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CuratorTel AvivAugust 30, 2012
Chen Tamir is a curator and writer focusing on new media and social practice. Raised in Toronto, she is about to move from New York to Tel Aviv to work as curator at the Center for Contemporary Art. Previously she was Program Manager at Artis and Program Associate at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School University in New York. From 2008 to 2011, she ran Flux Factory, a nonprofit live/work art collective in New York. She is an advisor to A Blade of Grass, EFA Project Space, and other organizations. Her writing has appeared in FlashArt, C Magazine, Blackflash, and many other publications. (photo: Eve Dahler)
When asked to write about my obsessions or interests, Occupy Wall Street is at the top of the list. I know it sounds as generic as liking music or puppies on your Facebook profile, but our future's everything seems to revolve around its potential, whether it's the fight against Citizens United or for intern rights. But what I'm really looking forward to is the one-year anniversary!
2. Army music video remakes
Even though it's been a couple of years since some of these videos have come out, I'm still mesmerized. I'm seduced by the original and brilliant Lady Gaga video, but to see it restaged by a bunch of soldiers in Iraq is beyond comprehension. Even though it universalizes the need to sing and dance, even in war, the danger, of course, is normalizing the situation; as if singing pop songs and dancing with rifles is okay, even awesome, in the midst of a dreadful and banal conflict. It personalizes the military and softens our understanding of how these soldiers spend the rest of their time.
I can't recommend Documenta enough - even if you're not in the arts, or maybe especially if you're not. It's on until September 16 and there is so much to see, it's hard to know where to start, but a few exquisite things that are easy to miss are Tino Seghal's This Variation, Michael Rakowitz's What Dust Will Rise? and Gareth Moore's A place—near the buried canal.
4. Truth is Concrete
Truth Is Concrete is a weeklong marathon camp on artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art that will take place in Graz, Austria this September. Organized by steirischer herbst, this temporary community will "develop its own jet lag towards the surrounding world – at the same time being confronted non-stop with an outside audience passing by, joining in, leaving and returning." Hundreds of participants, many of whom were awarded grants to travel from all over the world to attend, will take part in 24/7 workshops and activities including radio shows, the "garden of biological disobedience," a mobile hair salon, a pirate book library, a mobile video art archive of the Israeli Center for Digital Art (that I had organized in New York in 2009), an exciting-sounding exhibition, and a gala celebrating the rebranding of the European Muslim community.
5. Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art
Maria Lind and Hito Steyerl's essay is part of a larger anthology I put together with Eyal Danon for Ma'arav last year called Creative Actuality. Another favourite in that issue is The Nine Eyes of Google Street View.
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