May 8, 2021
Colonels Row - Building 410A
Protocinema presents A Few In Many Places, a multi-city group exhibition that addresses on-going collapses and cycles of violence, through various forms of collectivity. Taking place in Seoul, Bangkok, Istanbul, New York, Santurce, and Guatemala City, all of these interventions use sustainable exhibition-making models of reducing exploitation (of natural resources, labor, and knowledge) and consumption (no shipping or flying). This year, collaborators present works on continuing inequalities happening in both physical and digital realms. Developed by Protocinema in 2020, A Few In Many Places maintains a foot in physical real-life, small, and safe get-togethers in each community while utilizing far-reaching digital support structures, to be both hyper-local and globally interconnected. Each chapter is site-responsive while speaking across the regions and produced in a format that allows for forms of engagement under various conditions of lockdowns or other contingent situations.
A Few In Many Places in Bangkok, Istanbul, and New York will focus on the image in its myriad forms as a site of collective investigation and re-learning as well as a tool to unhinge the cycles of violence. In New York Lila Nazemian in collaboration with Vartan Avakian, Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, and Kristine Khouri, members of the Arab Image Foundation (AIF), explore histories of (forced) migration, memory, and material culture through their intervention situated in a house on Colonels Row, Governors Island. This unfolding exhibition is made with the participants of the Practitioner-in-Residence workshop (entitled: Unravelling Collections and Practices: Rights Materialities and Photographic Agency) at NYU’s Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies. It is made up of photography, research texts, recipes and film that comes out of conversations and proposals to consider repatriation, rightful ownership, custodianship and control over culture and data.
A Few In Many Places will be accompanied by a new edition of ProtoZine, with commissioned texts from a range of different perspectives by Laura Raicovich, curator and author; Erik Bordeleau, philosopher; Collective Rewilding, as well as texts developed pairings of curators: Mari Spirito and Jorge Gonzales Santos; Gim Ikhyun& Miji Lee, and Esvin Alarcón Lam; Lila Nazemian and Abhijan Toto. ProtoZine texts and continuing public programs will roll out over the duration of the exhibition.
Lila Nazemian is an independent curator whose recent curatorial projects include Now That We Have Established a Common Ground (forthcoming 2021) at Assembly Room, New York; I open my eyes and see myself under a tree laden with fruit that I cannot name organized at New York’s Center for Book Arts in January 2020; and the On Echoes of Invisible Hearts series, featuring contemporary artists from Yemen (2018-19). She is a QAYYEM 2019 Curatorial Fellow, was among the inaugural participants of the 2018-19 Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Program in New York, and participated in ICI’s (Independent Curators International) 2018 Curatorial Intensive in Bangkok.
Vartan Avakian is an artist working with video, photography and sculpture. Avakian’s work has been shown at Marfa Projects, Beirut; MuCEM, Marseille; Sursock Museum, Beirut; and Apexart, New York. Avakian is a recipient of the Abraaj Group Art Prize (2012) and is represented by Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki, and Marfa Projects, Beirut. https://www.vartanavakian.com/
Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh uses her background in photography to combine research, conversation, image, and meta-archival practices to reflect on notions of collectivity and power. One of her long-term projects explores the impossibilities of representation through a potential digital archive assembled in collaboration with inhabitants of Burj al-Shamali, a Palestinian refugee camp near Tyr, Lebanon. She was a 2018/2019 fellow at BAK, Utrecht, the recipient of the 8th Vevey International Photography Award (together with Rozenn Quéré, 2011) and the Arles Discovery Award (2013).
Kristine Khouri is a researcher and writer whose interests focus on the history of arts circulation and infrastructure in the Middle East and North Africa as well as archival practice and knowledge dissemination. Together with Rasha Salti, she has led the Past Disquiet research project, and co-curated the project’s archival and documentary exhibitions from 2015-18 and with Salti co-edited Past Disquiet: Artists, International Solidarity and Museums in Exile, published by the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2018. She has advised on archival projects and digitization strategy for organizations in the Arab world. Her most recent texts were contributions to Labour of Love (Palestinian Museum, 2018), Hamed Abdalla, Arabécédaire (Zamân Books, 2018) and Seta Manoukian (Saradar Collection/Kaph Books, 2019).
Protocinema is a cross-cultural, mission-driven art organization, commissioning and presenting site-aware art in Istanbul, New York, and elsewhere. We produce context-specific projects of the highest artistic quality that are accessible to everyone. Protocinema evokes empathy towards an understanding of difference, across regions through exhibitions, educational public programming, and mentorship. Protocinema maintains long-term relationships with artists nurturing sustained growth. Founded by Mari Spirito in 2011, Protocinema is a registered 501(c)3, free of ‘brick and mortar’, sites vary to respond both to global concerns and changing conditions on the ground. protocinema.org