Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation and performance practices. Their practice is engaged in the intersections between performativity, political imaginaries, the body and virtuality. Across their works they probe a contemporary landscape marked by seemingly perpetual crisis and an endless ‘present’, one that is shaped by a politics of desire and disaster.
They have been developing a body of work that questions this suspension of the present and searches for ways in which an altogether different imaginary and language can emerge that is not bound within colonial/capitalist narrative and discourse. In their projects, they find themselves excavating, activating and inventing incidental narratives, figures, gestures and sites as material for re-imagining the possibilities of the present. Often reflecting on ideas of non-linearity in the form of returns, amnesia and deja vu, and in the process unfolding the slippages between actuality and projection (fiction, myth, wish), what is and what could be. Largely their approach has been one of sampling materials both existing and self-authored in the form of sound, image, text, objects and recasting them into altogether new ‘scripts’. The result is a practice that investigates the political, visceral, material possibilities of sound, image, text and site, taking on the form of multi-media installations and live sound/image performances.
Chitra Ganesh is a Brooklyn-based visual artist whose work encompasses drawing, painting, comics, installation, video art, and animation. Through studies in literature, semiotics, social theory, science fiction, and historical and mythic texts, Ganesh attempts to reconcile representations of femininity, sexuality, and power absent from the artistic and literary canons. She often draws on Hindu and Buddhist iconography and South Asian forms such as Kalighat and Madhubani, and is currently negotiating her relationship to these images with the rise of right-wing fundamentalism in India. Ganesh’s queer feminist cosmology, particularly within her exploration of comics and mythmaking, offer emancipatory narratives drawn from the same collectively held visual culture (mass-mediated, vernacular, graphic) she dissects above.
Ganesh holds a BA in Art-Semiotics and Comparative Literature from Brown University and an MFA from Columbia University. She has exhibited widely across continents, and her work is held in prominent public collections such as the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, San Jose Museum of Art, & Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, among many others. Her work will be on view at the Whitney Museum as part of the upcoming exhibition ‘Inheritance’ curated by Rujeko Hockley, from June 28 through February 2024.
Amar Kanwar's films and multi-media works explore the politics of power, violence and justice. His multi-layered installations originate in narratives often drawn from zones of conflict and are characterised by a unique poetic approach to the personal, social and political.
Recent exhibitions (solo and group exhibitions) of Kanwar’s work have been held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2022); Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai (2020); NYUAD Art Gallery, Abu Dhabi (2020); Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (2019); Tate Modern, London (2018), Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden (2017), Marian Goodman Gallery, London, England (2017), Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai (2016) and at the Assam State Museum in collaboration with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and North East Network, India (2015). In 2013 and 2014 at the Art Institute of Chicago, USA; the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, U.K.; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA 21), Vienna, Austria and at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2012).
Recent group exhibitions have been at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2023); Sharjah Biennale 15, UAE (2023); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kerala, India (2022); Castello Di Rivoli, Turin (2022); Documenta 14, Athens & Kassel (2017), The Garden Sees, Megaron, Athens (2017), #Resist, Goethe-Gallery & Black Box Studio, Hong Kong (2017), Devi Art Foundation with Salima Hashmi (2016), Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, USA (2014); Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India (2014); 56th Carnegie International, USA (2013); Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (2013 and 2012); 13th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2013); 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2013); 11th Sharjah Biennale, UAE (2013); 1st Kochi Biennale, India (2013); Tarra Warra Museum of Art, Victoria, Australia (2013) and the Bristol Museum, U.K. (2013).
Kanwar has also participated in Documenta 11, 12, 13 and 14 in Kassel, Germany (2002, 2007, 2012, 2017). Other solo exhibitions have been at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2008); the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, U.K. (2007); the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway (2006) and the Renaissance Society, Chicago, USA (2004).
Amar Kanwar has been the recipient of awards such as the IHME Helsinki Commission (2022); Prince Claus Award (2017); Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change (2014); an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts, Maine College of Art, USA (2006); the Edvard Munch Award for Contemporary Art, Norway (2005); the MacArthur Fellowship in India (2000); the Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, USA (1999), as well as the Golden Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival, India (1998).
The work of Ana María Millán addresses the politics of the animation and technic in relation to digital cultures and subcultures, magic and propaganda. She has developed techniques based on role playing and reenactment as methodology to make a series of plays that end in the form narrative films and video games. It speaks from amateur cultures, pop political culture, sound territories, nature and technology, incorporating the possibilities and mistakes of the rehearsals, and narrative forms considered dysfunctional. Her work has been shown in And we learn to keep the soil wet CARA, NY, 2023; 13th Gwangju Biennale. Minds Rising Spirits Tuning 2021; Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara, Romania 2019; Kunstinstituut Melly (solo), Rotterdam; El ruido de las cosas al caer , FRAC Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, Marseille 2017; Immortality for all, Savvy Contemporary , Berlin 2016; Frío en Colombia, Luis Caballero prize (solo), Archivo General de la Nación, Bogotá 2015; Ir para Volver, 12 Bienal de Cuenca, Cuenca 2014; ¿Tierra de Nadie?, Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz 2011; AUTO-KINO! presented by Phil Collins, Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin 2009; Historias Colaterales, Centro Cultural de España, Guatemala 2008; I Still Believe in Miracles – part I, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 2005.
Michael Rakowitz is an Iraqi-American artist working at the intersection of problem-solving and troublemaking. His work has appeared in venues worldwide including dOCUMENTA (13), P.S.1, MoMA, MassMOCA, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Palais de Tokyo, the 16th Biennale of Sydney, the 10th and 14th Istanbul Biennials, Sharjah Biennial 8, Tirana Biennale, National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt, Transmediale 05, FRONT Triennial in Cleveland, and CURRENT:LA Public Art Triennial. He has had solo projects and exhibitions with Creative Time, Tate Modern in London, The Wellin Museum of Art, MCA Chicago, Lombard Freid Gallery and Jane Lombard Gallery in New York, SITE Santa Fe, Galerie Barbara Wien in Berlin, Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, Malmö Konsthall, Tensta Konsthall, and Kunstraum Innsbruck, and Waterfronts - England’s Creative Coast. He is the recipient of the 2020 Nasher Prize; the 2018 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts; a 2012 Tiffany Foundation Award; a 2008 Creative Capital Grant; a Sharjah Biennial Jury Award; a 2006 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Grant in Architecture and Environmental Structures; the 2003 Dena Foundation Award, and the 2002 Design 21 Grand Prix from UNESCO. He was awarded the 2018-2020 Fourth Plinth commission in London’s Trafalgar Square. From 2019-2020, a survey of Rakowitz’s work traveled from Whitechapel Gallery in London, to Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Torino, to the Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai. Rakowitz is represented by Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; Jane Lombard Gallery, New York; and Barbara Wien Galerie, Berlin; and Green Art Gallery, Dubai. He lives and works in Chicago.
Born in Cambodia in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge and having grown up in Phnom Penh, Vandy Rattana portrays episodes of historical violence through understated and tranquil images. He began his photography practice in 2005. His serial work employed a range of analog cameras and formats, straddling the line between strict photojournalism and artistic practice.
His recent works mark a shift in philosophy surrounding the relationship between historiography and image-making. For Vandy Rattana, photographs are now fictional constructions, abstract and poetic surfaces, histories of their own.
Since the photographic work and documentary Bomb Ponds (2009), in which his photos of bomb craters articulate the psychological wounds of Cambodians who survived American carpet bombing between 1964 and 1973, Vandy Rattana has been scanning the idyllic Cambodian countryside with his viewfinders and revealing its traumatic past. After his first short-film MONOLOGUE (2015), he released the short-film FUNERAL in 2018 and …far away, over there, the ocean (2019).
In 2007, he was one of the co-founders of Stiev Selapak / Art Rebels, and in 2009 he was also one of the co-founders of Sa Sa Art Gallery. He contributed, in 2011, to establish SA SA BASSAC, the first dedicated exhibition spaces for contemporary art in Cambodia. In 2014, he also co-founded Ponleu Association (non-profit); which aims to provide access to international reference books, through their translation and publication in Khmer. Ponleu also publishes its own books, focusing on various fields of knowledge (philosophy, literature, science, etc.)