry will exhibit in ‘I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney’ at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in collaboration with ICF.

Paul Maheke (b. Brive-la-Gaillarde, France; lives and works in London, United Kingdom) completed a MA in Art Practice at l’École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy in 2011 and a programme of study at Open School East, London/Margate in 2015. With a focus on dance, and through a varied and often collaborative body of work comprising performance, installation, sound and video, Maheke considers the potential of the body as an archive in order to examine how memory and identity are formed and constituted. Selected solo exhibitions include Levant, Ludlow 38, New York (2019); OOLOI, Triangle France, Marseille (2019); Diable Blanc, Galerie Sultana (2019); A fire circle for a public hearing, Vleeshal, Middelburg (2019). Selected group exhibitions and performances include Sénsa (performance with Nkisi and Ariel Efraim Ashbel), Abrons Art Center, New York, Performa 19 and Meetings on Art, 58th Venice Biennale (2019); Elements of Vogue, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City (2019); Transcorporealities, Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2019); Le Fil d’Alerte, Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris (2019); Get Up, Stand Up Now, Somerset House, London (2019); The Distance is Nowhere (performance with Sophie Mallett) ICA Miami (2019); Meetings on Art, 58th Venice Biennale (2019). Maheke exhibited in the 2017 Diaspora Pavilion.

Erika Tan leads a practice that is primarily research-led and manifests in multiple formats, with a leaning towards moving image, referencing distributed media in the form of cinema, gallery-based works, internet and digital practices. Evolving from an interest in anthropology and the moving image, her work is often informed by specific cultural, geographical or physical contexts. Her research interests focus on the postcolonial and transnational, working with archival artefacts, exhibition histories, received narratives, contested heritage, subjugated voices and the transnational movement of ideas, people and objects. She is currently the Stanley Picker Fellow in Fine Art; Decolonising Arts Institute Associate Researcher, UAL; and a lecturer on the B.A. Fine Art, 4D Pathway, Central Saint Martins, UAL. Her work has been exhibited, collected and commissioned internationally including: A Place in the World, NUA Gallery, Norwich; Unrealised Commission, National Gallery, Singapore; On Attachments and Unknowns, Sa Sa Bassac, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Artist and Empire (Tate Touring, National Gallery Singapore 2016/7); Come Cannibalise Us, Why Don’t You (NUS Museum, Singapore 2014); There Is No Road (LABoral, Spain 2010); Thermocline of Art (ZKM, Germany 2007); Around The World in Eighty Days (South London Gallery / ICA 2007); The Singapore Biennale (2006); Cities on the Move (Hayward Gallery, London). Recent curatorial projects: Sonic Soundings/Venice Trajectories and an instigator of FLOW, 3 days of events at Asia-Art-Activism, Raven Row. Tan exhibited in the 2017 Diaspora Pavilion. 

Zadie Xa (b. Vancouver, Canada; lives and works in London, United Kingdom) explores the overlapping and conflation of cultures that inform self-conceptualisation identities and notion of self through performance, video, painting and textiles. Her layered textile works are sites for exploring contemporary identity construction and performance through cultural sampling, informed by her own experience within the Asian diaspora. Xa’s intricate, hand sewn wearable and performable garments stitch together a range of personally relevant imagery sourced from music, digital space, fashion, and art history. Xa has developed a system of personalised semiotics that propose entirely new images and objects, creating a personal visual language for articulating nuanced Asian identity narratives, which are frequently situated within fantastical or supernatural realms. Recent solo exhibitions include Meetings on Art performance program for the Venice Biennale open week (2019), Child of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation, Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan (2019) and Soju Sipping on a Sojourn to Saturn, Galeria Agustina Ferreyra, Mexico (2018). Xa will exhibit in ‘I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney’ at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in collaboration with ICF.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL CURATORS FORUM (ICF)

ICF was founded in 2007 to publicly promote the work of cultural practitioners, and to encourage and develop artistic and curatorial practice and discourse about contemporary visual art across all forms. ICF does this through commissioning new works, exhibitions, public programmes and events. ICF also promotes and supports the professional development and public visibility of cultural practitioners through programmes that include public exhibitions and events, mentoring and masterclasses. The 2016-18 programmes Diaspora Pavilion and Beyond the Frame were nationally and internationally notable for their innovative proposals and approaches to addressing professional development and cultural diversity. Both programmes were presented in partnership with University of the Arts London, and were co-directed by David Bailey, Mark Crawley, Nicola Green and Peter Clayton. Other ICF projects include: Tactical Interventions (Venice, Kassel, Munster, Istanbul in 2007), The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age (Sydney Biennial in 2010), Caribbean Pavilion (Liverpool Biennial in 2010), Black Diaspora Visual Art (2011-2), Curating the International Diaspora (London, Gwangju, Sharjah, Barbados and Martinique 2016-7), Sensational Bodies (2017) and Migrating Cities (2019). ICF is currently developing the Diaspora Pavilion 2 programme (2019 – 2021).

Image: Zadie Xa, Child of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation, live performance as part of Art Night London (2019) Devised with and performed by Iris Chan, Jia-Yu Corti, Mary Feliciano, Jihye Kim and Yumino Seki, percussion: Jihye Kim, choreographed by Jia-Yu Corti and Yumino Seki; photo: Matt Rowe.

Presenting Partners: 

Supporting Partners: 

I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney


ICF and 4A present:
‘I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney’

Please note that due to Covid-19 and in compliance with government guidelines we have decided to postpone this event until further notice. Please subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on social media for updates on how we are staying in touch with our network digitally. 

Exhibiting artists: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Kashif Nadim Chaudry, Lindy Lee, Leyla Stevens, Zadie Xa and Daniela Yohannes.
Curators: Adelaide Bannerman, Mikala Tai and Jessica Taylor.

I am a heart beating in the world is the first of a series of peripatetic international events that culminate in ICF’s Diaspora Pavilion 2 programme. 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is collaborating with ICF to present this unfolding series that will interrogate and complicate the term diaspora. As the first project of the series, I am a heart beating in the world presents the navigations, imaginings and lived experiences of diasporic subjectivities through the works of six artists based in Australia, the UK and Caribbean: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Kashif Nadim Chaudry, Lindy Lee, Leyla Stevens, Zadie Xa, Daniela Yohannes.

Understanding diaspora as a distinct sometimes provisional experience nuanced economically, historically and regionally I am a heart beating in the world is as much an exhibition as it is a research project, underpinned by fieldwork and reviews of how artists, curators, theorists and institutions engage with diaspora as a topic. 4A’s biannual 4A Curators Intensive will be held alongside the exhibition in April bringing together early-career Australian curators alongside a UK based early career curator for a week-long professional development programme. The intensive will be facilitated through workshops, lectures, site visits and discussions.

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah (b. Port Kembla, Australia 1977 lives and works in Perth, Australia) is a sculptor whose practice explores the different ways that memory can inhabit and emerge from familial spaces. Drawing on the narrative capacity of animal archetypes, crafted objects and the human presence, Abdullah aims to articulate physical dialogues between the natural world, politics and the agency of culture. Recent exhibitions include The National, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2019), Dark Horizons, Pataka Art + Museum, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand (2017) and Magic ObjectAdelaide Biennale of Australian Art, Adelaide, Australia (2016).

Kashif Nadim Chaudry (b. Nottingham, United Kingdom 1976 lives and works in Nottingham, United Kingdom) is informed by his family heritage in tailoring which has influenced and focused his practice around the importance of materiality and craftsmanship. His work is characterised by the working, shaping and moulding of physical objects through the use of elaborate textile-based techniques to create monumental installations from fabric and found objects. Negotiating his identity as a British born gay man of Pakistani Muslim heritage much of Chaudry’s work questions how people choose to position themselves in the world. In relation, it is increasingly the sculptural and three-dimensional possibilities within his work that address the idea of positioning power, the sacred and the ceremonial. Recent exhibitions include Swags & Tails as part of the Asia Triennial, Manchester, UK (2014) and The Three Graces, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2016).

Lindy Lee (b. Brisbane, Australia 1954 lives and works in Byron Bay, Australia) has an expansive practice that explores her Chinese ancestry through Taoism and Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism – philosophies that see humanity and nature as inextricably linked. Symbolic gestures and processes that call on the element of chance are often used to produce a galaxy of images that embody the intimate connections between human existence and the cosmos. Rather than singular visual statements, they are thoughtful objects where meaning emerges from sustained meditation. Recent exhibitions include the solo Lindy Lee: The Dark of Absolute Freedom, The University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, Australia (2014), and group exhibitions Divided Worlds: Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia (2018) and Marking Time, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2012).

Leyla Stevens (b. Cooroy, Australia 1982 lives and works between Bali, Indonesia and Sydney, Australia) is an Australian-Balinese artist and researcher who works predominately within moving image and photography. Her practice is informed by ongoing concerns around gesture, ritual, spatial encounters, transculturation and counter histories. Working within modes of representation that shift between the documentary and speculative fictions, her work deals with a notion of counter archives and alternative genealogies. Recent exhibitions include her solo presentations Their Sea is Always Hungry, UTS Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2019) and Of Love and Decomposition, Firstdraft, Sydney, Australia (2016) and group exhibitions Breathing Room (collaboration with Woven Kolektif), Cement Fondue, Sydney, Australia (2019), BEAUT 19, Brisbane & Elsewhere Art UnTriennial, Brisbane, Australia (2018) and the John Fries Award, UNSW Galleries, Sydney, Australia (2018).

Daniela Yohannes (b. 1982 lives and works in Guadeloupe, in the French Carribean) is a British-Eritrean/Ethiopian artist who, since training, as an illustrator has meandered through several disciplines before becoming an artist. Since moving to the Caribbean two years ago, her surroundings have found their way into her creations. She describes her inspiration as that of the invisible; the forces and concepts that drive and surround us: unseen but constantly at work on our bodies and minds. Her paintings and recent moving image works are witness to the expression of nature; explorations of the intimate experiences that are shared only with the elements: earth, air, water, and space. She confronts themes of the unconscious, race, identity and ancestry, the ethereal nature of the cosmos and plurality of the individual – interrogating the nature of belonging and what constitutes that feeling of ‘home’ and the impact and consequences of alienation. Recent solo exhibitions include; The Fall: A Woman’s descent into the Unconscious, Addis Fine Art Project Space London, UK, (2019), Beyond Voudou, The Pikture Gallery Bangkok, Thailand (2010) and group exhibitions Influence Project, Real Music Rebels East Wing Takeover, Somerset House London, UK, (2018) and House of Wahala Project Texas, USA (2017).

Zadie Xa (b. Vancouver, Canada 1983 lives and works in London, United Kingdom) explores the overlapping and conflation of cultures that inform self-conceptualised identities and notions of self through performance, video, painting and textiles. Her layered textile works are sites for exploring contemporary identity construction and performance through cultural sampling, informed by her own experience within the Asian diaspora. Xa’s intricate, hand sewn wearable and performable garments stitch together a range of personally relevant imagery sourced from music, digital space, fashion, and art history. Xa has developed a system of personalised semiotics that propose entirely new images and objects, creating a personal visual language for articulating nuanced Asian identity narratives, which are frequently situated within fantastical or supernatural realms. Recent solo exhibitions include Meetings on Art performance program for the Venice Biennale open week (2019), Child of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation, Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan (2019) and Soju Sipping on a Sojourn to Saturn, Galeria Agustina Ferreyra, Mexico (2018).

Images: Daniela Yohannes, Atopias: I Have Left that Dark Cave Forever, My Body has Blended with Hers (2019) Video still; photo courtesy the artist. 

An Alternative Map of the Universe

An Alternative Map of the Universe 
at Guest Projects, London

conceived by Niccolò Moronato, Jessica Taylor, Abbas Zahedi 

Exhibition dates: Monday 28 October – Friday 1 November (12 – 6 pm)  
Location: Guest Projects, 1 Andrews Road, London E8 4QL

Departing from Niccolò Moronato’s body of work Firmament, which looks at stars and constellations from the alternative perspective of a planet 40 light years away from us, An Alternative Map of the Universe is a collaborative effort to bring together artists who use mapping as a way of responding to current realities or imagining new ones for the future. Together, this group of artists will attempt to find a way to communicate in spite of and in response to the disparate systems that govern our existence today. Through the staging of works, performances and screenings, our aim for this programme is to encourage individuals to consider questions such as: What is space? Is space even real? Who is space for? Who holds power in space? What constellation do we find ourselves in? 

Featuring works, performances or talks by: Larry Achiampong, Ewan Atkinson, Niklas Gustafson, Versia Harris, Emre Kazim, Niccolò Moronato, Paul O’Kane, Katarzyna Perlak, Pilar Quinteros and Abbas Zahedi.

Images courtesy Katarzyna Perlak & graphics courtesy Marcelo Vendramel

PUBLIC PROGRAMME 

Monday 28 October  

6pm – Performance by Abbas Zahedi – ‘Rose & STEMM‘ (2019)
Rose & STEMM builds on the ideas and research explored in Zahedi’s previous works ROSE WATER (2018) and MANNA from below (2017); this will involve the performance of grieving rites upon the gallery space, as a way of laying to rest the analytic and categorical biases, which are so often used to exclude diasporic bodies of praxis and flesh.

7pm – ‘Dressing’ Live work by Niklas Gustafson (2019)
Dressing ignores the distinction between, say, a Ferrari and a sticker and revels in the freedom and challenges that might bring.

8pm – Talk: ‘Is this space real?’ with Abbas Zahedi, Niklas Gustafson, Niccolò Moronato, moderated by Jessica Taylor 

Tuesday 29 October 
6 – 7 pm – Film screenings

Larry Achiampong – ‘Relic 1′ (2017) 
Forming part of Achiampong’s multi-disciplinary project Relic Traveller: Phase 1, this short film features a Relic Traveller apparating sites across a seemingly desperate United Kingdom. Uncovering fragments of audible data presenting clue-like testimonies to a forgotten Empire, the Relic Traveller soon finds themselves in an atmosphere that simultaneously delivers poetic moments of the sublime met with increasingly harrowing claustrophobia and tales of trauma. Thus resulting in a familiar feeling of otherness, we are invited on a journey that embodies hysteria.

Katarzyna Perlak – ‘Niołam Ja Se Kochaneczke‘ (2016)
Niołam Ja Se Kochaneczke explores potentialities of queer utopias, while looking at the relationship between history, ‘national values’ and power structures. Through the work Perlak revisited Eastern European folk traditions and whilst employing feminist and queer reading she encourages the viewer to consider and experience history as a discourse made out of multiple, overlapping and contesting narratives rather than a single, fixed entity.

Versia Harris – ‘I Don’t Want To Be An Emperor. That’s Not My Business’ (2019)
This work is about how oppression and coercion can be hidden in idealistic rhetoric or conversely how idealistic action threatens the abilities of those in power to oppress and coerce. The imagery is footage of a physical landscape scene built by the artist, presenting a seemingly idealistic society enjoying a day that commemorates “The Pelican.” The audio is a collection of political speeches by dictators who have caused mass suffering and political heroes who, because of their idealistic values, have been assassinated.

Pilar Quinteros – ‘Cementerio Indio’ (2015) 
Quinteros investigates the common procedure followed and options available to those who find archaeological sites like the one discovered near her building in 2014 during the demolition of an old house to accommodate a new metro line in Santiago, Chile. To respond to this act, Quinteros builds a reproduction of the house to create a space that people could enter to watch the film’s documentation of the demolition, subsequent discovery of the bodies, interviews with those involved, followed by footage of the construction of the cardboard house by the artist.  

Wednesday 30 October 
5:30pm – Workshop: The Star Survey by Niccolò Moronato 

7pm – Talk: ‘Technologies of Togetherness’ with Paul O’Kane and Emre Kazim

Launch Event – The Place is Here: The Work of Black Artists in 1980s Britain

The Place is Here: The Work of Black Artists in 1980s Britain

 

Launch Event
Thursday 3 October
7-9pm 
Wills Memorial Building
Bristol University
FREE and open to all 

ICF collaborated on a launch event for the new publication, The Place Is Here: The Work of Black Artists in 1980s Britain, continuing the legacy of the international exhibition The Place is Here (2016-17).

The Place is Here exhibition traced the urgent and wide-ranging conversations taking place between black artists, writers and thinkers in Britain during the 1980s. The exhibitions brought together over 100 works by 40 artists and collectives, spanning painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video and expanded archival displays, examining this critical decade for British culture. The exhibition was shown at Van Abbemuseum (2016); Nottingham Contemporary; the South London Gallery; and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (all 2017).

The publication’s editors Nick Aikens and Elizabeth Robles were joined by David Bailey and Jessica Taylor of the International Curators Forum for an evening unravelling the intellectual, aesthetic and political concerns addressed in the book. Featuring creative responses by artist, writer and researcher susan pui san lok and Spike Island artist Valda Jackson.

The Place Is Here: The Work of Black Artists in 1980s Britain is edited by Nick Aikens and Elizabeth Robles and published by Sternberg Press and Van Abbemuseum.

Image: David A. Bailey, Family Album, 1987. Silver gelatin print. Image courtesy the artist. ICF

Diaspora Pavilion 2: Research & Development Trip to Istanbul


Diaspora Pavilion 2: Research & Development Trip to Istanbul

ICF is undertaking the re-development of the Diaspora Pavilion project model, which was initially tested between 2016 and 2018 with a professional development programme for 10 emerging artists, which included exhibitions in Venice and Wolverhampton. The first stage of the re-development process involves initiating conversations with a group of selected artists by inviting them to actively participate in a trip organised by the ICF team centred around the opening of a major international Biennial. 

The second trip in this series was to Istanbul during the opening days of the 16th Istanbul Biennial (12 – 13 September 2019), entitled ‘The Seventh Continent’ and curated by Nicolas Bourriaud. The impetus for selecting this Biennial as a case study for the research and development phase of the programme is the curator’s exploration of the cultural consequences of the human impact on the world. In his exhibition statement Bourriaud said, “The Seventh Continent is an anthology of an off-centred world and an archaeology of our times. It shows today’s artistic production as a multiverse, an archipelago of differences, away from normative continents and massive entities. It define art as a molecular anthropology, which studies the human effects, tracks and prints in the universe, and their interaction with non-humans.” 

The artists who participated in this trip are Daniela Yohannes, Lungiswa Gqunta, Jade Montserrat and Kashif Nadim Chaudry.  

Supported by the Outset Contemporary Art Fund

New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art


New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art


ICF has partnered with New Art West Midlands and Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art to select 20 recently-graduated artists to participate in the New Art West Midlands 2019 exhibition as part of this year’s Coventry Biennial.

The selected artists include: Betsy Bradley, Hira Butt, Sarah Byrne, Gemma Costin, Anna Katarzyna Domejko, Andreana Fatta, Matt Gale, Amy Guo, Ewan Johnston, Navi Kaur, Shiyi Li, Mengxia Liu, Farwa Moledina, Tayyibah Mota, Laura Onions, Ameera Sadiq, Matías Serra Delmar, Rosie Piercy, Georgia Tucker and Lily Wales.

New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art runs 4 October – 24 November 2019


Farwa Moledina, ‘Interwoven’, 2018, Ways of Belonging, Ort Gallery at Midlands Art Centre

This autumn New Art West Midlands returns with a new model, working in collaboration with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art and International Curators Forum to introduce an exciting group of artists across the city. From traditional arts venues to unexpected spaces and public places, the exhibition aims to reach new audiences and show the value of creativity as Coventry moves closer to its tenure as UK City of Culture in 2021.

The selected artists are recent graduates from the West Midlands’ art schools and creative Higher Education programmes. The region has a rich offer and heritage when it comes to art education; New Art West Midlands is a partnership with the leading institutions to celebrate the talented individuals emerging from undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes.

Applications were received from over one hundred artists, representing recent graduates from Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester, Staffordshire University and Hereford College of Arts.

The selection panel included ICF team members Adelaide Bannerman and Jessica Taylor, invited selector Cindy Sissokho and Ryan Hughes, the founder and director of Coventry Biennial. ICF’s Diaspora Pavilion project model has informed the direction of New Art West Midlands 2019 as a professional development programme.

In addition to participation in Coventry Biennial, a smaller cohort from these 20 artists will be selected to work with an appointed curator on a yearlong professional development programme. This intensive period will support practice-based skills toward the development of new work for a further curated exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery (Culture Coventry) in autumn 2020.

Speaking about the selection and quality of submissions, Jessica Taylor commented: “International Curators Forum is thrilled to be partnering with New Art West Midlands, Coventry Biennial and Herbert Art Gallery on this important opportunity to support a cohort of recently-graduated emerging artists and a curator from the West Midlands.

“We are excited that the Diaspora Pavilion model has influenced the development of this programme, which champions diversity and the professional development of emerging practitioners in the region. The connections made and exposure gained by the 20 selected artists as a result of their inclusion in this Biennial stands to be of great importance during this moment of transition in their careers, and we look forward to working closely with some of the artists as they continue on in the programme alongside a selected curator in 2020.”

Highlights include new large-scale installations, sculpture, photography, video, paintings, drawings and digital artworks, exploring themes of cultural identity, technologies and the environment among others.

Sarah Byrne’s (University of Wolverhampton) work reflects on experiences growing up in England as British girl with an Asian mother. Her projections use imagery from her mother’s old photo albums of childhood trips to the Philippines to question the events and exchanges that have contributed to a separation in her two national identities.
“I am a renegade botanist” declares Gemma Costin (Hereford College of Arts). Her travelling seedpod is a repurposed caravan that used to be called home, now transformed into a space to interrogate ideas of nature and biophilia.
Amy Guo (Staffordshire University) investigates the relationship between human and digital technologies. Works consider the ways in which our social interactions with others are mediated through technology and the visibility of our digital selves.
Farwa Moledina’s (Birmingham City University) series of prints on paper and textile are concerned with re-appropriating and reclaiming Orientalist imagery of Muslim Women. In today’s postcolonial, globalised world, refugees, immigrants and persons of dual culture often find themselves caught between tradition, integration and redefinition of their complex identities.
Through film, photography and mixed media, Tayyibah Mota (Coventry University) considers the Hijab. Her work seeks to display the tradition within and opposition to this Muslim practice, whilst sharing personal experiences of some of the British Muslim women who wear them.
Rosie Piercy (University of Worcester) deals with the very current issue of tuition fees and the cost of education in Britain. Her sculpture ‘Forever in Debt’ consists of helium filled balloons highlighting the exact balance of her student loan as they slowly deflate.

Ryan Hughes, director of Coventry Biennial, commented: “We are really delighted by the work we have selected and are looking forward to bringing it to Coventry to share with audiences. The professional development focus of New Art West Midlands aligns strongly with our vision for a social and critically engaged biennial for the region. The unique and inclusive new model they have built will create deeply meaningful opportunities for these artists in the West Midlands and beyond.”

Diaspora Pavilion 2: Research & Development Trip to Venice


Diaspora Pavilion 2: Research & Development Trip to Venice
 

ICF is undertaking the re-development of the Diaspora Pavilion project model, which was initially tested between 2016 and 2018 with a professional development programme for 10 emerging artists and included exhibitions in Venice and Wolverhampton. The first stage of the re-development process involves initiating conversations with a group of selected artists by inviting them to actively participate in a trip organised by the ICF team centred around the opening of a major international Biennale. 

The first trip in this series was to Venice during the opening days of the 58th Venice Biennale (10 – 14 May 2019), entitled May You Live In Interesting Times and curated by Ralph Rugoff. The impetus for selecting this Biennale as a case study is the project’s connection to Venice as the location of the 2017 Diaspora Pavilion and a prospective location for an exhibition in 2019, as well as the Diaspora Pavilion’s direct responsiveness to the limits of the notion of national pavilions in representing contemporary artistic practice. 

The artists who participated in this trip were Shiraz Bayjoo, Veronica Ryan, Sonia Barrett and Evariste Maiga. 

Supported by the Outset Contemporary Art Fund