Symposium : Unpacking Histories

October 23, 2017 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
CCS Bard, Classroom 102

Unpacking Histories aims to shed light on the historical blind-spots uncovered by artists whose work responds to, or emerges from, landscapes in transition and conflict. The geopolitics of the Middle East and North Africa is the context for these lines of inquiry that intersect histories of art with social and political events.

This symposium unfolds in conjunction with No to the Invasion: Breakdowns and Side Effects, an exhibition of works drawn from the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation, which runs from June 24, 2017 until October 29, 2017 at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

Fawz Kabra will discuss the artistic practices that have surfaced within the social and political circumstances outlined in the exhibition No to the Invasion. She will address projects that use experimental and documentary methodologies as well as those which adopt a collaborative or research-based approach to creating artworks that are socially, politically, and historically interconnected.

Karim Sultan will present an introduction to the Barjeel Art Foundation, a collecting philanthropic institution based in the United Arab Emirates. Sultan will speak on the Foundation’s curatorial vision, recent program of exhibitions, and collaborative educational efforts. Ideas and issues around developing an art history, and challenges in collecting and exhibiting “Arab art” will be discussed. 

Tarek El-Ariss addresses the thinking behind the research exhibition From the Archive that accompanies No to the Invasion and how he considers reading the archive as a tool for understanding affective histories of Arabs in the modern era. El-Ariss will give a nuanced reading of the impact of Pan-Arabism and its downfall on the contemporary Arab subject.

Khaled Malas will talk about Sigil, the collective he co-founded, who, since 2014, have been engaged in building rural architectures of resistance in Syria, including water-wells and electricity-generating windmills. Specifically, he will discuss the multilayered project Monuments of the Everyday (2016) exhibited at No to the Invasion.



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