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Jul 19 2018

AAP Monthly Picks July–August 2018

by The Editors

Subcontracted Nations

Jun 28–Sep 29

AM Qattan Foundation, Ramallah 

Installation view of KHALED JARRAR’s Boots and Beret, 2017, single-channel video: 11 min 10 sec, at “Subcontracted Nations,” AM Qattan Foundation, Ramallah, 2018. Courtesy AM Qattan Foundation.

As AM Qattan Foundation’s new West Bank cultural center opened amid renewed tension between Israel and Palestine, its inaugural exhibition, “Subcontracted Nations,” aims to question the very concept of nationhood. In neoliberal societies, as the role of the state diminishes under the subcontracting of public services, so do ideas of a nation become increasingly elusive. Continuing this line of inquiry, the show also examines how neoliberal ideology functions as a method of social and economic control, transforming not only the relationship between the state and its citizens, but also between individuals. Curated by the Foundation’s director of public programs, Yazid Anani, the show features over 60 artists and collectives, including Palestinian multimedia artist Khaled Jarrar, British-Palestinian interdisciplinary artist Larissa Sansour, and British-Bangladeshi artist and filmmaker Naeem Mohaiemen.

Forgive Me, Distant Wars, for Bringing Flowers Home

Jul 12–Sep 30

OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni, Turin 

Installation view of RAMIN HAERIZADEH, ROKNI HAERIZADEH and HESAM RAHMANIAN’s “Forgive Me, Distant Wars, for Bringing Flowers Home,” at OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni, Turin, 2018. Photo Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni, Turin.

Iranian artists and brothers Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh and their childhood friend Hesam Rahmanian have collaborated on and off since around 2009, debuting as a trio in 2012 at “I Put It There, You Name It,” Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde. “Forgive Me, Distant Wars, for Bringing Flowers Home,” whose title borrows from a poem by 1996 Nobel laureate Wisława Szymborska, “Under One Small Star,” will continue to look at how individual practices intersect with collaborative work. The artists will examine their identities in video works and performances, through narratives woven by the adoption of numerous alter-egos and the reuse of everyday objects; and in doing so, explore notions of language, power, belonging, exile and destruction.

Xu Bing: Thought and Method

Jul 21–Oct 18

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

Installation view of XU BING’s Book from the Sky, 1987–1991, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable, at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa, 1998. Copyright and courtesy Xu Bing Studio.

Xu Bing’s artistic career spans over three decades since the 1980s, when he was a central figure in China’s avant-garde movement, renowned for his skills in calligraphy and printmaking. “Xu Bing: Thought and Method” proposes to be the interdisciplinary artist’s most comprehensive exhibition yet, showcasing the most notable works in his oeuvre, from early installations to more recent conceptual and filmic works. Curated by UCCA director Philip Tinari, and art curator and critic Feng Boyi, the exhibition will gather the major themes of Xu’s works, such as East Asian culture, and social changes across the world, as well as his foundational research on language acquisition, writing systems and surveillance networks, offering a sweeping survey of how the artist has developed over his varied career. 

Trans-Justice: Para-Colonial@Technology

Aug 4–Oct 21

Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei

KADER ATTIAReflecting Memory (still), 2016, single-channel video: 48 min. Courtesy the artist, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Boissy-le-Châtel / Havana; Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna; Lehmann Maupin, New York / Hong Kong / Seoul; and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Cologne / Berlin.

The past three decades have seen sweeping changes across the globe, from the end of martial law in Taiwan in 1987 to the fall of the Berlin Wall a few years later, yet impetus for progressive change has often been met with further pushback. In addition to growing disparities in wealth and power, there is now the looming threat of technological singularity, whereby the machines of our own making will bring irrevocable change to the fabric of our society. In “Trans-Justice: Para-Colonial@Technology,” artists such as the Hong Kong-based Pak Sheung Chuen, French-Algerian installation artist Kader Attia, and Chinese multimedia artist Xu Tan envision how structures of power, notions of justice, and the lives of individuals will be altered as technology takes on a central role in our world. 

Niki de Saint Phalle + Shen Yuan

Aug 18–Oct 14

Power Station of Art, Shanghai

NIKI DE SAINT PHALLENana boule – Orange, 1966–67, sculpture: polyester paint, 105 × 100 × 80cm. Photo André Morain. Copyright and courtesy Nikki Charitable Art Foundation.

Hon means “she” in Swedish. Late French-American sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle’s HON (1966) is a cathedral-like space created in worship of womanhood, and one of the first large-scale works by a female artist in contemporary art history. Half a century after its conception, Power Station of Art will hold an exhibition in honor of HONFocusing on the important works in the careers of Niki de Saint Phalle and Fujian-born French contemporary artist Shen Yuan, this exhibition will delve into the female experience, feminine identities and discourse, and the grand and the mundane, across generations and cultures.

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