The Artist As... Quarry
With Tirdad Zolghadr
08 November 2016
Artists are always falling prey to something or other. Censorship, curators, bad lighting, jet lag, bigotry, cultural prejudice, institutions in particular, and The Institution At Large. Never are they complicit in any of these things.
The goal of this lecture is not to trace examples of when victimisation is real or imagined. The aim, rather, is to trace the role and political rationale of self-marginalisation within the moral economy of contemporary art. The goal of this exercise, in turn, is to speculate as to how this rationale might be translated into a more meaningful professional identity, with more tangible political traction, over time.
Tirdad Zolghadr’s lecture is part of The Artist As… — a year-long lecture series co-presented by the IMA and Curatorial Practice at MADA. The series examines the ways artists move through the world, and how that movement might involve adopting other roles to pursue a project, a position, a politics, or a practice. For any given project the artist may act as architect, as ethnographer, as archivist, as producer, as curator, as activist, as choreographer, and so on. The Artist As… also recognises that many artists come to their practice as experts in other fields, bringing with them specialist knowledge that informs and shapes their work.
Tirdad Zolghadr is a curator and writer. He is associate curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, director of the Summer Academy Paul Klee in Bern, and teaches at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem. His most recent book is Traction, published by Sternberg Press, 2016.