Towards a New Cultural Cartography 26.1.2013 Tate Modern

Towards a New Cultural Cartography: A panel discussion about Sharjah Biennial 11

Wael Shawky, film still from Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo, 2012© Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery
Wael Shawky, film still from Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo, 2012
© Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery

Tate Modern, Starr Auditorium Saturday 26 January 2013, 14.00 – 17.00

In the lead-up to the 11th Sharjah Biennial, Tate Modern hosts a preview panel discussion including Yuko Hasegawa, this year’s curator, and Hoor Al-Qasimi, President of the Sharjah Art Foundation.

For this year’s Biennial, which will run from March and to May 2013, Hasegawa proposes ‘a selection of artworks that reassess the Westerncentrism of knowledge in modern times’. Starting from the metaphor of the courtyard in Islamic architecture, her project focuses on exploring the complexity and diversity of cultures, societies and politics. She calls for a gathering of architects, designers, creators and artists, who will bring together different perspectives and challenge viewers to seek new knowledge by sharing ideas. In holding a preview debate in London, Tate and The Sharjah Art Foundation open the floor to important questions about international contemporary art that are often simplified, subsumed or ignored. Wael Shawky, one of the participating artists, will talk about his work in relation to transregional politics, religion and history. Sarat Maharaj and John Hutnyk will explore the notion of ‘new cartographies’, which Hasegawa considers crucial to our understanding of the complexities of global developments in art.

14.00 Welcome: Marko Daniel

14.10 Hoor Al-Quasimi: The Sharjah Biennial

14.20 Yuko Hasegawa: The Courtyard and New Cartographies

14.45 Wael Shawky: Participating artist’s presentation

15.10 Comfort Break

15.20 Sarat Maharaj & John Hutnyk in conversation

15.50 Group Panel Hoor Al-Quasimi, Yuko Hasegawa, Wael Shawky, Sarat Maharaj, John Hutnyk and Marko Daniel (chair)

16.35 Q&A

16.50 Conclusion


Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi, President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, is a practicing artist who received her BFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London (2002), a Diploma in Painting from the Royal Academy of Arts (2005) and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London (2008). She is Chair of the Advisory Board for the College of Art and Design, University of Sharjah, Member of Advisory Board, Khoj International Artists’ Association, India, and serves on the Board of Directors for MoMA PS1, New York, and Ashkal Alwan, Beirut. She was on the curatorial selection committee for the 2012 Berlin Biennale and is a Visiting Lecturer at Slade School of Fine Art, London. Her recent curatorial projects include Drift—an exploration of urban and suburban landscapes (2011), and In Spite of it All (2012). A solo exhibition of her photographic work Off Road opened recently at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno. Marko Daniel is Convenor of Adult Programmes, Tate.

Yuko Hasegawa, Curator, Sharjah Biennial 11, is Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2006–present) and is also a Professor at Tama Art University, Tokyo, where she teaches curatorial and art theory. Previously, she was Chief Curator and Founding Artistic Director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (1999−2006). Hasegawa has worked on many international biennials, and has held such positions as: Artistic Advisor of the 12th Venice Architectural Biennale (2010), Co-Curator of the 29th Sao Paulo Biennale (2010), and Co-Curator of the 4th Seoul International Media Art Biennale (2006). Artistic Director of the 7th Istanbul Biennale (2001), Hasegawa has curated major thematic group exhibitions, and solo exhibitions by such artists as Matthew Barney, Marlene Dumas, Rebecca Horn, and Atsuko Tanaka. She has served on advisory boards for Asian Art Council of the Guggenheim Museum, and has authored curatorial essays in publications for museums including The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Professor John Hutnyk is Academic Director of Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has written three single authored monographs (1996, 2000, 2004) each often reviewed and cited, and marking distinct research areas: urban studies, music, cultural theory. One co-authored book (Diaspora and Hybridity 2005) and three edited book collections (1996, 1999, Jan 2006), each making openings for new research. Current research interests include: revolutionary movements, especially South Asia; global knowledge production and the history of ideas, trinkets, archives and collections; architectural style and urbanization; trade routes, ports and the administration of commercial(ized) lives with multiple ‘locations’ (co-constitution and triangulation of sites); history of work and technology, especially with regard to mode of production debates; illicit trade and ‘piracy’ as catalyst for neo-liberal incursion; the politics of prisons and confinement.

Sarat Maharaj is a writer, researcher, curator, and professor. He is an authority on the work of Richard Hamilton, Marcel Duchamp, and James Joyce. He is a Professor of Visual Arts and Knowledge Systems at the Malmö Art Academy at Lund University in Sweden and was Professor of Art and Art Theory at Goldsmiths College, London from 1980 to 2005. Maharaj has held visiting professorships and fellowships at several institutions including Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht and Humboldt University, Berlin. His writings, curatorial projects, and presentations have appeared all over the world. Maharaj is also a member of the advisory board of the journal Third Text.

Wael Shawky is an artist and filmmaker living and working in Alexandria, and a participant artist in Sharjah Biennial 11. Shawky’s work seeks to challenge commonly held assumptions about regional politics, history and religion through the complex interaction of narrative and imagery that investigate concepts of modernity, cultural identity and hybridity.


Tickets here



3 thoughts on “Towards a New Cultural Cartography 26.1.2013 Tate Modern

  1. Hi John Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get to the discussion below but wondered if there is a podcast of it please? Regards Debbie Riehl (ex Goldsmiths)

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. there was someone filming, but I don’t know if its up – great event actually


  2. I went to the talk but was quite surprised with Sheikah Hoor Al Qasimi speech! Is she qualified to be a spokesperson? I honestly didn’t get what she was talking about. For someone who has a position as a director/ president for Sharjah Art Foundation she was pretty weak in explaining what the foundation is all about. I recently found out that she’s their ruler’s daughter so does that give her the power to achieve that position? Can someone please explain her history


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