Why are some of the most interesting artists of our time drawn to some of the most devastating conflicts on earth? How do artists from the Middle East and North Africa in particular respond to such difficult subject matter? What does it mean in formal, political, and ethical terms when artists transform challenging, often chaotic material into works of art that are orderly, contemplative, even redemptive?
What Art Can Do: Art, Politics, and Potential is an opportunity to think through the theory, practice, and impact of contemporary art according to its function. Through a collective process of close looking, formal analysis, and discussion, workshop participants will explore a series of recent artworks, from in and around the Middle East and North Africa, divided into three plausible categories: the documentary, the restorative, and the imaginative. Then, working together as a group, they will propose a fourth category, adding to or departing from the previous three, and present it to the public, answering the question of what art can do by developing a theme, bolstering it with research, and sharing works of art in a form adequate to their potential.
While not a comprehensive survey of contemporary art in the Middle East and North Africa, the workshop focuses on a range of artistic practices that have emerged from the region over the past ten to twenty years, emphasizing projects that are politically engaged, critically reflective, and concerned with the work of history.
Deadline to Register: August 29, 2022
Please submit this Google Form to register.
*NYU students who want to take the course for credit, must also register through Albert with the following course number: NEST-GA 2005-001