Produce Support at The Townhouse Gallery

Townhouse Gallery

January 4, 2010

Produce Support
January 5, 2010, 7 PM

The Townhouse Gallery
Hussein El Me’mar Pasha street
off Mahmoud Basyouni street
Downtown, Cairo

A Conversation between Celine Condorelli, Anton Vidokle and Shahira Issa on the occasion of the publication of Produce, Distribute, Discuss, Repeat on Vidokle’s work and Support Structures, edited by Condorelli, both out on Sternberg Press:

January 5th 2010, 7 PM
The Rawabet Theatre

Often enabled by the very conditions it declares itself against, artistic practice runs the risk of negating its own significance. In order to reclaim the relevance and potential of their activity, artists repeatedly question the methodologies of their production processes, as well as the means of circulation and presentation of their work. The last decades have seen the emergence of self-reflexive strategies and critical approaches to institutional structures as central motifs of artistic production and criticism. Wary of the limitations of purely critical stances, the two book projects Support Structures by Celine Condorelli and Anton Vidokle’s Produce, Distribute, Discuss, Repeat, propose a more proactive approach.

In Support Structures, Condorelli defies notions of autonomy and dependence, charting out a missing bibliography of ‘support structures’ in art and architecture. Her project asserts the interdependence between a work and what bears its form, its support. It addresses important questions for art and spatial practices on forms of display, organization, articulation and temporariness, and the manifestations of blindness towards them.

Through a collection of essays, edited by Brian Sholis, Produce, Distribute, Discuss, Repeat, presents Vidokle’s self-organised collaborative projects as a form that enables the work to circulate according to its own terms. It demonstrates how Vidokle responds to the ambivalent relationship between the artist and cultural institutions by proposing a self-sufficient model that allows him to produce, disseminate and critically interrogate the ideas that animate his practice.

This panel looks at instances when the way artistic practice is positioned can generate different forms, and how that succeeds or fails. It revisits notions such as collaboration, support, patronage and autonomy in an attempt to trace hidden assumptions that inform our engagement with art projects to this day.

This event was made possible with generous support from the Goethe Institute; it is programmed in conjunction with the exhibition, ‘Assume the Position’ curated by Nikki Colombus, with contributions from Osama Dawod, Sanja Ivekovic,
Cyprien Gaillard,
Amal Kenawy,
David Levine,
Jill Magid,
Enrique Metinides,
Walid Raad, and
 Collection Amgad Naguib.

Celine Condorelli works with art and architecture. She is one of the founding directors of Eastside Projects, an artist-run exhibition space in Birmingham, UK. Recent exhibitions include ‘Park Nights’, Serpentine (2008), ‘Far-West’, Arnolfini (2008), ‘Hidden Curriculum’, Casco, Utrecht (2007), GIL Biennial, Ghuang Zhou, Shanghai, Beijing, (2007), 4’33”, Magazin 4 Bregenzer Kunstverein, (2007), ‘Revisits’, Linz, Graz (2007/2008) ‘theatre pieces’, Tate Triennial (2006), ‘Alterity Display’, O’Hana gallery, London (2004). Recent projects include developing Support Structure phase 1-10, with Artist-Curator Gavin Wade, at Chisenhale Gallery, The Economist, ICA, V&A, London, Portsmouth, Greenham Common, Essex University, Birmingham Eastside (from 2003 to 2009), and previously taxi_onomy with artist Beatrice Gibson, at ‘Subcontingency’, Fondazione Sandretto Rebaudengo, Turin, ‘Public Structures’, GuangZhou Triennial, and ‘the thin line’ PEAM and Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation (2005-2007). Celine Condorelli has been Senior Lecturer in architecture since 2000 (UEL, LMU) and is PhD candidate in Research Architecture, Goldsmith London.

Anton Vidokle was born in Moscow and is currently based in New York and Berlin. His work has been exhibited in shows such as the Venice Biennial, Lyon Biennial, Dakar Biennale and at Tate Modern, London; Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; Haus der Kunst, Munich; P.S.1, New York; With Julieta Aranda, he organized e-flux video rental, which traveled to numerous institutions. As founding director of e-flux, he has produced projects such as The Next Documenta Should be Curated by an Artist, Do it, The Utopia Station poster project, and organized An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life and Martha Rosler Library. Vidokle initiated research into education as a site for artistic practice as co-curator for Manifesta 6, which was canceled. In response to the cancellation, Vidokle set up an independent project in Berlin called unitednationsplaza – a twelve month project involving more than a hundred artists, writers, philosophers, and diverse audiences.

Shahira Issa is an artist based in Cairo. In 2008, she co-founded Pericentre Projects, which developed the ongoing research-based initiative Kharita. In 2009, she completed a residency at Makan in Amman, during which she initiated a long-term project, exploring the tension between artistic impulses and notions of culture that inform their circulation. Issa was recently nominated for the fifth Bonaldi Art prize.