4A Curators' Intensive Keynote Lecture #2: Zarmeené Shah

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4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

181-187 Hay St

Sydney, New South Wales 2000

Australia

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As part of the 2014 4A Curators' Intensive initiative, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will be hosting a series of public access Keynote Lectures held at the gallery. The second of these keynotes is a presentation by Zarmeené Shah, an independent curator and critic based in Karachi, Pakistan.

Returning to Karachi after an MA in Critical & Curatorial Studies from Columbia University in 2010, Shah has curated several notable and often large-scale exhibitions, both institutionally and independently. She has previously held positions of Lecturer at the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, Chief Curator of the IVS Gallery, Karachi, Independent Consultant for South Asian Art for the CCA Derry-Londonderry (Northern Ireland), and most recently Assistant Director at the Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi. Focusing on contemporary art and continental and semiotic theory, she is particularly interested in new media, the body, and the political in art. As a writer, she regularly contributes to academic journals, catalogues as well as several print and online publications, including The Herald Pakistan, ArtAsiaPacific, ArtReview and ArtReview Asia magazines.

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Zarmeene Shah will present;

The Karachi Biennale: A Case Study in Alternative Sites of Exchange

Taking the upcoming inaugural Karachi Biennale in 2017 as model, this talk opens up possibilities of how one begins to formulate ways of anchoring the ideas and dialogues generated in contemporary practices from Pakistan and around. Focusing on the biennale’s thematic of Witness, Shah discusses curatorial approaches and strategies geared towards the unpacking of a layered conceptual framework, highly relevant to this historically and geopolitically charged region, that looks at ideas of the personal and the political (geo/socio/religio), of memories and histories (written, unwritten, rewritten), and of investigations of the urban, the city of Karachi, within which many artistic practices find themselves entrenched. With a lack of state support and of many formal institutional structures and spaces, this presentation also raises questions of art in alternative/public space and takes into consideration issues of articulation, dissemination, audience and engagement. In such places, how must the roles of curators, artists, institutions and individuals shift in order to meet the challenges of a burgeoning art industry and evolving art practices that do not find Western institutional, critical and infrastructural models at their heart? As co-curator of the exhibition, Shah looks at the biennale as a site of exchange, investigating the possibilities, potentials and impacts of this large-scale, inaugural international art event for the city where it is to be located, the country, and for the region at large.

Date and Time

Location

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

181-187 Hay St

Sydney, New South Wales 2000

Australia

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