Europlex, video essay, 20 Min. 2003, co-directed by Ursula Biemman and Angela Sanders/ Vanessa Beecroft (White Madonna with Twins, 2006, included in The art star and the sudanese twins)

Week 10 Wednesday Feb 22 /Topic: art and migration/ art as  knowledge production and postproduction

The contents for the week 10 session have been revised to accommodate your varied research interests. this way it is hoped you will be able to contribute to the seminar in a more meaningful way.

A- For those of you researching migration and globalisation in art, your readings are still those scheduled in for week 09:


Note there are two exhibitions in London at the moment that are relevant for your research on migration and art

1-Migrations (Tate Britain)

This exhibition explores “British art through the theme of migration from 1500 to the present day, reflecting the remit of Tate Britain Collection displays. From the sixteenth and seventeenth century Flemish and Dutch landscape and still-life painters who came to Britain in search of new patrons, through moments of political and religious unrest, to Britain’s current position within the global landscape, the exhibition will reveal how British art has been fundamentally shaped by successive waves of migration. Cutting a swathe through 500 years of history, and tracing not only the movement of artists but also the circulation of visual languages and ideas, this exhibition will include works by artists from Lely, Kneller, Kauffman to Sargent, Epstein, Mondrian, Bomberg, Bowling and the Black Audio Film Collective as well as recent work by contemporary artists.”


Pandel, R. Unstill Lives: Tate Britain’s Migrations exhibition. Guardian.co.ukThursday 26 January 2012


BBC news video


2 – Zarina Bhimji (Whitechapel Gallery)


“This first major survey exhibition traces 25 years of Bhimji’s work. It opens with the premiere of her long-awaited film, Yellow Patch (2011), inspired by trade and migration across the Indian Ocean. Desolate yet beautiful close-up images of abandoned Haveli palaces and colonial offices in Mumbai harbour give way to atmospheric renditions of the desert and the sea, all accompanied by an evocative soundtrack. Yellow Patch complements the renowned film Out of Blue (2002), an arresting visual journey across Uganda, its elegiac terrain disturbed by the sound of fire, birds and human voices.”

B- For those researching art as research and postproduction, these are your readings

Bourriaud, N., 2002, Postproduction: Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World. New York: Lukas & Sternberg,

[available as pdf] Bourriaud-Postproduction

Graeme Sullivan, 2006,  Artefacts as evidence within changing contexts. Working Papers in Art and Design 4. Available online http://sitem.herts.ac.uk/artdes_research/papers/wpades/vol4/gsfull.html

Šuvaković, M. 2008. Epistemology of Art: Critical design for procedures and platforms of contemporary art education. Belgrade: TkH & PAF. [download pdf]


C- Additional areas of research include:

experimental ethnography (pablo)

performance and Pietra Brettkelly”s film The art star and the sudanese twins (2010) on Vanessa Beecroft (celia)



extracts of the video


Additional works  for debate in the seminar include:

by Ursula Biemman:

1- Europlex, video essay, 20 Min. 2003, co-directed by Ursula Biemman and Angela Sanders

Europlex tracks distinct cross-border activities through the Spanish Moroccan borderlands and seeks to make these obscure paths visible. On their repetitive circuits around the check-point to the Spanish enclave, the video follows in three borderlogs the smuggling women who strap multiple layers of clothes to their bodies, the daily commute of “domesticas” who turn into time travellers as they move back and forth between the Moroccan and European time zones and the Moroccan women working in the transnational zones in North Africa for the European market. All these trajectories move around and inbetween the imperative of the territorial borders, they form, however, a vital layer of the cultural and economic space between Europe and Africa.

2- Sahara Chronicle, A Collection of Videos on Mobility and the Politics of Containment in the Sahara (2006-2007)

“Video collection containing an undefined number of short videos documenting the present sub-Saharan exodus towards Europe. The piece examines the politics of mobility and containment which lies at the heart of the current global geopolitics and takes a close look at the modalities and logistics of the migration system in the Sahara. …The material is gathered during three fieldtrips to the major gates and nodes of the trans-Saharan migration network in Morocco, Niger, and Mauritania. In their loose interconnectedness and their wide spread geography, Sahara Chronicle mirrors the migration network itself…Sahara Chronicle has no intention to construct a homogenous, overarching, contemporary narrative of a phenomenon that has long roots in colonial Africa and is extremely diverse and fragile in its present social organization and human experience. No authorial voice or any other narrative device is used to tie them together, the meaning is produced by the viewer who has to extract it from the interstices between the videos, i.e. from the connecting lines between the nodes where migratory intensity is bundled, which is the stretch most invisible to the eye. Dispersing the viewpoint acknowledges at the same time the multiple and cooperative process of knowledge produced on the way.” (Biemann)


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