Sabih Ahmed

Notes from the 11th Shanghai Biennale

Friday, 16 November 2018, 6pm
ZHdK, Room 5.H02

We are witness today to a massive upheaval in archival and curatorial practices, both of which seem to overlap with the urgency in our era around geological, technological, and geopolitical uncertainties. What if we were to consider curatorial practice as a way of testing new organizing principles with which to make sense of the changined world? What would be the mediums through which histories, the contemporary, and propositional futures can be transmitted, preserved and played out? The presentation by Ahmed will open these questions and more drawing upon the 11th Shanghai Biennale ‘Why Not Ask Again?’ and his projects at Asia Art Archive to examine what the intersection of pasts, presents and futures looks like through art and curatorial practice.

One of the important aspects that will be dwelled on in the presentation is curatorial research. Ahmed will share how Raqs Media Collective and the Curatorial Collegiate members researched towards the Shanghai Biennale, emphasizing on what the curatorial research entailed in preparation for the Biennale, how those research and conversations manifest in the exhibition-making, and the introspections around the reading of the Biennale in its after-life.

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Sabih Ahmed is a Researcher at Asia Art Archive (AAA). He has led various research initiatives pertaining to modern and contemporary art in India that include digitisation projects of artist archives, creating digital bibliographies of vernacular art writing, and organising conferences and workshops. In 2016, Ahmed worked as a member of the Curatorial Collegiate of the 11th Shanghai Biennale curated by Raqs Media Collective. In 2018, he worked as a Curatorial Collegiate member of another exhibition curated by Raqs Media Collective titled ‘In the Open or In Stealth’, currently showing in MACBA, Barcelona (Oct 2018 to Mar 2019).  He is based in New Delhi, where he has been a Visiting Faculty in Ambedkar University’s School of Culture and Creative Expression.