The 6th Athens Biennale expressed the need for an urgent new self-identification of the confused contemporary community, either in local or in international terms - an urgent need of a new “revolution” that would define the 21st century. Christos Paridis writes about the exhibition, which he describes as an adult playground for those who are seeking questions or answers to present and future nightmares.
art and politics
Moving across New York and San Francisco, Paris and Munich, Accra and Lagos, artist and scholar Malik Gaines’s Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left: A History of the Impossible offers a lively and affirmative account of stage, dress, film and television, and music performance. Saadi Nikro reviews Gaines’s recently published book, discussing its many intersections of race, theatricality, subjectivity, and sexuality.
The show "Stolen Arab Art" that recently opened in Tel Aviv is tainted by exploitation, ignorance, incoherence, and impersonation. The organizers blatantly disregard the will of the chosen artists not to show their work in Israel. The members of Tohu's editorial board object to the patronizing act perpetrated under the guise of enlightenment and dialogue.
"Köfte Airlines retraced a trail uncannily similar to that of its subject, from Germany to Turkey and back along a zigzag of uprooted expectations." Matt Hanson writes about Halil Altindere's work in the context of the refugee crisis, as well as the effects of the current oppressive political climate in Turkey on artists and cultural practitioners.
A mother screams as her baby is wrenched from her arms; a sex fest featuring Canada's founding fathers and various forest animals; and Miss Chief – a powerful, sexy, transgender indigenous figure in traditional attire, beads, and feathers. Liora Belford visits "Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience," the travelling exhibition of the work of artist Kent Monkman, who wonders where are the painters who have documented the hunger, the poverty, the pain, and the annihilation of a whole culture.
"Pre-Israeli Orientalism: A Photographic Portrait", written by Dor Guez, focuses on a photographic genre from the early decades of the twentieth century as a local, unique, and complex case of visual Orientalism. Hagai Ulrich reviews the book and suggests broadening the conversation through the values and characteristics of performance art.
"From a local perspective, 'A Good Neighbour' brought hope to an art scene wrapped in a dark curtain." Hou Rf reviews the 15th Istanbul Biennial, curated by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset.
"The future of curatorial practice has to be shared, democratic, and incorporating many voices." Bar Yerushalmi interviews Adrian George, Director of Exhibitions at ArtScience Museum in Singapore, former Deputy Director of the UK Government Art Collection, and author of The Curator's Handbook
What do recent accounts of institutional cultural practice in the Middle East offer to further the understanding and the development of contemporary cultural production in the region, and what do they fail to address? Lama Suleiman reviews the latest volume in the ongoing Ibraaz publication series on visual culture in the Middle East and North Africa