in Curating, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Remote Art: De-Colonized and De-Imperialized Patterns of Cultural Imaginaries
The research conducts a systematic investigation and a classification of art that is distinctive of remote areas. It commences with an illustration of the unique features of remote places, vis-a-vis the physical and metaphysical traits of these spaces, and continues with a survey into the visual culture that regions far from populated centers have cultivated. By reaching back to the prehistoric and historical art that has developed in deserts, steppes and velds, the research observes patterns of colonization and their government on cultural imaginary. These examinations assist the research to re-insert local indigenous arts and crafts intp the context of a global art canon.
An awareness to a series of colonial pasts and of hegemonic presents, tie together art institutions that are separated by vast distances. The Deluzian concepts of the ‘rhizome’, ‘nomadism’ and ‘smooth space’ serve as the key to understand a wave of post-institutional art stemming from remote areas. The consideration of this remote, post-institutional art paves the way to an understanding of the capacity that art institutions located outside populated areas hold and their ability to produce and exhibit a new genre of art. An analysis of three contemporary and one historical remote art institution – their curatorial agenda, their outreach programs, their cultural agents – assists to articulate the ethos of art institutions, the uniqueness of creative agents situated in remote areas, and aids to distinguish between the similarities of Remote Art and Land Art.
An agenda for the production and exhibition of art intended for remote areas is based on the knowledge produced in the theoretical section that is ‘fed’ into a crafted, hybrid structure, based on two ‘creatures’ that ‘grow’ in ‘smooth spaces’. The first is the phantasmagorical phenomenon of the Fata Morgana (mirage). Images that appear on the horizon and are a result of the contrast in temperatures between ground and air. They appear due to an assortment of mineral particles that float in the air and provide the ‘screen’ on which they appear. This phenomenon is studied in this research via its ability to cultivate moving images which rely on the precise balance of the surrounding ecosystem. The second ‘being’ that the practical section is based on is the Tumbleweed. This plant is endemic to these areas and ‘wanders’ the land due to the fact that it disconnects from its roots and travels with the wind.
These two ‘beings’ combined – the Fata Morgana and the Tumbleweed – serve as the model for a Remote Art Institution. They tread the sandy and icy deserts and steppes, and due to their “flickering” existence and built-in mobility systems they survive in these areas with disparate temperatures.
Hadas Kedar is an artist and curator and the founder of Arad Contemporary Art Centre and Arad Art and Architecture Residency Program.
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Dorothee Richter, Prof. Alun Rowland