De[con]struction | Reconstruction: Living in a State of Creative Uncertainty

De[con]struction | Reconstruction: Living in a State of Creative Uncertainty

A joint project by ArtRole, Asia House, Caspian Arts Foundation and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, De[con]struction Reconstruction: Living in a State of Creative Uncertainty, is a new collaboration between ArtRole, Asia House, Caspian Arts Foundation and Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). This ambitious project will explore in depth the role of institutions and architecture and the preservation of cultural heritage and collective memory within the Middle East and Asia.

A programme of special events will be taking place in locations in the UK and Iraqi- Kurdistan from October 2016 to January 2017 and a new exhibition Beyond Boundaries: Art by Email will run at YSP from 7 to 29 January 2017. Bringing voices together from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the project gathers artistic and intellectual contributions from multiple backgrounds. The programme will kick off with a discussion during London Frieze Week in October 2016, with guest speaker, Jonathan Watkins (Director, Ikon Gallery) and invited panel to debate the state of art institutions within the current cultural climate.

A two-day conference will follow on 10 and 11 January 2017 taking as its starting point the conundrum ʻnegative capabilityʼ, a term used by poet John Keats to describe the pursuit of artistic beauty even when it leads to intellectual confusion and uncertainty. His words reflect humankindʼs ability to remain creative and adaptable in order to overcome challenges and dilemmas. Four themes will be explored: collective memory between past and present cultural identities; iconoclasm, culture heritage, urbanism and architecture within dismantled areas; the role of art institutions and effect of artistic censorship; and art and the refugee crisis.

Due to political situations and immigration issues it is sometimes very difficult to invite artists to work on site at YSP. Beyond Boundaries: Art by Email will give a platform to those who cannot physically visit the Park and is likely to include work sent by email including film, photography, sculpture that can be 3D printed and performance by instruction.

Helen Pheby, Senior Curator at YSP says: “We expect submissions from countries all over the Middle East including Iraq, Kurdistan, Palestine and Syria. The work we select will reveal not only the current situation of these places but also the resilience and creative capacity of the human spirit. The project seeks to connect us beyond boundaries.”

Nina Mahdavi, the founder and Director of Caspian Arts Foundation says: “This is a multi-faceted event that brings together four organisations within the UK and the Middle East with the common shared goal of creating a space to enable dialogue around the urgent and timely issues of social deconstruction and/or reconstruction within the current age of global change and crisis and those that are being experienced throughout the Middle East and Asia.”

Notes to Editors

Programme Schedule

Panel Discussion 

6 October 2016, 6.45pm–8.15pm,
Asia House, 63 New Cavendish St, London, W1G 7LP
. Free for Frieze VIP members. 
Panel discussion with chair Jonathan Watkins (Director, Ikon Gallery) and speakers Omar Al-Qattan (Chair, Qattan Foundation), Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi (President, Sharjah Art Foundation) and Kaneka Subberwal (Founder, Art Bahrain). www.asiahouse.org
10–11 January, 2017
 A two-day international conference with screenings will be dedicated to the role of institutions and architecture and the preservation of cultural heritage and collective memory within the Middle East and Asia. Asia House, 63 New Cavendish St, London, W1G 7LP
. Information on ticketing and pricing to be announced soon. www.asiahouse.org
Exhibition: Beyond Boundaries: Art By Email
7–29 January 2017, 10am–5pm
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG
Open call to artists: artists based in the Middle East who would find it difficult to travel to the UK are invited to propose artwork that can be sent by email. Find out more at ysp.co.uk/opportunities. Deadline Friday 30 September, 12pm GMT.
Early 2017
Iraq & Syria Conflict 2014–2017
A three-day international conference highlighting the impact of ISIS through art, culture and education. Organised by ArtRole in the Kurdistan Regional of Iraq.

ArtRole is an international contemporary arts organisation dedicated to building a cultural bridge between the Middle East and rest of the world by facilitating artistic dialogue, exchange and mutual support. It works to establish harmonious connections through the medium of art and art education. Since its inception in 2004 ArtRole has worked to develop an annual programme of activity in Iraq, the UK, and USA and across Europe. This has included international artist exchanges and residencies, exhibitions, performances, presentations, film screenings, music and literature festivals, human rights and environmental conferences, workshops and new media projects. ArtRole has created a platform in Iraq for hundreds of international and local artists, activists, curators, academics, journalists, playwrights, diplomats, writers and politicians, and worked with over 80 arts institutions worldwide to address
the hope and needs of emerging generations by raising awareness of current global art and culture trends. As this region has been isolated for many years ArtRole acts as a conduit between the Iraqi war zone and surrounding countries and the rest of the world, to acknowledge and celebrate diversity and cultural difference within a framework of shared human values. ArtRole believes it is vitally important that artists, academics, arts and culture professionals, and students, as well as the wider public who lives in conflict zones, have direct communication channels to experience, challenge and contribute to what is happening globally in terms of arts and culture. artrole.org
Asia House is the centre of expertise on Asia. Founded in 1996, it is an established part of London’s cultural scene, presenting over 100 events a year, offering a varied selection of opportunities to explore, absorb and enjoy the arts of Asia. Asia House also drives economic and political engagement between Europe and Asia by providing a forum for decision makers, business leaders and opinion formers to engage in high-level discussions that direct business and political strategies. www.asiahouse.org

Caspian Arts Foundation was established in 2011 with the intention to support Education in the Creative Sector in the Middle East region through awarding scholarships to young talents within the region to further their post graduate degrees in the Visual Arts, as well as raising awareness around the need for Universities and Schools within the region to increase the availability their students have to art & humanities as a form of education. The Foundation also supports platforms that advance knowledge in the Arts and Education to a wider audience through both public and educational programmes, in London as well as the Middle East. caspianartsfoundation.com

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture. It is an independent charitable trust and registered museum (number 1067908) situated in the 500-acre, 18th-century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire. Founded in 1977 by Executive Director Peter Murray, YSP was the first sculpture park in the UK, and is the largest of its kind in Europe, providing the only place in Europe to see Barbara Hepworthʼs The Family of Man in its entirety alongside a significant collection of sculpture, including bronzes by Henry Moore, and site-specific works by Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and James Turrell. YSP also mounts a world-class, year-round temporary exhibitions programme including some of the worldʼs leading artists across five indoor galleries and the open air. Recent highlights include exhibitions by Not Vital, KAWS, Bill Viola, Anthony Caro, Fiona Banner, Ai Weiwei, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Amar Kanwar, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Joan Miró and Jaume Plensa. More than eighty works on display across the estate include major sculptures by Ai Weiwei, Roger Hiorns, Sol LeWitt, Joan Miró, Dennis Oppenheim and Magdalena Abakanowicz. YSP’s core work is made possible by investment from Arts Council England, Wakefield Council, Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation and Sakurako and William Fisher through the Sakana Foundation. YSP was named Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2014. ysp.co.uk
Media Enquiries
Abigail Varian, SUTTON: +44 (0)20 7183 3577 / abigail@suttonpr.com
Kerry Chase, Yorkshire Sculpture Park: +44 (0)1924 832 515 kerry.chase@ysp.co.uk

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