The Moderation(s) Conference:
Stories And Situations

(Image courtesy of Kristin Metho)

Saturday, October 5, 2013
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam

Can language transform and influence our understanding and perception of (works of) art? What happens when people meet, what stories are exchanged or which situations are created? How do ideas travel? How do minor histories and non-heroic gestures transpire over time and across geographies? How are these stories told and how do they weave themselves into an art historicization in the 21st century, if at all?

Stories and Situations is a day-long conference right at the heart of Moderation(s), a long-term, multifaceted project between Witte de With and Spring Workshop in Hong Kong. It is a platform where the diverse and multiple motifs of Moderation(s) are discussed and debated : the notion of speech in relation to art / its practices and the role of institutions / the problematics of group dynamics / the slippages of transmission via literary devices or processes of art historicization / distance as a tenuous concept are problematized from multiple angles ranging from linguistics, anthropology to philosophy. For this conference, Amira Gad (Managing Curator, Witte de With) has worked closely with three other critics and curators, including, Lee Ambrozy (Art critic and Founding Editor of, Christina Li (Independent curator and writer) and Xiaoyu Weng (Curator, Asia Programs, Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco) in order to develop a series of conversations with a list of invited guests who would provide insights into the motifs via talks, performances, and perhaps, something in-between the two.

Witte de With site: The Moderation(s) Conference: Stories and Situations

Lee Ambrozy graduated from Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts with a MA in Chinese art history, she is currently a PhD student at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. Ambrozy edited and translated Ai Weiwei’s Blog (MIT Press, 2011), and is currently editor-at-large of Artforum’s Chinese website.

Brian Castriota is an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in art history and conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts – New York University, currently completing advanced training in the artifacts conservation department of the National Museums Scotland. He has interned in the conservation departments of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, and Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery; he also works as an archaeological conservator at excavations in Turkey, Sicily, and Egypt. His current research focuses on the conservation of late-twentieth century video installation art, examining the impact of age value, patina, and integrity-based interpretations of authenticity on conservation decision-making. His more broad research interests include aspects of conservation theory and ethical issues related to damage, destruction, and intentionality.

Heman Chong is an artist, curator and writer. His art practice involves an investigation into the philosophies, reasons and methods of individuals and communities imagining the future. Charged with a conceptual drive, this research is then adapted into objects, images, installations, situations or texts. The artist has developed solo exhibitions at Rossi & Rossi (London), SOTA Gallery (Singapore), NUS Museum (Singapore), Kunstverein Milano (Milan), Motive Gallery (Amsterdam), Hermes Third Floor (Singapore), Vitamin Creative Space (Guangzhou), Art In General (New York), Project Arts Centre (Dublin), Ellen de Bruijne Projects (Amsterdam), The Substation (Singapore), Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Sparwasser HQ (Berlin). His work has also been shown extensively in group exhibitions including San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Kumho Museum of Art, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Kroeller-Muller Museum, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Nam June Paik Art Center, Gertrude Contemporary, Arnolfini, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Hamburger Bahnhof, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Kadist Art Foundation, Daejeon Museum of Art.

Chris Fitzpatrick is the director of Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp, where he developed a four-year program of simultaneous and overlapping solo exhibitions, which are presented at differing physical and temporal scales, and with correspondingly different levels of mediation. Fitzpatrick has curated exhibitions and events internationally, including: VEERLE, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2013-14); the San Francisco Pavilion, 9th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai (2012); and the Present Future section, Artissima 18, Turin (2011). His writing has been published in Spike, Pazmaker, Nero, Mousse, Fillip, Cura, The Baltic Notebooks of Anthony Blunt, Art Papers, exhibition catalogues, and books.

Amira Gad is Associate Curator (and Publications) at Witte de With, Rotterdam, where she has worked since 2009 and where she is working closely with current Director Defne Ayas in the development of the institution’s curatorial programs. She received a Masters in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts & Sciences from the University College Utrecht. Curated projects include “I am for an art criticism that”, a 2-day symposium presented at Witte de With and at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; “Short Big Drama” (with Nicolaus Schafhausen), a solo exhibition of Angela Bulloch at Witte de With. Gad has been assistant curator on a number of projects including the year-long multi-faceted project Morality (curated by Juan A. Gaitán & Nicolaus Schafhausen); group exhibitions “The End of Money” (curated by Juan A. Gaitán); “Making is Thinking” (curated by Zoë Gray); a city-wide group exhibition in Rotterdam “Melanchotopia” (curated by Anne-Claire Schmitz & Nicolaus Schafhausen); but also “All About Us” a solo exhibition of Miki Kratsman at Ursula Blickle Foundation in Kraichtal (curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen). Outside of Witte de With, Gad is currently curating (together with Nicolaus Schafhausen) a series of conferences for Fogo Island Arts (Canada) that deal with questions of cultural heritage and taking place on Fogo Island, in Montreal at the CCA, and in Vienna at the MAK. Gad was a jury member for Been Out (vol. 1), an exhibition lab for young contemporary art organised by Bohème Précaire in cooperation with 2010LAB.TV and You All For My Act, an exhibition organised by the Rookies MA at Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam. Gad is the editor and has been involved in the production of several publications on contemporary art including Source Book 10: Angela Bulloch (editor); the artist books Rotterdam – Sensitive Times by Lidwien van de Ven (editor); One Day by Susanne Kriemann; the catalogue All About Us; and contributed to a number of publications including the critical reader by artist Mario Pfeifer A Formal Film in Nine Episodes, Prologue & Epilogue; Source Book 8: Edith Dekyndt. She is also editor of Witte de With’s newly launched online platform WdW Review and a Correspondent Editor for Ibraaz, an online publishing forum dedicated to contemporary visual culture in the Middle-East & North Africa.

Vincenzo Latronico is a writer and translator living in Berlin. His novels and theater are published in Italy by Bompiani. He has translated works by Hanif Kureishi, P.G. Wodehouse and Francis Scott Fitzgerald and is currently working on an Italian edition of the stories of Donald Barthelme. He curated a literary section at the Artissima fair and taught art writing at NABA academy in Milan; his writing has appeared on frieze, Kaleidoscope and Rolling Stone.

Christina Li is an independent curator and writer based in Hong Kong and The Netherlands. Until recently, she was involved with the research and project management of the FORMER WEST project. Li was responsible for the debut of SKOR (Stichting Kunst en Openbare Ruimte, Amsterdam)’s public programme: Actors, Agents and Attendants: Speculations on the Cultural Organisation of Civility (2010) and curating the accompanying artist projects and film programme. She has previously worked as a Curator of Para/Site Art Space (Hong Kong) and was the assistant curator of Making (Perfect) World: Harbour, Hong Kong, Alienated Cities and Dreams, the Hong Kong Participation of the 53rd Venice Biennale. She graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a degree in Fine Arts (Art History) and Comparative Literature and completed de Appel Curatorial Programme in 2009.

Vincent Normand is a writer and curator living in Paris. His curatorial projects include the exhibitions Sinking Islands (LABOR, Mexico City, 2012) and Fun Palace (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2010), The Sirens’ Stage (David Roberts Art Foundation, London, 2010), Le Stade des Sirènes (Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, 2010), and Lo stato delle sirene (Nomas Foundation, Rome, 2010). He is co-director of Glass Bead, a forthcoming journal and international research laboratory, and his texts are published in various collective publications and magazines. His current researches focus on relocating the history of exhibitions in the broader field of a history of observation.

Xiaoyu Weng is a curator and writer. She has organized exhibitions and events for venues including the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts (San Francisco), Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Queens Nails Projects (San Francisco) and the Minsheng Art Museum (Shanghai). Her essay “Working with Archive” was the winning entry of the Artforum Critical Writing Award in 2011. Weng runs a column for the bimonthly journal Art Time (Beijing). Her writing has appeared in publications such as Artforum Online, Journal of Curatorial Studies, and Leap, and exhibition catalogues such as the 5th Auckland Triennial, Gwangju Biennale 2012, and 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, among others. In addition to her independent endeavors, Weng is Curator of Asia Programs at the Kadist Art Foundation in San Francisco.

Arnisa Zeqo studied history of art and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Together with Laurie Cluitmans she recently organized the exhibition ‘He Disappeared Into Complete Silence: Re-reading a Single Artwork by Louise Bourgeois’ at Museum De Hallen Haarlem. She is co-founder of RONGWRONG, a small art space situated in the ground floor of her house in Amsterdam.

  • DateOctober 5, 2013
  • PlaceWitte de With, Rotterdam
  • TypeEvent
  • CostFree

A Part of Moderation(s)

Moderation(s) is an ongoing collaboration that will unfold in 2013/4 between Spring Workshop, Hong Kong, and Witte de With, Rotterdam. Conceived as an anthology of active proposals, Moderation(s) brings together an international group of artists, curators and writers in a year-long program of contemporary discourse and production between the two organisations. Within this framework, the artist Heman Chong will steer the project which will involve more than 50 artists and engender a conference, three exhibitions, three residencies and a book of short stories. Please click here to read more about the program.

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