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Oct 22 2018

AAP Monthly Picks: October–November 2018

by The Editors

Moving Pledges: Art and Action in Southeast Asia

BUI CONG KHANH, Stamp On Me, 2004, photographic documentation of two-hour performance at Nippon International Performance Art Festival, Tokyo, 2004. Copyright and courtesy the artist.

Curated by art historian Iola Lenzi, “Moving Pledges” examines power and politics in Southeast Asia through the artworks of 13 artists and collectives, spanning a period of four decades, from 1977 to today. The show will highlight the region’s photography, video, installation and early performance works, prompting discussions on how art has been, and still is, a mode of identifying and understanding power structures, as well as a vehicle for social and political empowerment. In a compact and powerful presentation, works by emerging artists such as Bui Cong Khanh, Justin Loke and Yang Jie will be displayed alongside those of iconic heavyweights like Manit Sriwanichpoom and FX Harsono.

Justine Youssef: All Blessings, All Curses

Nov 2–Dec 16

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia

Still image from DUHA ALI and JUSTINE YOUSSEF’s Kohl, 2018, three-channel video installation: four minutes, three brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artists.

In “All Blessings, All Curses,” Sydney-based artist Justine Youssef probes the politics of identity in the 21st century through the lens of the diasporic experience. Showcasing recent and newly commissioned works across a variety of mediums including sculpture, video, installation and text, the exhibition will draw on the artist’s personal everyday experiences, and the smells, sights and textures of her ancestral homeland of Lebanon. Reflecting on histories of colonization and issues of displacement and nationhood, the artist will spotlight ideas of otherness and cross-cultural misunderstandings in our contemporary world, while alluding to universal themes of faith, love, family and home.

Punk Orientalism

Nov 10–Feb 17, 2019

MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Canada

AIKATERINI GEGISIAN, Falling Tight I, 2014, Photographic readymades, archival material, 29.8 × 42.5 cm. Courtesy MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina.

Punk emerged as a subculture in the 1970s, characterized by an unapologetic, aggressive, anti-establishment approach to rock music, fashion, and other forms of expression. Curated by Sara Raza, “Punk Orientalism” takes this revolutionary ethos as its starting point, homing in on the theme of resistance from a non-Eurocentric and post-Soviet perspective, with a particular focus on the spaces and people related to Central Asia and the Caucasus. Highlights include Kitab Kebab (Sarmats and Tsars) (2013) by the artist collective Slavs and Tatars, whose arrangement of skewered books mine the cultural complexities of the area known as Eurasia, and the photographic collage Falling Tight I (2014) by Aikaterini Gegisian, which draws upon disparate images to critique the Cold War-era Space Race.

Shanghai Biennale: Proregress – Art in an Age of Historical Ambivalence

Nov 10–Mar 10, 2019

Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China

AMALIA PICA and RAFAEL ORTEGA AYALA, Catalogue of Great Ape Gestures (In Alphabetical Order), 2018, video: 13 minutes 22 seconds. Performed by Michael Smith. Courtesy Herald St Gallery, London; and König Galerie, Berlin.

“Nothing recedes like progress.” In this antithetical provocation of modernist poet EE Cummings lies the crux of the 12th Shanghai Biennale, curated by Cuauhtémoc Medina. Centered on the paradox of progress, “Proregress,” or Yubu (the Chinese title, referring to a Daoist dance technique in which the dancer appears to move forward while actually moving backwards), presents a topical examination of contemporary anxieties and uncertainties. Sampling the works of international artists—from Nadim Abbas to Amalia Pica, Yang Fudong to Kader Attia—this biennale will not only respond to our subjective experiences of recent geopolitical tensions and social change, but will also draw upon our increasingly complicated relationship to our past, and our fears for the future.

Crude

Nov 11–Apr 23, 2019

Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

LYDIA OURAHMANE, Land of the Sun, 2014, mixed media installation with perspex, recycled engine oil, lemon tree, tyre, 154 × 213 cm, at “Constructed Culture Sounds Like Conculture,” Ellis King, Dublin, 2015. Photo Gunnar Meier. Courtesy the artist.

Jameel Arts Centre’s inaugural exhibition, “Crude,” brings together 17 artists and collectives to dig into the complex history—and future—of the oil industry in the Middle East. Curated by Murtaza Vali, the exhibition aims to explore the industry’s geopolitical influence and longstanding sociological, cultural and environmental effects across the region. Presentations will include archival photographs of this industry from the 1950s and ’60s by Latif al-Ani; Lydia Ourahmane’s installation The Land of the Sun (2014), touching on the promises of oil wealth; newly commissioned works on paper by Hajra Waheed that reflect on the history of the Arabian American Oil Company; and performances by Lantian Xie examining contemporary rituals of car culture across the Gulf region.

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