"Segregated Space: On Progress" A Talk by Murtaza Vali with ArteEast
Date: November 18, 2009, 7–9 pm
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn, NY
FREE; no RSVP necessary
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As part of its "Across Histories" lecture series, ArteEast presents
"Segregated Space: On Progress," a talk by Murtaza Vali on CAMP’s
Recent post-colonial scholarship has challenged traditional
interpretations of oceans as spaces of separation, articulating,
instead, the specific types of encounters and exchange they enable and
the syncretic identities, cultures, and nationalisms that result from
such interactions. Drawing on these theories, Vali will discuss
Mumbai-based CAMP’s "Wharfage" (2009), a public art project presented
at the recent ninth Sharjah Biennial that examined current
trade—conducted exclusively by wooden dhows—between Sharjah’s old port
and contemporary Somalia. Successfully foregrounding the millennia-old
nautical ties linking the Gulf, South Asia, and East Africa, "Wharfage"
recasts the Indian Ocean as a space of connection, communication, and
exchange and posits cross-cultural interaction across it as integral to
the culture of Sharjah in particular, and more broadly, the Gulf. By
doing so it subverts the “nationalist focus” and “ethnic absolutism”
that characterizes discourses of history and culture in the United Arab Emirates,
where a pure “Emirati” identity is promoted and safeguarded above all.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Murtaza Vali is a Brooklyn- and Sharjah-based independent critic
and art historian. A regular contributor to Bidoun and ArtAsiaPacific,
where he is a contributing editor, his writing focuses on contemporary
art, culture, and politics in the United States, South Asia, and the
Middle East, and the complex intersections between these spheres
post-9/11. He was co-editor of the 2007 and 2008 editions of
ArtAsiaPacific’s annual Almanac issue, an encyclopedic year-end review
of contemporary art across Asia. His criticism has also appeared in ArtReview and Art India and he has penned catalog essays on various
artists, most recently Reena Saini Kallat and Emily Jacir. Also a
freelance curator, his upcoming exhibition “Accented” will be presented
at BRIC Rotunda Gallery in early 2010, as part of their Lori Ledis
Emerging Curator Program.
Cabinet is a non-profit organization supported by the Lambent Foundation, the Orphiflamme Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Katchadourian Family Foundation, and many generous individuals. All our events are free, the entire content of our many sold-out issues are on our site for free, and we offer our magazine and books at prices that are considerably below cost. Please consider supporting our work by making a tax-deductible donation by visiting here.