January 25, 2012


The James Gallery at CUNY Graduate Center

Hala Elkoussy, Video still from Peripheral Stories, 2005.

Artists: Hala Elkoussy,, Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere
Curator: Katherine Carl 


Shifters proposes new means of engagement with public space in cities as diverse as Guadalajara, Cairo, Novi Sad, and Austin. Like the pronouns “I, you, we,” which shift depending on the person who is speaking, the title suggests relational shifts in the grammar of cities. Deploying strategies in video that range from music and fantasy to documentation, these artists’ practices also operate on an intimate scale in relation to larger urban dynamics.


In Touching from a Distance, Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere employ music to alter the unspoken rules of conduct in public space by commissioning a mariachi band to adapt Joy Division’s Transmission for performance in the Plaza of Liberation in Guadalajara. In a more fantastical vein, the rhythm of meditative narration and images of the streets and buildings of Cairo in Hala Elkoussy’s videos tell stories of women in search of a sense of belonging in the city, which is continually undergoing transition. Using a documentary mode the activist artists ruminate on the future possibilities for an abandoned military structure in their city of Novi Sad, Serbia.  


February Events in the James Gallery at the Graduate Center

Thu Feb 2, 6:30pm
Artists Dialogue: Shifters
Peter Hitchcock, English, Baruch and The Graduate Center, CUNY; artists Angel Nevarez, Art, Culture, and Technology, MIT, and Valerie Tevere, Media Culture, College of Staten Island.
Co-sponsored by Center for Place, Culture, and Politics


Wed Feb 8, 6:30pm
Soundtracks for Change
Alessandra Ciucci, Ethnomusicology, Northeastern; Licia Fiol-Matta, Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies, Lehman College.


Fri Feb 10, 12–2pm
Clean Up and Shape Up! Revolution, Bodies, and Urban Space in Egypt
Jessica Winegar, Anthropology, Northwestern. Respondent: Claire Panetta, Anthropology, The Graduate Center, CUNY.
Co-sponsored by the Public Space and Privatization Working Group


Wed Feb 15, 7pm
Curator’s Perspective: Maria Lind
Maria Lind, Director, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm.
Co-sponsored by Independent Curators International 


Thu Feb 16, 6:30pm
Protest and Sacrifice: A Discussion on Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
Jeffrey Ferguson, Black Studies and American Studies, Amherst College; Uday Mehta, Political Science, The Graduate Center.
Co-sponsored by Center for Place, Culture, and Politics and the Mellon Committee on the Study of Globalization and Social Change 


Tue Feb 21, 4pm and 6:30pm
Screening and Conversation
Artists and Writers Series: Women Without Men
Shirin Neshat, artist; Shahrnush Parsipur, writer.
Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women and Society and the Feminist Press


The Amie and Tony James Gallery
catalyzes research and knowledge production in contemporary art and joins the Center for the Humanities’ mission to create dialogue across disciplines. Located in midtown Manhattan at the nexus of the academy, contemporary art, and the city, the James Gallery brings a range of pertinent discourses into the exhibition space through a number of innovative formats. While some exhibitions will remain on view for extended contemplation, other activities, such as performances, workshops, reading groups, roundtable discussions, salons, and screenings will have a short duration. As a space for interdisciplinary artistic and discursive activities, the gallery works with scholars, students, artists and the public to explore working methods that may lie outside usual disciplinary practices.


The Center for Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY, was founded in 1993 as a forum for people who take ideas seriously inside and outside the academy. Through its public programs, seminars, conferences, publications and exhibitions, the Center puts CUNY students and faculty from various disciplines into dialogue with each other as well as with prominent journalists, artists and civic leaders to promote the humanities and foster intellectual community across the city.


For more information, contact Jennifer Wilkinson
T: 212.817.2020 | E: [email protected]


Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.