Borderlands / The Political
The political events of the last year – from the Brexit to the US presidential election – have left our heads spinning. Recent political rhetoric has thrived on the premise of ‘securing borders’, playing on a discomfort and fear about the contingency or fragility of boundaries – between what is understood as ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. How can artists respond to these crises? In a session chaired by Omar Kholeif (Manilow Senior Curator, MCA Chicago), musician and artist Fatima Al Qadiri, filmmaker Omar Al-Qattan, curator Pablo León de la Barra and artist Adelita Husni-Bey debate the role of borders – and how the arts can traverse them – in our current political climate.
• Fatima Al Qadiri is a Kuwaiti music producer and visual artist. She has released music as a solo artist on Hyperdub, Tri Angle, UNO NYC and Fade to Mind. Al Qadiri is also a member of the Gulf-based collective GCC, whose work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1, Fridericianum, the Berlin Bienniale and Sharjah Art Foundation. Her writing has appeared in Bidoun, frieze and DIS.
• Omar Al–Qattan is Chair of the Palestinian Museum and the AM Qattan Foundation, a leading independent organisation supporting culture and education in Palestine and the Arab World. In 2008, he established the Mosaic Rooms in London, a cultural space focussed on the cultures of the Arab World which has become the leading institution in it’s field. His early professional life was spent as a filmmaker producing and directing films including Dreams & Silence and Michel Khleifi’s Tale of the Three Jewels shot entirely in the Occupied Gaza Strip.
• Adelita Husni-Bey is an artist and researcher whose practice involves the analysis and counter-representation of hegemonic ideologies in contemporary Western societies. Husni-Bey’s practice encompasses drawing, painting, collage, video and participatory workshops. She recently completed the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York.
• Dr. Omar Kholeif is a curator, writer, editor and sometime filmmaker. He is the Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Previously he was Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Senior Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME, Manchester and Senior Editor atIbraaz. The author and or editor of over two dozen books, he also writes widely for publications including frieze, The Guardian, and Wired.
• Pablo León de la Barra is currently a curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for the Latin American phase of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. León de la Barra has curated or co-curated at institutions including David Roberts Art Foundation and the Architecture Foundation, London; Centre de Art Contemporaine, Geneva, and Kunsthalle Zürich; and apexart and Art in General.