Edinburgh Art Festival, in collaboration with City Art Centre, has announced the presentation of a major group exhibition, Where do I end and you begin. Held across four floors of the City Art Centre, the exhibition brings together curators from five Commonwealth countries: New Zealand, South Africa, India, Canada and the UK, to explore themes of common-wealth through the work of 20 international artists. As part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, and in the context of Homecoming Scotland 2014, the exhibition will introduce many artists to UK audiences for the first time.
Taking its title from a work by the artist Shilpa Gupta (IND), Where do I end and you begin invites perspectives from five points across the Commonwealth to explore the ideas, ideals and myths which underpin notions of community, common-wealth and the commons. Through new and recent work in a range of media, the exhibition considers what it means to join ‘common’ with ‘wealth’, reflecting on the notion of “The Commonwealth” as a problematic historical and contemporary construct. It offers international perspectives on the range of associations which common-wealth evokes, from the challenge of ‘being in common’ in a truly global world, to ideas of the common good, common land, public ownership and alternative exchange systems.
Five curators have been invited to propose new and recent work by 20 international artists based on their interest in the themes of the project, as well as their in-depth knowledge and engagement with visual arts practice in their respective regions. The participating curators are Aaron Kreisler (Dunedin, NZ); Thembinkosi Goniwe (Johannesburg, SA); Vidya Shivadas (New Delhi, IND); Kathleen Ritter (Vancouver, CA); and Richard Hylton (London, UK).
Eleven of the artists are showing in the UK for the first time, with at least half of participating artists presenting new work specifically developed for the exhibition. Highlights will include Shilpa Gupta’s neon work Where do I end and you begin; an evolution of the critically- acclaimed Sovereign Forest, the highly poetic film installation by renowned Indian artist Amar Kanwar; a newly commissioned site-specific installation by Mary Evans (born Nigeria/lives and works UK); and a video installation by New Zealand artist Steve Carr. Johannesburg-based artist Mary Sibande, internationally acclaimed for her large scale figurative sculptures featuring the artist’s alter ego ‘Sophie’, will create a new work for the exhibition, while Canadian artists Brian Jungen & Duane Linklater show their recent film Modest Livelihood for the first time in the UK.
Edinburgh Art Festival is proud to be working with international partners across the Commonwealth on the development of this major enterprise, including the British Council, Creative New Zealand; Dunedin Public Art Gallery; South Africa – United Kingdom Seasons 2014 & 2015; Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi and other partners in Canada, India, New Zealand and UK.
Full list of participating artists: Rebecca Belmore (b. 1960, Canada); Kushana Bush (b. 1983, New Zealand); Steve Carr (b. 1976, New Zealand); Mary Evans (b. 1963, Nigeria); Pascal Grandmaison (b. 1975, Canada); Shilpa Gupta (b. 1976, India); Kay Hassan (b. 1956, South Africa); Gavin Hipkins (b. 1968, New Zealand); Antonia Hirsch (b. 1968, Germany); Brian Jungen & Duane Linklater (b. 1970 & 1976, Canada); Amar Kanwar (b. 1964, India); Naeem Mohaiemen (b. 1969, UK); Uriel Orlow (b. 1973, Switzerland); Emma Rushton & Derek Tyman (b. 1966 & 1965, UK); Mary Sibande (b. 1982, South Africa); Arpita Singh (b. 1937, India); Masooma Syed (b. 1971, Pakistan); Shannon Te Ao (b. 1978, Australia); Yvonne Todd (b. 1973, New Zealand); and Kemang Wa Lehulere (b. 1978, South Africa)
About the curators:
Thembinkosi Goniwe is a curator, art historian and critic from South Africa, currently completing a PhD at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Recent curatorial projects include Desire: Ideal Narratives in Contemporary South African Art, 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2011; SPace: Currencies in Contemporary Africa Art, Museum Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2010; and Koma & Ulwaluko: Politics and Poetics of Making Manhood, Polokwane Art Museum, South Africa, 2010.
Richard Hylton is curator, lecturer and writer of art criticism. Over the past twenty years he has curated numerous international exhibitions including Imagined Communities; Tampered Surface: Six Artists from Pakistan (with Alnoor Mitha) and Landscape Trauma in the age of Scopophilia. He has also edited a variety publications and artists’ books including Doublethink: The Art of Donald Rodney and The Holy Bible: Old Testament (with Virginia Nimarkoh) by David Hammons. His is the author of The Nature of the Beast: Cultural Diversity and the Visual Arts Sector: A Study of Policies, Initiatives and Attitudes 1976-2006. In 2013 he was appointed as Cultural Programme Curator at University for the Creative Arts.
Aaron Kreisler is curator at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand. Recent exhibitions include Sound Full: Sound in contemporary Australian and New Zealand Art (with Dr. Caleb Kelly, 2012 – 2014), CONTACT. Artists from Aotearoa/New Zealand (co-curator Leonhard Emmerling, Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2012) and AMONG THE MACHINES (co-curator Dr Susan Ballard, DPAG, 2013). Through the gallery’s Visiting Artists programme he has invited and commissioned artists such as Alicia Frankovich (NZ), Dane Mitchell (NZ), Spencer Finch (US) Nina Katchadourian (US), David Clegg (NZ), Fiona Connor (NZ), and Goldin + Senneby (SWE).
Kathleen Ritter is an artist and a curator. She was an artist in residence at La Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, as a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts International Residencies Program in Visual Arts, in 2014. From 2007 to 2012, Ritter was the Associate Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery where she organized the exhibitions How Soon Is Now, Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (with Tania Willard); WE: Vancouver (with Bruce Grenville); Rebecca Belmore: Rising to the Occasion (with Daina Augaitis); and commissioned public artworks for Offsite by Damian Moppett, Kota Ezawa, Elspeth Pratt, and Heather and Ivan Morison.
Vidya Shivadas is a curator based in New Delhi, and Director of the not-for-profit Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA). She was guest curator (along with Akansha Rastogi and Deeksha Nath) for Zones of Contact: Propositions on the Museum at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, 2013. Recent curatorial projects for the Vadehra Art Gallery have included Porous, September 2012; Something I’ve been meaning to tell you, April 2011; Faiza Butt, Ruby Chishti, Masooma Syed (three Pakistani women artists), April 2009; Fluid Structures: Gender and
Abstraction in India (1970s – 2008), April 2008, and Yoko Ono’s first ever exhibition in India, The Seeds and Our Beautiful Daughters in 2012.
Sorcha Carey, Director of Edinburgh Art Festival, said: “Festivals are fundamentally about the gathering of people, locally and internationally. Even without the other extraordinary events which will take place in Scotland in 2014, the particular phenomenon which is Edinburgh in August provides a uniquely charged context in which to reflect on the central questions posed by this exhibition – how can we be in common, or as artist Shilpa Gupta puts it, where do I end and you begin?”
11TH EDINBURGH ART FESTIVAL – 31 July – 31 August 2014