22nd September 2006 — 9th December 2006
Photography Now provides a survey of some of the most exciting
contemporary photographic practices from around the globe.
Presentations by leading international curators and artists
are followed by lively panel discussions and audience questions.
Issues of national identity are discussed alongside the pushing
of the boundaries of the photographic medium. So far the series
has included The Middle East, Post-Soviet States, The Indian
Subcontinent, The Balkans and Latin America. If you missed
them you can watch the webcasts on the Tate's website.
East Asia Saturday 18 November 2 - 5 pm At this discussion artists Qiu Zhijie (Shanghai), Yeondoo Jung (Seoul), Yao Jui-Chong (Taipei) and Japanese curator Masafumi Fukagawa (Kawasaki Museum of Art) share their personal perspectives.
Cut through the hype surrounding East Asian art and find out what's going on for yourself. East Asia has gone through dramatic changes over the last twenty years, prompted by phenomenal economic growth. Japan's art scene continue growing even as its powerful economy slipped into recession in the 1990s, and South Korea's art and cinema, while badly affected by the economic crisis of 1997, has gone from strength to strength. Chinese art entered the international mainstream as economic reforms, begun in the 1980s, have turned the People's Republic into an emergent superpower. The ongoing dispute over the political status of Taiwan only seems to have increased the island's desire to become a force at international art festivals, they presented an impressive pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2005. East Asian artists have become a regular fixture on the international art scene and an increased number of major festivals have been set up in the region, with six major biennials taking place this autumn. These artists have used their new status to question established traditions and Western artistic models as much as social, economic and political conditions.
North Africa Friday 1 December 2 - 5pm Artists Lara Baladi, who is Lebanese, living in Cairo Yto Barrada, who lives in Tangier and Paris, Omar D who lives between Paris and Algiers and Susan Hefuna who is Egyptian/ German discuss their work with Iranian-Lebanese independent curator Rose Issa. Issa is one of the major curators for art from the Near East, Iran, and North Africa, a field she has been active in for 20 years.
An increased but superficial interest in the Muslim world is currently evident in the West, exemplified by the fracas surrounding Jack Straw and his comments on veiling. There is a growing dissatisfaction with this misrepresentation of the Arab world and artists from Muslim backgrounds are seeking to make their own voices heard. Photographic images of North Africa, over the last century, have mapped out the modernisation of the social, political, economic and colonial/post-colonial situations of the region. With the current shifts in the region dictated by the rise in militarisation, religious extremism and urban sprawl, contemporary photographers are choosing to document the realities of daily life within this fast-transforming region, including immigration to Europe. The Cinematheque de Tangier, a resource of video and film work from across the Arab world, founded by Yto Barrada is currently installed at the Photographers' Gallery. You may have seen Yto Barrada's work, 'A Life Full of Holes: The Strait Project’ at the Photographers' Gallery earlier this year when she was nominated for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2006. A sense of melancholy and dislocation pervades Barrada’s work. Until 1991 Moroccans could travel to Europe freely but since the EU sealed their borders the Strait of Gibraltar has become a one-way passage. Europe is now an illusory paradise with a psychologically damaging hold on Moroccans who dream of escaping there. In Barrada's photographs, wallpaper of an Alpine scene fades in Tangier. Two children are silhouetted against a light box advertisement for a ferry, yearning towards the impossible journey to Europe. A close-up of rust holes in a container ship evokes the desperation of stowaways. A girl in a red flowery dress faces a brightly patterned Islamic tiled wall, refusing communication. In the street, a boy carries a model ship past a group of women in headscarves.
Next in series: Asia Pacific on Friday 8 December and West Africa on Saturday 9 December, see Tate website for details.
London SE1 9TG