Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Questioning Alternative Practices

Questioning Alternative Practices 1
23 - 24 September, 2006
Hosted in part by Platform Garanti

A three part workshop/seminar organized by Pelin Tan and Anton Vidokle, questioning viability of artists-run spaces and artist collectives as alternative contemporary art practices. Artists' initiatives have been a crucial force in development of public cultural institutions. From Gustave Courbet's revolutionary artist-curated exhibitions, to more current examples such as artist run spaces, centers and collectives, these grass-root initiatives have historically offered a critical alternative to official, state mandated institutions. It can be argued that these smaller, self-organized models are often more effective in contributing to cultural development and produce impact disproportionate to their scale. However, contemporary factors that influence practices and models of artists' initiatives, such as new institutionalism and modes of collaboration shaped by governmental cultural policies (EU – European cultural capital for example), as well as market-driven dynamics in western and non-western cities, are speeding up the privatization of public and urban space, and need be carefully considered as artists'-run spaces are now frequently instrumentalized for goals of urban, institutional and cultural normalization. This workshop will examine the current state of artists' initiatives and discuss potential for new models and structures.

The discussions will take part in three different cities addressing topics pertinent to these specific locations. The first session will take place in Istanbul in September 2006, and will focus on several key contextual factors: the glamour newly bestowed upon self initiated artistic projects in the age of globalism, Turkey's bid to become a member of the European Union and the related rapid and large scale transformation of Istanbul. The second session will occur in November in Berlin, a city which recently undergone a drastic transformation and unification, where production of critical visual culture is so much driven by artists' initiatives that it maintains more then thirty such organizations. The final session will take place in January 2007, in Nicosia – a divided city that is almost entirely lacking in such initiatives for which this project aims to present a range of possible models for effective alternative cultural institutions.

Saturday 23-09.2006

Introduction: Pelin Tan & Anton Vidokle
Maria Lind, European Cultural Policies vs. self- organization
Martha Rosler (artists run and cooperative galleries / alternative spaces in North America during and after the NEA)
Bikvanderpol (artists organizational practices in Western Europe and the problematic of Rotterdam as European Cultural Capital 2001)
Haris Pelapaisiotis group (artists initiatives at the edge of Europe)
Coffee break

18:30 - 19:30
Focus Groups/Discussion: participants and audience separate in 4 separate focus groups for
in-depth discussion of the four presentations.

Sunday 24-09-2006
Artist Initiatives, at Pist with K2 and Pist Presentation
Meeting at BAS, Presentation
Closing Remarks

Haris Pellapaisiotis is a photographer and a professor at Intercollege, Nicosia. He is the founder of Arttalk - an independent discursive platform for contemporary art and theory in Nicosia.

Pavlina Paraskevaidou founded and ran Archimede Staffolini - a contemporary art gallery in Nicosia, Cyprus from 1998-2005. She holds a law degree LLB (Hons) and an MA in History of Art. She is currently a research student in Visual Cultures at Goldsmith’s College, University of London.

Maria Lind is the director of IASPIS (International Artist Studio Programme in Sweden) since 2005. During 2002-2004 she was the director of Kunstverein M√ľnchen where she ran a programme which involved artists such as Deimantas Narkevicius, Oda Projesi, Bojan Sarcevic, Philippe Parreno and Marion von Osten. The format of a retrospective, or survey, was explored in a one-year long retrospective with Christine Borland 2002-2003, only ever showing one piece at a time and a retrospective project in the form of a 7-day long workshop with Rirkrit Tiravanija. From 1997-2001 she was curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm and, in 1998, co-curator of "Manifesta 2", Europe's biennale of contemporary art. Lind curated "What if: Art on the Verge of Architecture and Design", filtered by Liam Gillick. LIND was one of 10 contributing curators to Phaidon's "Fresh Cream" book, and she has contributed widely to magazines including "Index", "Site", "Frieze", "Art Monthly" and "Parkett", as well as to numerous catalogues and other publications.

Martha Rosler was born in Brooklyn, New York. She took her B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1965 and her M.F.A. from University of California, San Diego in 1974. Rosler works in video, photo-text, installation, and performance, and writes criticism. She has lectured extensively nationally and internationally. Her work in the public sphere ranges from everyday life — often with an eye to women's experience — and the media to architecture and the built environment. She has published several books of photographs, texts, and commentary on public space, ranging from airports and roads to housing and homelessness. Her work has been seen in the "Documenta" exhibition in Kassel, Germany; several Whitney biennials; the Institute of Contemporary Art in London; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Dia Center for the Arts in New York; and many other international venues.

Bik Van der Pol
Already for ten years the artists from Rotterdam Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol have been working together. Their engagement with the surrounding area results in (often architectonically inspired) installations with a program questioning the history and future of the locations. Their projects are oriented towards issues of functionality and utility of art in a given situation or place. Like intermediaries they are determined to change the cultural climate and to modify it in a constructive way. The international attention for the projects of Bik Van der Pol is increasing and in 2005 their work is on view, among others, in Museum het Valkhof, Nijmegen, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Wiener Secession, Vienna and Cork Caucus, Cork. They are also the key figures of the New York initiative ‘Nomads & Residents’.

Pelin Tan, 1974 / Germany. Research assistant and Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Social Sciences – History of Art, Architecture Faculty, ITU. She graduated in 1996 from Sociology – AU. and completed her master degree at the ITU about: “globalization and contemporary art after 1990s”. Tan is a DAAD granted Ph.D. candidate at Humboldt Univ. working on “the concept of locality in social-political engaged art projects after 90s” – and is a guest lecturer about “space politics” at Berlin Technical University – History of Art (2006-2007). Tan is the co-editor and producer of a non-profit Istanbul based contemporary art issue “Muhtelif”; Istanbul correspondence of Atlanta based art magazine “Artpapers”. She has curated at TENT and Witte de With Contemporary Art Institutions (2003-2004), and curated, organized several international art and architecture projects. As a writer she contributed books: self-service city: Istanbul, b-books; Kulturelle Topografien, Metzler; The [un]common place, Actar. TRACER 1-2, WdW; Felons by A.Phelan, FROM/TO by Karl-Heinz Klopf, Linz.

Anton Vidokle was born in Moscow and is currently based in Berlin. His work has been exhibited in shows such as the Venice Biennale, Dakar Biennale and at Tate Modern, London; Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana; Musee d'art Modern de la Ville de Paris; Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; UCLA Hammer, LA; ICA, Boston; Haus Der Kunst, Munich; P.S.1, New York; amongst others. With Julieta Aranda, he put together e-flux video rental. As founding director of e-flux, he has produced projects such as Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist, Do it, Utopia Station poster project, and organized An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life and Martha Rosler Library. Anton Vidokle was a co-curator of Manifesta 6.

Rana Zincir Celal is Vice President for Programs at the Chrest Foundation, a US foundation with grantmaking programs in Turkey and Cyprus. Prior to that she was working as a consultant in Istanbul on a number of projects including a research effort on philanthropy with the Third Sector Foundation of Turkey and a cultural policy initiative with Anadolu Kultur and the European Cultural Foundation. She was the initiator of “Leaps of Faith”, an international contemporary arts exhibition which took place on both sides of Nicosia and the Buffer Zone. Prior to her work in Istanbul, she was based in the Economic Development Unit of the Ford Foundation in New York. She is a member of the Greek Turkish Forum and a board member of the Domini Foundation, which is a donor advised fund operated in partnership with the UN Foundation. Her educational background is in political and economic development from Columbia University and the London School of Economics.