Anton Vidokle is an artist and editor of e-flux journal. Born in Moscow, he lives in Brooklyn. His work has been included in shows such as documenta 13, Venice Biennial, Dakar Biennial, and exhibited at Moderna Galerija (Ljubljana), Tate Modern (London), Haus Der Kunst (Munich), PS1/MoMA (New York), among others. Currently, Vidokle is Resident Professor at Home Workspace Program, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut.
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work together across a range of sound, image, installation and performance practices. Their work explores the politics of desire and disaster, spatial politics, subjectivity and the absurdities of contemporary practices of power, and often investigates spatio-temporal resonances in the relation between the actual, imagined and remembered. Their practice increasingly examines the immersive, experiential possibilities of sound, image and environment, taking on the form of interdisciplinary installations and live audiovisual performances. Their recent exhibitions include 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013), Points of Departure, ICA (London 2013), 6th Jerusalem Show (2012), Orbits/ Grand Union (Birmingham 2012). They recently founded the sound and image performance collective Tashweesh.
Eyal Weizman + Paulo Tavares
Eyal Weizman is an architect based in London; he directs “Forensic Architecture”, a European Research Council project, at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is a professor for spatial and visual cultures. Since 2007, he is a founding member of the architectural collective DAAR in Beit Sahour/Palestine. Weizman’s books include Mengele’s Skull (with Thomas Keenan, Sternberg Press, 2012), Forensic Architecture (dOCUMENTA13 notebook, 2012), The Least of all Possible Evils (Nottetempo, 2009; Verso 2011), Hollow Land (Verso, 2007), A Civilian Occupation (Verso, 2003). He has worked with NGOs worldwide and was member of B’Tselem board of directors. Weizman is the recipient of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture Prize for 2006-2007, and a co-recipient of the 2010 Prince Claus Prize for Architecture (for DAAR).
Paulo Tavares is a Brazilian architect and urbanist based in Quito/London. His work is concerned with the relations between conflict and space as they intersect within the multi-scalar arrangements of cities, territories and ecologies. Tavares teaches architecture at the Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseno y Arte, Universidad CatoÅLlica de Ecuador, Quito, and previously held teaching posts at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, and at the Visual Lab of the MA in Contemporary Art Theory, also at Goldsmiths, UK. His writings have appeared in many publications worldwide and his work has been exhibited in various venues including CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Portikus (Frankfurt) and the Taipei Biennial 2012. Tavares is currently developing a project on the violence of planning and the politics of ecology in Amazonia at the PhD Programme of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, UK.
Gauri Gill was born in Chandigarh and lives in New Delhi. Her practice contains complex, yet discreet lines of pursuit. These include her more than a decade long study of marginalised communities in Rajasthan, from which the series Notes from the Desert is emerging, and of which the first book is Balika Mela (2012). She has explored issues around migration and dislocation in series such as The Americans and What Remains. Working with both black & white and colour photography, Gill’s work addresses the twinned Indian identity markers of class and community as determinants of mobility and social behaviour. She received the Grange Prize for contemporary photography in 2011.
Hannah Hurtzig and Mobile Academy Berlin’s installation work deals with the notion of knowledge and non-knowledge and how it is used and transferred in the act of communication – in a public space. Hurtzig’s Mobile Academy projects explore the rhetorics and gestures of conversation, of one-to-one dialogues, as well as new and old modes of assemblies. Each project is first a live event (which might involve up to 1000 spectators) and becomes later an installation and an archive. Each project is dedicated to a specific theme/subject and explores it in an encyclopaedic manner. Online sound archives: www.untot.info, www.blackmarket-archive.com, www.taipeibiennial2012.org/participants/hannah_hurtzig
Harun Farocki was born in 1944 in Neutitschein, an area in the Czech Republic, which had been annexed by the Germans at the time. For over 40 years he has lived and worked in Berlin. The work of the artist and filmmaker has had a decisive influence on the history of the political film since the late 1960s. Besides over 100 productions made for television and cinema, Farocki – as long-time author and editor of the magazine Filmkritik, curator, and visiting professor in Berkeley, Harvard and Vienna – has conveyed his reflections on the relation between society, politics and the moving picture. His huge significance for the visual arts is reflected in retrospectives of his films in institutions such as the Tate Modern (London), and solo exhibitions in the Museum of Modern Art (Vienna), Jeu de Paume (Paris), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), and, more recently, in the Kunsthaus (Bregenz). In 1997 and 2007, Farocki took part in the documenta in Kassel. For many years, the relation between technology and war has played a decisive role in Farocki’s works.
Hito Steyerl’s films and essays take the digital image as a point of departure for entering a world in which a politics of dazzle manifests as collective desire. This is to say that when war, genocide, capital flows, digital detritus, and class warfare always take place partially within images, we are no longer dealing with the virtual but with a confusing and possibly alien concreteness that we are only beginning to understand. Today the image world, Steyerl reminds us, is far from flat. And paradoxically it may be in its most trashy and hollowed out spots that we can locate its ethics. Because this is where forms run free and the altogether unseen and unrecognised toy with political projects at the speed of light. It is where spectacle and poverty merge, then split, then dance.
Ivana Franke (Zagreb, 1973) is a visual artist based in Berlin. In her works, largely installations, Franke often uses ambiguous visual phenomena and arresting spatial structures, which she delicately orchestrates to expose disjunctions and offer unexpected connections within the spatio-temporal matrix we inhabit. These works pose profound challenges to our habitual perception and understanding of the environment. Drawing from a wide range of disciplines like neuroscience, mathematics, optics and architecture, Franke redirects photons and confuses the gaze, hosts ghosts, multiplies spaces and makes what is not there to appear. She represented Croatia at the 9th Venice Architecture Biennale (2004) and at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007). Franke has participated in numerous solo and group shows, including P.S. 1 (New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (Zagreb), Manifesta 7 (Bolzano), Reykjavik Art Museum (Reykjavik), Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Rijeka), and Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Venice).
Katarzyna Kozyra (1963, Warsaw) is a sculptor, photographer, performance artist, filmmaker, author of video installations and artistic actions. In 1993, she graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty of Sculpture. In 1998, she was a visiting student at the Hochschule für Graphik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, in the New Media workshop under Prof. Helmut Mark. She received, among others, the Paszport Polityki award in 1997 and the Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in 2011. In 1999, she received honourable mention at the 48th Venice Biennale for the video installation Men’s Bathhouse in the Polish Pavilion. In her works, she touches upon the most important issues: identity and transience, life and death or religion and sex. She manoeuvres in spheres of cultural taboos as well as the stereotypes of behaviour ingrained in society. Her works are featured in major festivals and exhibitions in Poland and abroad: Venice Biennale; Sao Paulo Biennale; Sydney Biennale; Busen Biennale; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Dusseldorf; Kulturhuset, Stockholm; Museum Voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Vienna; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Kiasma, Helsinki and many more. Since 2010 she has been working on her full-length autobiographical feature film. In 2012, she established the Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation.
Kendell Geers was born in South Africa into a staunch Jehovah’s Witness, white, working-class Afrikaans family at the height of apartheid, and understood the power of faith, politics, and ideology at a very young age. He ran away from home when he was 15 to join the ranks of the militant anti-apartheid movement. From those seminal experiences as a front-line activist, Geers developed a body of work that fuses the personal with the political, the poetic with the abject, violent and erotic. For a long time the name Kendell Geers was inevitably preceded in the South African press by the words “enfant terrible”. Geers has exhibited extensively all over the world since 1993. Haus der Kunst, Munich, presented a comprehensive overview of his work in 2013. He currently lives and works in Brussels.
Kiluanji Kia Henda is an autodidact, and his profound springboard into this realm comes from growing up in a household of photography enthusiasts and spending time with photographer turned paparazzo, John Liebenberg, whose documentary photographs of apartheid and the Angolan civil war helped the artist discover the power of images to reveal untold stories. Kia Henda’s conceptual edge was sharpened by immersing himself into music, avant-garde theatre, and collaborating with a collective of emerging artists. He uses art as a method to transmit and forge history, more than for putting together the pieces of a complex puzzle of different historical episodes. He explores photography, video, performance, installation and object-sculpture to materialise fictitious narratives and dislocate facts into different temporalities and contests. Using humour and irony, he interferes on subjects as identity, politics, perceptions of post-colonial and modernism in Africa. Working in pervert complicity with the historical legacy, Kia Henda sees the process of appropriation and manipulation of public spaces and structures, and the different representations that constitute collective memory, as a relevant complexion of his aesthetic construction.
Lu Xing-Hua is associate professor of philosophy at the Tongji University in Shanghai, and guest professor of social thought at the China Academy of Art. His research interest connects political philosophy with contemporary art. Besides his regular seminars on political philosophy and its implications for the democracy to come in China, he also curates projects of contemporary art with the artist group Festival to Come, of which he is the leading member. His works include Democracy to Come – A Study on Derrida’s Political Philosophy (2009), Exigencies of Philosophy (2009) and What Does Contemporary Art Do? (2012).
Mai-Thu Perret (1976, Geneva) lives and works in Geneva. In 1997, she received a degree in English literature at Cambridge University, and she participated in the Whitney Independent Study Programme, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2002-03). After a long stay in the USA (1997- 99), she began with her artistic work. Perret’s art comprises sculptures, installations, paintings, videos and literature, and relates to a wide range of references, such as avant-garde movements of the 20th century and utopian concepts of life.
Nikolaus Hirsch + Michel Müller
Nikolaus Hirsch is a Frankfurt-based architect and curator. He was the director of Städelschule and Portikus and previously taught at the AA in London and UPenn in Philadelphia. His work includes the Dresden Synagogue (2001), Depot Theatre (with William Forsythe), unitednationsplaza (with Anton Vidokle), European Kunsthalle, the Cybermohalla Hub in Delhi, a studio at The Land (Thailand) and exhibition structures such as Indian Highway (Serpentine Gallery). Hirsch curated Cultural Agencies (Istanbul), I knOw yoU (Dublin), and Folly for the Gwangju Biennale (2013). He is the author of On Boundaries (2007), Institution Building (2009), and co-editor of Cybermohalla Hub (2012) and the Critical Spatial Practice series at Sternberg.
Michel Müller is Professor at the Cologne Institute for Architectural Design and has held academic positions at the Academy for Art and Design, Stuttgart, and the HfG, Karlsruhe. His works include Power Station (Darmstadt) and Machine Hall (Darmstadt) and he has made architecture for numerous exhibitions, including Making Things Public, Frequencies- Hz, and Indian Highway. He earned his doctorate with a dissertation on planning methods for adaptable architecture from the University of Darmstadt. MüllerÅLs ongoing research on institutional models has resulted in projects such as the Bockenheimer Depot Theatre, unitednationsplaza (Berlin), Cybermohalla Hub (Delhi) and he is currently making a studio structure for The Land (Thailand) and a centre for homeless in Frankfurt.
Rirkrit Tiravanija. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is widely recognised as one of the most influential artists of his generation. His work defies media-based description, as his practice combines traditional object making, public and private performances, teaching, and other forms of public service and social action. Winner of the Hugo Boss Prize 2004, awarded by the Guggenheim Museum, his exhibition there (2005) consisted of a pirate radio (with instructions on how to make one for yourself). Tiravanija was also awarded the Benesse by the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Japan, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lucelia Artist Award. He has had a retrospective exhibition at the Museum Bojmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam that was then presented in Paris and London. Tiravanija is on the faculty of the School of the Arts at Columbia University, and is a founding member and curator of Utopia Station, a collective project of artists, art historians and curators. He is President of an educational-ecological project known as The Land Foundation, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and is part of a collective alternative space located in Bangkok, where he maintains his primary residence and studio.
SUPERFLEX is a Danish artists’ group founded, in 1993, by Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen and Bj.rnstjerne Christiansen. They describe their projects as Tools, as proposals that invite people to participate in and communicate the development of experimental models that alter the conditions of economic production. They have exhibited internationally. Their midlife retrospective exhibition, curated by six curators—Yuko Hasegawa (Japan), Eungie Joo (USA), Toke Lykkeberg (Denmark), Lisa Rosendahl & Daniel McClean (Sweden/UK), Adriano Pedrosa (Brazil), Agustin PeÅLrez Rubio (Spain), Hilde Teerlinck (Netherlands) and Rirkrit Tiravanija (Thailand/USA)—opened in December 2013 at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen.
Tomás Saraceno (1973, Tucumán, Argentina) is known for his fantastic sculptures and installations that merge art, architecture and science. Saraceno’s work draws on his training as an architect, exploring materials, man-made and natural structures, and the potential for a space. His spectacular works are dreamy and experimental, compelling viewers to re-imagine the world and its possibilities. Saraceno is the winner of the Calder Prize and was artist-in-residence at the International Space Studies Program of NASA in summer 2009. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. In 2012, Saraceno constructed the installation Cloud City for the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, creating a complex network of transparent and reflective planes that disrupted the space while heightening the elements around it – the viewers, the sky, and Central Park.
Wanuri Kahiu completed her first feature film From a Whisper (2008), based on the real-life events surrounding the twin bombings of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998. The film won five awards at the Africa Movie Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. Shortly after, she completed For Our Land (2009), a TV documentary about the life of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai. Her short sci-fi film Pumzi (2009) won Best Short at Cannes Independent Film Festival and the Silver Prize at Carthage.
Yao Jui-Chung is an artist, critic and curator, born in 1969 in Taipei. He specialises in photography, installation and painting. The themes of his works are varied, but all examine the absurdity of the human condition. Representative works include Action Series (1994), which explores Taiwan’s identity and its military takeover, Recovering Mainland China (1997), in which he subverts modern Chinese political myths, The World is for All (1997-2000), where he examines post-colonialism, and Long March – Shifting the Universe (2002). He has created photo installations, combining the style of “gold and green landscape” with the superstitions that permeate Taiwanese folklore, expressing a false and alienated “cold reality” that is specific to Taiwan. Representative works include the series Celestial Barbarians (2000), Savage Paradise (2000) and Heaven (2001). In 2007, he started a series of works in which he appropriates masterpieces from Chinese art history and recreates them, transforming them into his personal history or real stories, in an attempt to transform grand narratives into the trivial affairs of his individual life. His essays have been published in many art journals, and he has published several books, including Installation Art in Taiwan Since 1991-2001 (2002), The New Wave of Contemporary Taiwan Photography Since 1999 (2003), Roam The Ruins of Taiwan (2004), Performance Art in Taiwan 1978-2004 (2005), A Walk in the Contemporary Art: Roaming the Rebellious Streets (2005), Ruined Islands (2007), Yao Jui-Chung (2008), Beyond Humanity (2008), Nebulous Light (2009), Biennial-Hop (2010). In 2010, Yao assembled photographs of ruins in Taiwan that he took over fifteen years, as The Mosquito Project. He teaches at Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University.
Zuleikha Chaudhari + Boris Nikitin
Zuleikha Chaudhari (1973) is a theatre director and lighting designer. Her works shift between performance/ theatre and installation as investigations into the nature of the experience of moments poised between reality and the imagination. The projects are conceived of and constructed in response to the physical site/place that they are presented/produced in, and engage with and question the function of the performer/actor in the performative experience. The projects also explore and develop questions to do with the structure and codes of performance – the relationship of the text and performer, the dynamic between performer and space, how narratives are created and understood, and finally, the role of the spectator in the performative experience.
Boris Nikitin (1979, Basel, Switzerland) is a theatre director, space designer and curator. He studied at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, Germany. Nikitin’s works are a mix between lecture performance and illusion theatre, jumping from the highly conceptual to great theatricality, playing with the boundaries between offensive dilettantism and acting virtuosity. The projects play with the concepts of acting, putting them into question, and with the framing of the performance itself, with the codes of theatre, perception, spectatorship as well as with the boundaries between reality and theatre. In some pieces, the boundaries between before, during and after the performance are blurred. Some of the projects have a scientific approach: Universal Export deals with neuroscience; Woyzeck, a performance Nikitin has been touring with for more than 7 years, is a theatrical discourse about mental property and mental capacity. Nikitin conceives the performances and creates them in collaboration with the performers/actors. The personality of the performer is mostly at the center of the pieces. In some of them the biography of the performers are even the topic itself (F for Fake, and Imitation of Life). Nikitin mostly makes the space design for his projects himself, and considers them as spatial installations.
Clark House Initiative, based in Bombay, was established in October 2010 as a curatorial collaborative and a union of artists concerned with ideas of freedom. Clark House, from which the initiative took its name, and from where their projects are based, was once an office of pharmaceutical research, an antiques store, and the shipping office of the Thakur Shipping Company that had links to countries in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Japan. Curatorial interventions in the space hope to continue, differently, this history of internationalism, experiment and research.
Amol K. Patil (1987) is an artist performer interested in the vocabulary of vernacular theatre and performance. He creates theatrical exhibitions using elements of stage design and mechanical contraptions, through which he informs his audience of an alternate avant-garde culture.
Caecilia Tripp represents a body of film and video installations, performance, sound and photographic works, which have been shown internationally in museums such as PS1, MOMA (New York), Museum of Modern Art (Paris), De Appel (Amsterdam), Museum of Modern Art (Moscow), Center Of Contemporary Arts (New Orleans), 7th Gwangju Biennale, and Clark House Initiative.
Kemi Bassene, born in Dakar, Senegal, lives in Paris. He is photographer and musicologist. His works combine fragments of African cultures as intersections out of Africa. His approach is to translate African historical orality on photography by a new reading of romanticism and modern art. He is a founding member of Afrikadaa.
Nikhil Raunak (1988) often works with cryptic codes that critique conceptual practice in the arts, inventing languages, creating videos and drawings that all stem from his study of graphic printmaking and portraiture.
Poonam Jain (1989) investigates spaces and cities she comes to inhabit using delicate intricate formats to comment on issues that concern a young woman in a city, personal narratives discuss art history and socio-political concerns.
Prabhakar Pachpute (1986) is a sculptor who creates experiential installations using drawings in charcoal, terracotta sculptures, light shadow projections and stop motion animation, that recreate the feeling of disaffection of the coalminers from his village in Central India.
Rupali Patil (1984) re-arranges visuals that critique political oversight and corruption which create unfortunate happenings such as farmer suicides, exploitation through privatisation of water resources, eviction of tribals from their lands, and marginalisation of indigenous communities such as the Kolis of Bombay.
Sachin Bonde (1985) re-appropriates objects to throw satire on the nihilism of right wing politics, through his interest in archaeology and political history, creating intricate sculptures that contain the politics in their materiality.
Sumesh Sharma (1983) is a curator informed by alternate art histories that often include cultural perspectives informed by socio-economics and politics. Immigrant Culture in the Francophone, Vernacular Equalities, Movements of Black Consciousness in Culture are his areas of interest. He co-founded the Clark House Initiative in 2010.
Yogesh Barve (1989) assembles shapes and images to create narratives on inequality and equality, using a mode of production that is intuitive to a visual sense that computes in a spontaneous manner – broken clocks, old lcds of mobile phones and sheets of paper.
Zamthingla Ruivah (1966) based in Imphal, Manipur, is a government officer who revived the tradition of weaving shawls among the Tangkhul Nagas, by re-imagining the motifs that had lost their symbolic metaphors following conversion to Christianity, to record the memory of her young neighbour Luingamla Muinao, who was murdered for resisting rape by an officer of the Indian Army. These coded forms went uncensored by the army allowing them to be copied by more than 6000 Naga women across 300 villages, making the luingamla keshan shawl a living monument of public sculpture when worn by women.
Zasha Colah (1982) is interested in cultural sovereignty, and the way art addresses injustice and legal frameworks. She co-founded blackrice in 2008 in Nagaland, and the Clark House Initiative in Bombay in 2010, within which her curatorial work researches instances of collective imagination under situations of political exigency. She was head of Public Programs at the National Gallery of Modern Art (2004-2005) and the curator of Modern Indian Art at the Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation at the CSMVS museum (2008-2011) in Bombay, and is the current director of the Mumbai Art Room of the Contemporary Arts Trust.
Raqs Media Collective enjoys playing a plurality of roles, often appearing as artists, occasionally as curators, sometimes as philosophical agent provocateurs. They make contemporary art, have made films, curated exhibitions, edited books, staged events, collaborated with architects, computer programmers, writers and theatre directors and have founded processes that have left deep impacts on contemporary culture in India. Raqs follows its self declared imperative of ‘kinetic contemplation’ to produce a trajectory that is restless in terms of the forms and methods that it deploys even as it achieves a consistency of speculative procedures. Raqs Media Collective was founded in 1992 by Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta. Raqs co-initiated the Sarai programme at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, in 2000. www.raqsmediacollective.net
Artinsights is based in Delhi and provides art management and curatorial consultancy to art and cultural institutions in the visual arts. Founded in 2011 by Priya Pall, it has provided direction to the newly set up Heritage Transport Museum (Manesar) and Amity Art Foundation (Amity Education Group), and is an advisory service to art collectors, Indian and international, having curated three significant personal collections thus far. Priya Pall has been working in the field of art and culture since 1995, with a focus on contemporary Indian art since 2006. She has held senior positions in public and private art organisations around the country, and was the Projects Curator for India Art Fair (2009). She has also worked as Cultural Officer with the Embassy of France in India. In 2011, she was awarded the Art Think South Asia Fellowship for art management by the Goethe Institut.
Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi is a writer and researcher who navigates between participating in the curatorial infrastructures of contemporary art, mapping the imaging practices of digital media and the genealogy of art history as a disciplinary field. He runs artbarricade.org, a platform for critical reflection on art. He is currently a doctoral scholar at School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
ARIANE SPANIER DESIGN, a studio that works with architects, publishers, curators, artists, magazine publishers, museums and galleries, was founded in 2005 by Ariane Spanier, an art director and graphic designer based in Berlin. Spanier is the design director of FUKT magazine for Contemporary Drawing. She has won many awards, including from the Type Directors’ Club of New York, the 100 Best Austrian, German and Swiss Posters competition, and, in 2011, the design competition for the design of Kieler Woche, an annual sailing festival in Germany. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and design books. She is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale. www.arianespanier.com
Illusion in Motion is a multidisciplinary team with firm foundations in the solid realm of the built world and branches reaching into various fields like new media, interactive art, filmmaking and creative consulting. They support curators, galleries, and cultural institutions for their rendezvous with the art world. www.illusioninmotion.com