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Talks : The Postnational and Contemporary Art

Thursday, 2 August, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Federation Hall, Victorian College of the Arts, Grant Street, 5/7-17 Grant St, Southbank

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While contemporary artists have engaged deeply with the concept of the postnational—and the idea that national identities are losing their importance relative to global forces—configurations of national identity continue to abound, and the increasing transnationalism of globalisation has in fact witnessed a simultaneous increase in nationalisms.

Alexie Glass-Kantor (Executive Director, Artspace) and artists Brook Andrew, Paul Yore and Raafat Ishak will unpack the notion and paradox of the Postnational, moderated by Nikos Papastergiadis.

Talks is presented in association with The University of Melbourne, Learning Partner of Melbourne Art Week.


Alexie Glass-Kantor is Executive Director of Artspace, Sydney, supporting the commissioning of contemporary art, publishing initiatives, and research residencies for artists and curators. Since 1999 she has curated or co-curated over one hundred exhibitions across independent spaces, collecting institutions, biennials and festivals, collaborating with international artists across generations to develop projects throughout the Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. Prior to her appointment to Artspace she was Director–Senior Curator, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne and worked in Curatorial at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Glass-Kantor is the Chair of the Contemporary Art Organisations of Australia and on the Academic Board of the National Art School. She is curator of the Encounters sector for Art Basel | Hong Kong 2015-2019.

Brook Andrew is an interdisciplinary artist who examines dominant narratives, often relating to colonialism and modernist histories. Through museum and archival interventions, he aims to offer alternate versions of forgotten histories; illustrating different means for interpreting history in the world today. Apart from drawing inspiration from vernacular objects and the archive he travels internationally to work with communities and various private and public collections to tease out new interpretations.

Raafat Ishak (b. Cairo 1967; arrived Melbourne 1982; lives and works Melbourne) Working across painting, sculpture and site-specific drawing, Ishak’s practice is informed by the history of painting and architecture. Recent exhibitions include: Chicken River, Gertrude Contemporary, 1977, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2017; Painting, More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2016; The Other’s Other, Artspace, Sydney, 2012; The Future of a Promise, Venice Biennale, 2011; NEW10, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2010 and Cubism and Australian Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2009. Raafat is a founding member of Ocular Lab Inc and is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.

Nikos Papastergiadis is the Director of the Research Unit in Public Cultures, based at The University of Melbourne. He is a Professor in the School of Culture and Communication at The University of Melbourne and founder – with Scott McQuire – of the Spatial Aesthetics research cluster. He is Project Leader of the Australian Research Council Linkage Project, ‘Large Screens and the Transnational Public Sphere’, and Chief Investigator on the ARC Discovery Project ‘Public Screens and the Transformation of Public Space’.

Paul Yore completed studies in painting, ancient history, archaeology and anthropology at Monash University in 2010. Recent exhibitions include: It Takes a Village, Humber Street Art Gallery, Hull; Paul Yore, Sunday Art Fair, London; and Mad Love, A3 Arnt Art Agency, Berlin. Yore has undertaken residencies at Artspace, Seoul Artspace Geumcheon and Gertrude Contemporary Artspaces. A recipient of several grants including an Australia Council Arts Project Grant and a Marten Bequest Travelling scholarship, Yore’s work is represented in collections including the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Si Shang Art Museum and the Buxton Contemporary Art Museum.



Paul Yore, Untitled (detail), 2018 Mixed media textile, beads, sequins, 187 x 225