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Declaration of Poetic Disobedience, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, 2005

Vtape presents
The Curatorial Incubator, v.14:
All Is Well On the Border
Curated by Noor Alé and Claudia Mattos

An off-screen co-presentation with Images Festival
April 20 – 27, 2017
www.imagesfestival.com

Opening reception, screening and curators’ talk
Saturday April 22, 2017
10am – 1pm

As befits our newly renovated space at the iconic 401 Richmond heritage building, we took a different approach to this year’s annual curatorial mentoring project. Early in 2016, two emerging curators – Claudia Mattos, then working with Performa in New York, and Noor Alé, working at the National Gallery of Canada - approached us enthusiastically with a request to put together a program loosely based on ideas of the body and migration. Given that Vtape was about to be relocated (to accommodate our renovation), we accepted their offer to develop their proposal using the on-line preview services that Vtape now offers since our more traditional workshop/mentoring/research facilities were going to be unavailable for a few months. Many thanks to the Artistic Director of the Images Festival Amy Fung, for welcoming this year’s Curatorial Incubator into their off- screen program.

Working with their stated interests, Alé and Mattos went on to develop a theme they felt was relevant for these politically tense times. The program they proposed is drawn from the holdings at Vtape and takes its name from the eponymous 1997 documentary by Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari.

Writing even before the now-daily machinations of nationalistic state pronouncements, they articulate current events, saying: “A border, in its spatial and territorial configurations, is at once impenetrable and permeable. Through its architectural manifestation, a border diverges from its imaginary conception as a line of latitude and longitude, and takes form as a structure of oppression and segregation. The imagined possibilities of restricting movement are given structural form, as the simplest architectural gesture is to erect a wall separating here from there; us from them.”

Join us in an informal launch of our newly designed gallery/screening space on the 4th floor of 401 Richmond, shared with FADO, imagineNATIVE, REEL Asian, and SAVAC. The program includes a bonus screening of All Is Well On the Border followed by Claudia and Noor’s curated selections. Coffee, tea and refreshments will be available.


The Program

Akram Zaatari, All Is Well On the Border
1997, 43:00
A critique of the political slogans which usually dominate the image of the shrit, or the occupied frontal zone in South Lebanon.

Break

Mieke Bal and Shahram Entekhabi, Lost in Space
2005, 17:00
The film about homelessness and displacement tears apart the different manifestations of language.

Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Declaration of Poetic Disobedience
2005, 15:15
“In November of 2003 I began to write this text. It was my clumsy attempt at finding a post-9/11 voice and place in another map-an imaginary one drafted by me.” (G G-P)

Mona Hatoum, Measures of Distance
1988, 15:25
This early work is concerned with the artist's separation from her Palestinian family and in particular, her relationship with her mother whose letters from Beirut are read aloud as the soundtrack to the tape.

Julia Meltzer, David Thorne, Not a matter of if but when: brief records of a time in which expectations were repeatedly raised and lowered and people grew exhausted from never knowing if the moment was at hand or still to come
2006, 17:33
Developed with Rami Farah in 2005–06 in Damascus, when momentous events reverberated throughout Syria giving rise to widespread anxiety and anticipation around the potential for imminent change, regime change, internal reform, internal collapse, civil war and the increased power of fundamentalist Islam.



CURATORS’ BIOS
Claudia Mattos is currently Interim Exhibitions and Programming Director for the Miami-based art space Locust Projects. Previously, she served as Curatorial Assistant and Content Editor at Performa, New York. She has contributed to curatorial research, exhibitions and writing at The Whitney Museum of American Art; Independent Curators International; and Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. She earned an MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art; and a BA in Art History from Cornell University.

Noor Alé is an Exhibitions Program Officer at the National Gallery of Canada. She has contributed to curatorial research, arts writing and public programming at the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, Art Dubai, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Royal Ontario Museum, and Art Gallery of Ontario. Her research is focused on the psychosomatic aspect of networked culture and the affective responses to image saturation. She holds an MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art.



ARTISTS’ BIOS
Akram Zaatari’s (b. 1966, Saida, Lebanon) work reflects on the shifting nature of borders and the production and circulation of images in the context of the current political divisions in the Middle East. He lives and works in Beirut.

Mieke Bal (b. 1946, Heemstede, Netherlands) is an acclaimed Dutch cultural theorist, critic, curator and video artist. She lives and works in Amsterdam.

Shahram Entekhabi (b. 1963, Borujerd, Iran) is an Iranian architect and artist. He lives and works in Berlin.

Guillermo Gómez-Peña (b. 1955, Mexico City, Mexico) is a pioneering Mexican-American performance artist, writer, and artistic director of the arts organization La Pocha Nostra. He lives and works in San Francisco

Gustavo Vazquez (b. 1954, Tijuana, Mexico) is a Mexican-American writer, documentary filmmaker, and Professor of Film & Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz, California where he lives.

Mona Hatoum (b. 1952, Beirut, Lebanon) is a renowned British-Palestinian artist celebrated for her poignant and political works of video, sculpture and installation that explore themes of belonging and confinement through the lens of Palestinian displacement. She lives and works in London, UK.

Julia Meltzer (b. 1968, Hollywood, California) is an American video artist and director whose works explore the complex politics of the Middle East, while questioning the affective impacts of documentary formats. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

David Thorne (b. 1960, Boston, Massachusetts) is an American artist and filmmaker whose projects serve as investigations into the evolving relationships between individuals and evidence in the 21st century, particularly in light of war, terrorism, and life post-9/11. He lives and works in Los Angeles.


This exhibition is presented in partnership with the 30th Images Festival.

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