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Announcement
June 14, 2011

Vera List Center Announces 2011–2013 Fellows

Vera List Center for Art and Politics

Left: Bouchra Khalili, The Mapping Journey Project, 2008–2011, a video installation for the 10th Sharjah Biennale, 2011. Courtesy the artist.
Right: Joshua Simon, Good Energies – The Protocol of the Israeli Parliamentary Committee on Natural Gas Royalties, staged reading by Maayan Theatre, Jerusalem, June 5, 2011 (production still). Photo by Ravid Rovner.

Vera List Center Fellowships

The Vera List Center Fellowships honor individuals whose work advances the discourse on art and politics. The appointments provide the opportunity to further develop such work drawing from the academic resources of The New School, to expand on the work in collaboration with students and classes, and to bring it to the public through the Vera List Center’s interdisciplinary programs, seminars and occasional publications and exhibitions. Past fellows include Maurice Berger, Wendy T. Ewald, Andrea Geyer, Susan Hapgood, Sharon Hayes, Danny Hoch, Ashley Hunt, Lin + Lam, Kobena Mercer, Lorraine O’Grady, Walid Raad and Robert Sember. Their fellowship projects have resulted in performances, concerts, exhibitions, lectures, online artworks, archives, and publications.

Chosen from an international pool of over two hundred applications from twenty-one countries, Bouchra Khalili’s and Joshua Simon’s proposals are notable for their artistic excellence, political focus, and ties to New School and Vera List Center scholarship.

Bouchra Khalili is a Moroccan-French visual artist, born in Casablanca and currently based in Paris. For her fellowship project, Paper Tracks, Khalili will investigate New York’s population of over half a million undocumented immigrant laborers, and will examine everyday objects that accompany their clandestine, largely invisible existences.

Joshua Simon is a Tel Aviv-based curator, writer and filmmaker, and co-founder of Maayan Journal of Poetry and Literature. During his fellowship term, Simon will investigate the object through various “stagings”—the auction, the experiment, the tag, the classified advertisement, the forwarded message—in order to examine historical and contemporary notions of the object as commodity.

“Thingness”

The Vera List Center’s various initiatives evolve around focus themes of particular urgency and broad resonance. In the face of general enthusiasm for social media and online activism on the one hand and sustained and international attacks on environmentalism and civic liberties on the other hand, in 2011-2013, the center will examine “thingness,” the nature of our material world. Khalili’s and Simon’s fellowship projects will sustain and inform these conversations.

The cycle of programs on thingness will focus on the material conditions of our lives, and call for a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between objects and people that may provoke more responsible, ethical and ecologically sound politics. Over the course of four semesters, thingness will be dissected and thematic program clusters will be formed around topics such as forensics, ecology, speculative materialism, and biology. The Vera List Center Fellows contribute to the intellectual foundation of the center, and through their fellowship projects advance the understanding of the focus theme.

The 2011–2013 Vera List Center Fellows

Bouchra Khalili is a Moroccan-French visual artist, born in Casablanca, Morocco, and based in Paris. She studied film at the Sorbonne nouvelle and visual arts at the Ecole nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris-Cergy. She is professor of new media and video at the Ecole supérieure des beaux-arts in Marseille, and a founding member and film curator at the Cinémathèque de Tanger, a non-for-profit based in Tangiers, Morocco.

Khalili’s work in video, mixed media installations, and prints combines a conceptual approach with a documentary practice to explore issues of nomadism, clandestine existences, and the “émigré experience.” In her work, she articulates language, subjectivity, minority discourse and speech, investigating the interrelationships between contemporary migrations and colonial history, physical and imaginary geography.

Khalili’s work has been shown extensively around the world, including recently at the 10th Sharjah Biennial (2011); the Liverpool Biennial (2010); The Studio Museum in Harlem (2010); INIVA, London (2010); the Reina Sofía National Museum, Madrid (2009); and the Guangzhou Triennial (2008).

Joshua Simon is a curator, filmmaker and writer based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. He is the founding co-editor of Maayan Magazine for Poetry and Literature and The New & Bad Art Magazine, and editor of Maarvon – New Film Magazine, all based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Among his publications are Red: Poems of the Working Class and Out! – Poets Against the Attack in Gaza (2008) both anthologies in Hebrew and Arabic (co-editor, May Day, 2007). He is also the co-editor of The Aesthetics of Terror (Charta, 2009), and the editor of United States of Palestine-Israel, published in the Solution series by Sternberg Press (2011).

Recent curatorial projects include ReCoCo – Life Under Representational Regimes (co-curated with Siri Peyer, White Space, Zurich and Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, 2011), The Unreadymade (FormContent, London, 2010),  Internazionale! (Left Bank, Israeli Communist Party Culture Club, Tel Aviv, 2008), and Come to Israel, It’s Hot and Wet and We Have The Humus! (Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, 2008).

A graduate of the School of History at Tel Aviv University, Simon is currently in the Curatorial Knowledge PhD program in the Visual Cultures Department at Goldsmiths College, London. He teaches at Minshar College of Art and is head of theory studies, postgraduate program, at Hamidrasha College of Art, Tel Aviv.

Vera List Center for Art and Politics

Founded in 1992 and named in honor of the late philanthropist Vera List, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School examines the role of the arts in society and their relationship to the socio-political climate in which they are created. Positioned where scholarship develops into resource and policy, the center organizes public programs, workshops, seminars, occasional exhibitions and publications that respond to pressing social and political issues of our time as articulated by the academic community and visual and performing artists. The center complements the university’s educational mission and brings together scholars and students, the people of New York, and national and international audiences to explore new modes and possibilities for civic engagement.

For general information on VLC programs:

www.veralistcenter.org

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