Symposium curators: ‘Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change’, Sharjah Biennial 8, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 5–7 April 2007

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Latitudes
      Issuu
The RSA and Latitudes conceived and developed the three-day symposium (see full programme) for the opening week of the Sharjah Biennial 8, United Arab Emirates, in collaboration with the American University Sharjah. The 2007 biennial was titled Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change and was curated by Mohammed Kazem, Eva Scharrer and Jonathan Watkins, with artistic director Jack Persekian.

The symposium included focused presentations by keynote speakers, critical panels and breakout seminars, which addressed broader discussions and local debates in smaller groups. The last day of the symposium included a ‘seminar on wheels’ during which a small group visited a bird reserve in Dubai and Al Khan, the area of study by artist Lara Almarcegui for the biennial.

The discussion panels focused on:

1) The lure of the 'eco': Eco-art, eco-fashion, eco-tourism, eco-politics, eco-activism, eco-village ... How has it become fashionable (or profitable) to be seen to be eco? How has what we mean by ecology been transformed and evolved through the uses of terms such as ‘environmental’, ‘green’, ‘ethical living’, and so on?

2) Offsetting / Upsetting. 'Art vs. issues': Much work in the field of art and ecology has emerged in the field of remedial actions in industrial sites. Today carbon trading and offsetting are, more abstractly, being proposed as a way of restoring the balance of the atmosphere. How or should the work of some artists might generally be regarded as a form of offsetting or redressing?

3) Urban Planning and the future city. Increasingly dense housing, commercial, cultural, infrastructural and civic spaces seem to contradict our desire for space, openness and freedom. What lies ahead for the city as a living, symbiotic form of inanimate structure and animate inhabitants?

There were also parallel seminars on 'Emergencies and Risk' and 'Resources: Truth and Materials' as well as film screenings and artists presentations.

Transcripts of the symposium were published in 2009 in the publication ‘Sharjah Biennial 8. Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change – Part II

Symposium participants: Bruce Sterling (download his keynote paper here (pdf, 404 KB)) author, journalist, editor and critic, Texas/Sebia; Rem Koolhaas (Urbanist and architect, Principal Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Rotterdam); Sarah Rich (Managing Editor of worldchanging.com); Koyo Kouoh (Cultural producer, Arts Manager and Programming Consultant, Dakar); Susi Platt (Architecture for Humanity's leading post-Tsunami reconstruction designer, Sri Lanka); Charles Esche (Director, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and SB8 Jury); Stephanie Smith (Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Curator of Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago); Mona El Mousfi (SB8 architect and Assistant Professor, AUS); Samer Kamal (founder of the newly formed Bee’ah, Sharjah Environmental Company); Geeta Kapur (Independent art critic and curator, New Delhi, India and SB8 Jury); Mark Nash (Head of the MA Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art, London and SB8 Film Programme curator) and biennial artists Peter Fend, Tomás Saraceno, Samir Srouji, Sergio Vega, Michael Rakowitz and e-Xplo with Ayreen Anastas.
Sharjah Biennial
Al Shuwaiheen, Arts Area
Sharjah
United Arab Emirates
www.sharjahbiennial.org


10 Februrary 2007, ARCOMadrid, Spain:
Presentation of Sharjah Biennial 8 with Jack Persekian (Artistic Director SB8), Lara Almarcegui (participating artist) and Latitudes (co-curators of the SB8 Symposium)


Proceedings of the symposium were published in:
'Sharjah Biennial 8. Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change. Part II'
568 pages, 233 x 165 mm
Publisher: Sharjah Biennial
ISBN 978-9948-04-328-6

Comisarios simposio: ‘Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change’, Sharjah Biennial 8, Sharjah, Emiratos Árabes Unidos, 5–7 Abril 2007

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Latitudes
      Issuu
El RSA y Latitudes concibió y programó los tres días de la conferencia inaugural de la Sharjah Biennial 8, Emiratos Árabes Unidos, en colaboración con la American University Sharjah. La bienal del 2007 fue comisariada por Mohammad Kazem, Eva Scharrer y Jonathan Watkins, junto al director artístico Jack Persekian bajo el título Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change (4 Abril – 4 Junio 2007).

El simposio incluyó una serie de forums de diversos ritmos y longitudes, presentaciones individuales, paneles críticos y seminarios en grupos reducidos, en las que se plantearon debates globales y locales. El último día del simposio tuvo lugar un ‘seminario sobre ruedas’ con una visita a un observatorio de aves en Dubai y de la zona Al Khan, zona de estudio de la artista Lara Almarcegui para su proyecto presentado en la bienal.

El simposio se dividió en las siguientes mesas redondas (véase programa):

1) La atracción por lo 'eco': Eco-arte, eco-moda, eco-turismo, eco-activismo... ¿Cómo se ha convertido en moda (o es provechoso) el ser 'eco' (lógico)?, ¿Cómo se ha transformado y evolucionado el uso de términos tales como 'medioambiental', 'verde', 'ethical lifestyle', etc.?

2) Compensación / Trastornos. 'Arte versus problemas': Gran parte del trabajo en el campo del arte y la ecología se ha enfocado en el campo de las acciones correctivas en zonas industriales. Hoy en día el comercio del carbono y de compensación se proponen como una forma de restablecer el equilibrio de la atmósfera. ¿Puede considerarse el trabajo de algunos artistas como una forma de compensar o corregir errores?

3) Planificación urbana y el futuro de la ciudad. La densidad de población en ciudades o espacios cívicos parecen contradecir nuestros deseos de habitar espacios abiertos y libres. Qué futuro tiene la ciudad como forma simbiótica con estructuras inanimadas que son habitadas?

También tuvieron lugar dos seminarios paralelos en grupos reducidos donde se discutieron los temas 'Emergencias y Riesgos' y 'Recursos: honestidad y materiales' así como proyecciones de películas y presentaciones de artistas.

En el 2009 se publicaron las transcripciones del simposio en la publicación ‘Sharjah Biennial 8. Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change – Part II

Participantes simposio: Bruce Sterling (descargar su conferencia magistral aquí (pdf, 404 KB)); autor, periodista, editor y crítico, Texas/Serbia); Rem Koolhaas (Urbanista y arquitecto, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Rotterdam); Sarah Rich (Editora Manager de worldchanging.com, Seattle); Koyo Kouoh (Productora Cultural, Manager y Consultora de programas, Dakar); Susi Platt (Colaboradora de Architecture for Humanity, liderando la reconstrucción post-Tsunami, Sri Lanka); Charles Esche (Director, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven y miembro del jurado de SB8); Stephanie Smith (Directora de Colecciones y Exposiciones, Curator de Arte Contemporáneo, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago); Mona El Mousfi (Arquitecta de la Sharjah Bienal 7 y 8 y Profesora Asistente, American University Sharjah); Samer Kamal (fundador de la reciente iniciativa Bee’ah, la compañía medioambiental de Sharjah); Geeta Kapur (Crítica de arte y comisaria independiente, New Delhi y miembro del jurado de SB8); Mark Nash (Director del Departamento MA Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art, London y curator del programa de cine de la SB8) y los artistas participantes en la bienal Peter Fend, Tomás Saraceno, Samir Srouji, Sergio Vega, Michael Rakowitz y e-Xplo with Ayreen Anastas.
Sharjah Biennial
Al Shuwaiheen, Arts Area
Sharjah
United Arab Emirates
www.sharjahbiennial.org


10 febrero 2007, ARCOMadrid, España:
Presentación de Sharjah Biennial 8 con Jack Persekian (Artistic Director SB8), Lara Almarcegui (artista) y Latitudes (co-curators del SB8 Symposium)

Transcripción del simposio publicado en:
'Sharjah Biennial 8. Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change. Part II'
568 pages, 233 x 165 mm
Publisher: Sharjah Biennial
ISBN 978-9948-04-328-6


Founded in 2005 by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, Latitudes is an independent curatorial office based in Barcelona, Spain, that works internationally within the field of contemporary art.

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