03 Nov 2015
A major international visual arts symposium, Curating Under Pressure, will be hosted in Christchurch this week. The sixth in a series that has taken place in the context of international biennial events since the year 2000, this year it brings together curators, artists and theorists from New Zealand and around the world during SCAPE 8 New Intimacies Public Art Christchurch Biennial.
The four-day symposium is an initiative of Leonhard Emmerling from the Goethe-Institut, and Elke aus dem Moore of ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen/Institute for International Cultural Relations) in partnership with Creative New Zealand and the University of Canterbury and supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.
Elke aus dem Moore says, “Previous conferences focused on the perspectives of directors and organisers of biennials; later editions have asked curators, researchers, and artists to raise new questions. In Christchurch we want to widen the discourse to the perspective of the audience, activists and cultural producers.
“We will raise questions about the role of art in extreme situations – whether caused by natural disasters, political pressure or oppressive regimes. I'm excited about the conference which offers access to the city through city-walks and cultural programmes and to the topics through panels, world-cafés, conversations and roundtables. Preparations with our partners already promise an inspiring and enriching experience in New Zealand.”
Leonhard Emmerling of the Goethe-Institut says, “At the heart of the Goethe-Institut's mission lies the belief that free debate about arts in all its forms can strengthen civil societies and that societies can change through culture. We share this hope and belief with many others, among them artists and curators who point at pressing issues in contemporary political and social life.
“In Christchurch we will look carefully and self-critically at what art can achieve in circumstances of disaster, distress and political pressure. Does it contribute to the well-being of a society, is art an appropriate tool to change society?”
Invited guests: Azhari Aiyub (Writer, Indonesia), Brooke Davis Anderson (Executive Director, Prospect, New Orleans), Sepake Angiama (Head of Education for documenta 14 and Curator), Sophie Bannan, Grace Ryder, and Sophie Davis (Co-founders North Projects), Russell Brown (Media-Theorist, New Zealand), Sorcha Carey (Director, Edinburgh Art Festival), Chloe Geoghegan and Ella Sutherland (Former Directors, Dog Park Art Project Space), Zasha Colah (Independent Curator, India), Blair French (Curator SCAPE 6 & 7 and Director, Curatorial and Digital, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney), Rob Garrett (Curator, SCAPE 8), Barbara Garrie (Lecturer, Art History and Theory at the University of Canterbury), Jenny Harper (Director, Christchurch Art Gallery), Rona Kopeczky (Artistic Director OFF-Biennále Budapest), Azar Mahmoudian (Independent Curator, Teheran), Alex Monteith (Artist and Lecturer at Elam School of Fine Arts), Sarah Murray (Curator Human History, Canterbury Museum), Gabi Ngcobo (Center for Historical Reenactments, Johannesburg, Co-Curator Sao Paulo Biennial), Melanie Oliver (Director, The Physics Room), Bruce E. Philips (Senior Curator, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts), Alisa Prudnikova (Commissioner / Artistic Director, Ural Industrial Biennial), Zara Stanhope (Principal Curator, Auckland Art Gallery), Lara Strongman (Senior Curator, Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna o Waiwhetu), Syafiatudina (Project Coordinator and Curator, Made in Commons, KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, Indonesia), Megan Tamati-Quennell (Curator of Contemporary Maori, Indigenous Art, Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa), Shannon Te Ao (Artist, Lecturer at Massey University), Tim J. Veling (Artist and Lecturer, Ilam School of Fine Arts), Ruth Watson (Artist and Lecturer, Elam School of Fine Arts), Adnan Yildiz (Director, ARTSPACE, New Zealand).
Curating under Pressure is a free symposium based at the University of Canterbury, Ilam Campus. View the programme and register at www.curating-under-pressure.com
For further information or press inquiries contact:
Jamie Hanton, Project Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org