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Curatorial Lecture
Shaheen Merali

Fear in the Transnational Community:
A Response by Artists and Curators

PAST - Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 6:30 to 8 pm

Michael Ames Theatre, Museum of Anthropology
6393 N.W. Marine Drive, UBC

click here for directions

The University of British Columbia’s Critical and Curatorial Studies Program, in conjunction with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and Centre A present Fear in the Transnational Community: A Response by Artists and Curators a talk by Shaheen Merali as part of the Curatorial Lecture Series.

Shaheen Merali is a curator and writer based in Berlin and London. Between 2003 and 2008 he was the Head of Department for Exhibitions, Film and New Media at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin; in 2008, he was the Artistic Director of the Bodhi Galleries in New York, Mumbai, Berlin and Singapore; and in 2006, he was the Co-curator of the 2006 6th Gwangju Biennale of Korea. His recent curatorial project consisted of a large-scale historical show, The Untold (the rise of) Schisms, held at Alcala 31 in Madrid.

Fear in the Transnational Community: A Response by Artists and Curators will examine issues and commentators who use language specific to the arts to address a major shift in perspectives taking place in the new millennium. This shift is marked by a desire to engage with the notion of reality, which has become complex and entangled, as have all other global concepts and beliefs.

The rubric “fine art” no longer refers primarily to a series of catalogued works or objects but also to a set of practices. Despite this, the language of art practice continues to express specific concepts and beliefs, which are entangled within a system where potential spectators are not necessarily included. In the new century, artists and curators are charting the efficacy of adopted methods of curation in the condensed visuality of the globe. In trying to understand these concerns, questions are raised about diminishing resources, the role of diplomacy, and the move away from the notion of an abundant Earth and toward the notion of a world in constant provocation.

The talk will be concluded by an examination of Merali’s recent exhibition at the Kunsthalle Brot, Vienna, The Promise of Loss, An Index of Contemporary Iran.

The Curatorial Lecture Series presents lectures on contemporary curatorial practice. It is organized by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery in collaboration with the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Department of Anthropology, with the support of the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies; and the Faculty of Arts at The University of British Columbia. This lecture is organized in collaboration with Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at jana.tyner@ubc.ca,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689