Dialogues on Transnational Curatorial Practice

Dialogues on Transnational Curatorial Practice

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
6 to 8pm

Organized by CEC ArtsLink and No Longer Empty
in collaboration with the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation
Moderated by Kendal Henry, Director of New York City’s Percent for Art Program

Photo: Alex Escalante. Photo Courtesy of No Longer Empty. [Image Description: Two women wearing scarves and black jackets look onto a sculpture in a gallery setting. The sculpture, to the far left, is made of a light brown wooden ladder, red objects, and straw. Behind the two women is a black wall with silver brick painted onto a section of it it as well as a blonde woman in black with her back turned.]

Photo: Alex Escalante. Photo Courtesy of No Longer Empty. [Image Description: Two women wearing scarves and black jackets look onto a sculpture in a gallery setting. The sculpture, to the far left, is made of a light brown wooden ladder, red objects, and straw. Behind the two women is a black wall with silver brick painted onto a section of it it as well as a blonde woman in black with her back turned.]

Dialogues on Transnational Curatorial Practice presented five conversations between CEC ArtsLink’s International Arts Leadership Fellows and No Longer Empty Curatorial Lab Curators (NLE Lab Curators) on socially-engaged artistic and curatorial practices featuring Data Chigholashvili, Georgia; Eva Mayhabal Davis, USA; Sarah Fritchey, USA; Jordan Greenberg, USA; Maria Ivanov, Moldova; Mary Kay Judy, USA; Eva Khachatryan, Armenia; Lera Lerner, Russia; Niama Safia Sandy, USA; and Lilia Voronkova, Russia. In each conversation, an Arts Leadership Fellow presented a single project in discussion with a NLE Lab Curator.

The Fellows are practicing artists, curators ,and researchers who address pressing social issues in their countries with a focus on socially-engaged art projects, social science, the urban environment, and collaborative, site- and community-responsive methodologies. NLE Lab Curators participated in the No Longer Empty Curatorial Lab program, a socially conscious platform for experimentation in curating and a professional development program for emerging curators interested in direct experience curating in an expanded field.

The Arts Leadership Fellows were in New York as part of a visit organized by CEC ArtsLink with the support of the Trust for Mutual Understanding. This event was hosted by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation at The 8th Floor.

CEC ArtsLink’s international Arts Leadership Fellows Bios

Data Chigholashvili (Curator of International Programs, The State Silk Museum/Project Coordinator, GeoAIR, Tbilisi, Georgia) works between social anthropology and contemporary art, exploring connections between them through theoretical research and socially engaged art projects. He is mainly interested in topics concerning visual and urban anthropology, ethnography, socially engaged art practices, public space, migration, foodways, and memory - some of which are usually interconnected in his collaborative work.  Chigholashvili's works are strongly related to the specificity of their contexts. Through direct commentary, or subtle forms, he aims to present and question issues of the surroundings, while exploring connections between various disciplines and ways of expression in order to challenge conventional definitions and forms.  He has worked at GeoAIR since 2012 and in January 2018 also began working as a Curator of International Programs at the State Silk Museum.

Maria Ivanov (Project Assistant, Oberliht Young Artists Association, Chisinau, Moldova), studied at the Architectural School of Manchester University, which made her passionate about returning to Moldova and exchanging new experiences. She is involved in projects that explore the relationship between art, urban space, and society with several local organizations and is also interested in cultural and social entrepreneurship.  She is currently exploring this topic in the United Kingdom as an intern at Baby People UK through the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program.

Eva Khachatryan (Independent Curator, Yerevan, Armenia) is an independent curator, Vice-President of AICA Armenia (International Association of Art Critics) and a member of CIMAM (International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern and Contemporary Art). She worked as a curator at the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (ACCEA) from 2003-2008 and served asco-director of the Department of Fine Arts at the ACCEA from 2006-8.  She currently runs the suburb.am platform. Khachatryan's curatorial work focuses on women’s issues and new media in contemporary art. Among the projects she has organized since 2005 are the Women’s Dialogue Festival (ACCEA, Yerevan) and the international media festival Art in the Age of New Technologies (ACCEA, Yerevan) as well as the exhibitions Alternative Vision (Art Point Gallery, Vienna), All and Now (Suburb Cultural Center, Yerevan), and Memory and Identity in the framework of the Culturescapes Festival in Basel, Switzerland.  As co-organizer of the TranskaukazjaFestival initiated by The Other Space Foundation (Warsaw, Poland) from 2007-2012, she organized the City in Use public art project in Yerevan in 2011.

Lera Lerner (Artist, curator, and Founder of the Imaginary Museum of Displaced Faces, St. Petersburg, Russia) is an artist and curator, who focuses her practice on socially engaged art. She researches the processes and ethics of spontaneous communication in an urban environment using performance, installation, and artistic research. Lerner graduated from the Pro Arte Program for contemporary artists and recently completed the MA program in Curatorial Studies at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of St. Petersburg State University.  She participated in the Manifesta 10 International Biennial, IV and V Moscow International Biennial of Young Art, 4th and 5th Art Prospect Festival, V International Baltic Biennial of Contemporary Art, VI Ural Industrial Biennial, and the 14th Contemporary Art in the Traditional Museum Festival, and was nominated for the  Innovation X prize.

Lilia Voronkova (Coordinator of Art-Social Science Projects, Centre for Independent Research (CISR), St. Petersburg, Russia) works at the intersection of social science, art and urbanism. She is a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and conducted a research project on interdisciplinary projects and public sociology at the Humboldt University in Berlin in 2009-2010. Lilia is a curator and initiator of collaborative projects between social scientists and artists, curator of non-academic educational programs and study tours, and has served on the curatorial team of the international public art festival Art Prospect since 2014.  She also works as a consultant on urban development projects for government and business. Her current interests include: urban research and development, urban/public/street art, urban activism, non-academic education, socially engaged art and intercultural exchange.

No Longer Empty Curatorial Lab Curators Bios

Eva Mayhabal Davis (2015 NLE Lab: Intersecting Imaginaries, The Bronx) is a collaborator who works with artists and creatives in the production of exhibitions, texts, and events. Her focus as a curator and cultural liaison is on supporting multifaceted incubation spaces by increasing visibility and mediating conversations among artists, objects, and audiences. Davis is the Gallery & Studio Program Manager at Brooklyn's Smack Mellon and a founding member of El Salón, a monthly meet up for cultural producers.

Sarah Fritchey (2017 NLE Lab: Inaugural Southeast Queens Biennial A Locus of Moving Points, Jamaica, Queens) is the Curator and Gallery Director at Artspace in New Haven, CT. Through her curatorial practice, she seeks to ignite conversations around the body, identity, representation, community-building and the need for greater equity in the arts. Fritchey has curated exhibitions at institutions including the NYPOP Gallery, NYC; the African American Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Queens College, NY; Hessel Museum at Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; and University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has written for Artscope Magazine,Big, Red & Shiny, and Artforum.com. Sarah will curate the 2018 Florida Biennial for Art and Culture Center/Hollywood.

Jordan Greenberg (2016 NLE Curatorial Lab: Remix Rememory, Jamaica, Queens) is passionate about using art to investigate borders in space, time, and identity. She has a B. in History and Arabic from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied contemporary art, reimagining suspension at military checkpoints. She has studied in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, where she participated in exhibitions on architectural failures and colonized identities. Greenberg currently lives in Brooklyn and will be a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in New York City in Fall 2018.

Mary Kay Judy (2015 NLE Lab: Intersecting Imaginaries, The Bronx) is the Principal of Mary Kay Judy-Architectural & Cultural Heritage Conservation. Her international practice focuses on architectural conservation advisory and technical services for current and future monuments and heritage sites. She is forging the relationship between historic preservation and curatorial practice in contemporary arts in her ongoing project Reversible Monuments: Historic Environment as Contemporary Medium.

Niama Safia Sandy (2017 NLE Lab: Inaugural Southeast Queens Biennial A Locus of Moving Points, Jamaica, Queens) is a New York-based cultural anthropologist, independent curator, and essayist. Her work delves into the human story through the critical lenses of culture, healing, history, migration, music, race and ritual. Her creative practice focuses on the ways history, economics, migration and other social forces have shaped modern realities. She uses the visual, written and performative arts to tell familiar stories in innovative ways that lift us all to a higher state of ontological and spiritual wholeness. Sandy is an alumnae of Howard University and SOAS, University of London.

Moderator Bio

Kendal Henry is an artist and curator who lives in New York City and specializes in the field of public art for over twenty-five years. He illustrates that public art can be used as a tool for social engagement, civic pride and economic development through the projects and programs he’s initiated in the US, Europe, Russia, Asia, Central Asia, Papua New Guinea, Australia and the Caribbean. He’s currently the Director of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program and an adjunct professor at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

Organization Bios

CEC ArtsLink promotes international communication and understanding through collaborative arts projects. We support and produce programs that encourage the exchange of visual and performing artists and cultural managers in the United States and 37 countries overseas. We believe that the arts are a society's most deliberate and complex means of communication and that the work of artists and arts administrators can help nations overcome long histories of reciprocal distrust, insularity and conflict. Our organization was founded in 1962 to enable citizens of the United States and the Soviet Union to accomplish what their governments would not do - open doors, share ideas and build mutual trust. Our lasting partnerships abroad enable us to broaden our international reach, as today's transformed and complex world makes citizen diplomacy more urgently necessary than ever. http://cecartslink.org

No Longer Empty curates site-responsive exhibitions, education and public programs in unconventional locations around New York City. We create artistic platforms for collaboration and dialogue around social, cultural and political issues. Our exhibitions and educational programs amplify existing community networks and cultural resources. The NLE Curatorial Lab (NLE Lab) is a socially conscious platform for experimentation in curating, and a professional development program for emerging curators and arts professionals interested in direct experience curating in an expanded field. NLE Lab extends No Longer Empty’s mission to curate site-responsive and community-centered exhibitions and programs in unique spaces. With a focus on research, project-based learning, and collaboration, NLE Lab is designed to deepen an understanding of the development of exhibitions and related programming within a specific urban context. The program includes a curriculum of critical readings, guest speakers, site/historical research, studio/exhibition visits, and incorporates community engagement as a fundamental component in the formation of curatorial themes. www.nolongerempty.org