Speaker Biographies 2022

From November 11 to 13, 2022, CIMAM will hold the 54th edition of its Annual Conference in a scenic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, in the archipelago of the Balearic Islands, between Africa, Europe and the Middle East, to explore how museums can actively embrace, partner, and actively listen. It will also claim the urgency for museums to adapt and become spaces of shared encounter and hospitality, allowing themselves to be a permeable and vulnerable community capable of embodying multiple bodies; institutional, political, social, human, or non-human.

Over the course of three days, the concept of The Attentive Museum will be addressed as an opportunity to take a broad view of the work that can and should be done to ensure the relevance and impact of museums, developing institutional practices that make sense for all of contemporary society, even in these times of conflict and war, and practicing active listening within the museum community to reach beyond.

The 13 invited speakers will propose different models that can provide a roadmap for institutions through an exploration of new models of governance, and narratives of decolonial discourses, concluding with a vision beyond the museum world to collectives and new institutional models from which we can learn a more sustainable future.

Day 1: Changing from the Inside: How should we Govern Ourselves?

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Paul B. Preciado, Writer and Curator, Paris, France/Spain

Paul B. Preciado, Writer and Curator, Paris, France/Spain

Paul B. Preciado is a writer, philosopher, curator and one of the leading thinkers in the study of gender and body politics. He has been Curator of Public Programs for documenta 14, Kassel/Athens; Curator of the Taiwan Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019; and Head of Research of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona (MACBA). He has taught Philosophy of the Body and Transfeminist Theory at Université Paris VIII-Saint Denis and at New York University. His books, Counter-sexual Manifesto (Columbia University Press); Testo Junkie (The Feminist Press); Pornotopia (Zone Books); An Apartment in Uranus (Semiotexte and Fitzcarraldo), Can the monster speak? (Semiotexte and Fitzcarraldo) are a key reference to queer, trans, and non-binary contemporary art and activism. His lastest book, Dysphoria Mundi, is to be published in France in 2022 (Grasset), with an English translation published by Graywolf and Fitzcarraldo. He was born in Spain and lives in Paris.

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Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director, M+, Hong Kong, China. Photo: Winnie Yeung @ Visual Voices. Courtesy of M+, Hong Kong

Suhanya Raffel
, Museum Director, M+, Hong Kong

Suhanya Raffel was appointed Director of M+ in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong in 2016. The museum opened to the public in November 2021.

Previously, she was Deputy Director and Director of Collections at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Sydney (2013–16), and has held many senior curatorial positions, including Deputy Director of curatorial and collection development from 2010 and Acting Director in 2012 at the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (1994–2013). In 2009–14, she was a member of the Asian Art Council at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and in 2010–15 served on the boards of the Australia-China Council, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, Griffith University Asia Institute, Brisbane (2010–15) and LendLease Public Art Advisory Committee (2014–16).

In 2020, she was awarded France’s Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres and is the 2022 Sydney University Alumni Achievement Awardee for Cultural Contribution. She has been on the Board of CIMAM since 2016, and since 2021 has also been a member of the Bizot Group, as well as a Trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust and the Lunuganga Trust, Sri Lanka (1994 –).

Meskerem Assegued Bantiwalu, Curator and General Director, Zoma Museum PLC, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Meskerem Assegued Bantiwalu
, Curator and General Director, Zoma Museum PLC, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Meskerem Assegued is a curator, anthropologist, writer, and co-founder of Zoma Museum with Elias Sime. She curated Giziawi #1, an art happening; Divine Light by David Hammons in Addis Ababa; and Green Flame, the visual art exhibition of the New Crowned Hope Festival by Peter Sellars in Vienna. She co-curated Eye of the Needle Eye of the Heart at Santa Monica Museum of Art with Sellars; Curvature of Events at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Johannes Haile: With Different Eyes at Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Germany; and Vital Signs at Katzen Art Center, Washington DC. She recently co-designed and constructed the landscape and buildings at the Menilik’s Grand Palace and is currently constructing Zoma Village Entoto with Sime in Addis Ababa.

She has participated in various workshops and symposia, including those organized at MoMA and Tate Modern. She was awarded France’s Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and has been a member of the selection committees for Dak’Art and the Venice Biennale African Pavilion.

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Iris Dressler, Codirector, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Iris Dressler
, Codirector, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Iris Dressler and Hans D. Christ have been Codirectors of the Württembergischer Kunstverein (WKV), Stuttgart, since 2005, with a particular focus on the exploration of collaborative, transcultural, and transdisciplinary practices of curating. In 2019, they were the artistic directors of the Bergen Assembly, and in 1996 they founded the Hartware Medienkunstverein, which they directed until 2004.

Under their direction, the Kunstverein has presented solo exhibitions of artists such as Carrie Mae Weems (2022), Lorenza Böttner (2019, curated by Paul B. Preciado), Imogen Stidworthy (2018), Alexander Kluge (2020 and 2017), Ines Doujak (2016), Teresa Burga (2011, curated by Miguel Lopez and Emilio Tarazona), Michaël Borremans (2011), Daniel G. Andújar (2008), Anna Oppermann (2007, curated by Ute Vorkoeper), and Stan Douglas (2007). Recent group exhibitions include the four-part project Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead (2019–22 in Bergen and Stuttgart with various constellations of co-curators) and 50 Years after 50 Years of the Bauhaus (2018). She teaches regularly at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart, and elsewhere, and has published largely on contemporary art and its political and theoretical contexts.

Day 2: Unlocking History and New Narratives

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Denise Ferreira da Silva, Prof. Dr., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Denise Ferreira da Silva
, Prof. Dr., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Director of the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia, she is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), A Dívida Impagavel (Oficina da Imaginaçāo Política and Living Commons, 2019) and co-editor (with Paula Chakravartty) of Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). She has had several articles published in leading interdisciplinary journals, such as Social Text, Theory, Culture & Society; PhiloSOPHIA; Griffith Law Review; Theory & Event; The Black Scholar. Her artistic works include the films Serpent Rain (2016), 4Waters-Deep Implicancy (2018), Soot Breath/Corpus Infinitum 2020 (in collaboration with Arjuna Neuman), and the relational art practices Poethical Readings and Sensing Salon, in collaboration with Valentina Desideri. She lives and works on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking Musqueam people.

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Clémentine Deliss, Associate Curator, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

Clémentine Deliss
, Associate Curator, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

Dr. Clémentine Deliss works across the borders of contemporary art, curatorial practice, independent publishing, and critical anthropology. She is currently Global Humanities Professor of History of Art, University of Cambridge, and Associate Curator of KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, where she is developing the Metabolic Museum-University. Between 2010–15, she was the director of Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, where she instituted a new research lab for post-ethnographic research and developed several exhibitions including Object Atlas – Fieldwork in the Museum (2011); Foreign Exchange (or the stories you wouldn’t tell a stranger) (2014); and El Hadji Sy – Painting, Performance, Politics (2015). In 2016, she directed Dilijan Arts Observatory in Armenia for the exhibition Hello World. Revising a Collection, National Galerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin. In the same year, she was Visiting Professor at the Ecole nationale supérieure d’arts Paris-Cergy and held an International Chair at the Laboratoire d’excellence des arts et médiations humaines, Université Paris 8 and Centre Georges Pompidou. In 2018–19, she was Interim Professor of Curatorial Theory and Dramaturgical Practice at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. Between 2019–20, she taught at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study, Berlin, and mentor of the Berlin Program for Artists and Faculty at Large of SVA Curatorial Practice. Her book The Metabolic Museum (2020, Hatje Cantz) came out in Russian translation in 2021, published by Garage Museum, Moscow.

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Sandra Gamarra, Visual Artist, Independent, Lima, Peru

Sandra Gamarra Heshiki
, Visual Artist, Independent, Lima, Peru/Madrid, Spain

Sandra Gamarra Heshiki (1972) was born in Lima, Gamarra, and studied Fine Arts at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. In 2003, she moved to Madrid to complete her art studies, where she developed her work until 2019. She utilizes painting in a figurative way to conceptually cross-examine art and its mechanisms. Based on appropriations, her work acts as a mirror that displaces exhibition formats, alters the circulation of images, and subverts the ownership of culture, as well as the narrative between art and its viewer. Within this field of investigation, her Peruvian background adds a syncretic gaze where pre-Columbian, colonial, and Western cultures collide. Some of her recent exhibitions recontextualize art genres such as the landscape, self-portrait, and still life. In 2002, in response to the absense of a contemporary art institution in Lima, she created LiMac, a fictitious museum that first established itself with its logo on merchandize (pencils, erasers, mugs, and bags). Since then, LiMac has produced collections, exhibitions, publications, an architectural project, and a website (www.li-mac.org). She lives and works in Lima.

Sethembile Msezane, Visual Artist, Msezane Studios, Cape Town, South Africa.

Sethembile Msezane, Visual Artist, Msezane Studios, Cape Town, South Africa

Sethembile Msezane is an artist who uses performance, photography, film, sculpture and drawing to create works that address spiritual and political symbolism, and African knowledge systems. Drawing on her dreams, she asks questions about ancestral memory and the processes by which mythmaking is used to construct history, highlighting the absence of the black female body in both the narratives and physical spaces of historical commemoration.

She recently participated in the 14th Dak’art Biennale (2022), and previously has been a UEA Global Talent Fellow hosted by the Sainsbury Research Unit and Sainsbury Centre (2021), a Mellon Artist Residency Fellow in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch (2020), and a OkayAfrica 100 women 2018 Honoree. She was a TEDGlobal Speaker in Ausha, Tanzania (2017), a TAF & Sylt Emerging Artist Residency Award winner (2016), and was the first recipient of the Rising Light award at the Mbokodo Awards (2016). Sethembile Msezane (b. 1991) lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.

Day 3: Learning from the Community: Collective Actions in the Face of Emergency

Emily Jacir, Founder/Director, Dar Jacir for Art and Research, Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories

Emily Jacir
, Founder/Director, Dar Jacir for Art and Research, Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories

Emily Jacir is an artist, filmmaker, and educator who lives and works between Bethlehem and Rome. Her artistic practice spans a range of strategies including film, photography, sculpture, interventions, archiving, performance, video, writing, and sound. She investigates silenced histories, exchange, translation, transformation, resistance, and movement. Her works have been widely exhibited all over the world since 1994, and she has been honored for her achievements with several awards including a Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); a Prince Claus Award (2007); the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum (2008); the Alpert Award (2011) from the Herb Alpert Foundation; and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome (2015); among others. She is the founder and Executive Director of Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research in Bethlehem.

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Lada Nakonechna, artist, Method Fund, Kyiv, Ukraine

Lada Nakonechna
, artist, Method Fund, Kyiv, Ukraine

Lada Nakonechna is an artist and researcher based in Kyiv. In addition to her individual practice, she is involved in a number of group projects and collectives. Since 2005, she has been a member of the R.E.P. group; since 2008, part of the curatorial and activist union Hudrada; and since 2015, a cofounder of Method Fund, and, together with Kateryna Badianova, co-curator of its educational and research programs: Course of Art and CreatingRuine.net. In 2016, she joined the new editorial board of Prostory.net.ua, an online art, literature, and politics magazine. Her artworks, which often take the form of installations incorporating drawing, photography, and text, call attention to methods of recognition, revealing the internal aspects of visual and verbal structures. Her latest investigations are based on artistic and archival materials related to Socialist Realism — understood as a “method” and institutional and educational system. Her work has been exhibited widely in such venues as the National Art Museum of Ukraine; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Galerie für Zeitgenssische Kunst, Leipzig; Palais Populaire, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; Kunsthalltrondheim, Norway; Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg; and Center for Contemporary Art at NaUKMA, Kyiv. In 2014, she received the Kazimir Malevich Art Award.

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Philip Rizk, film-maker/artist, Mosireen, Berlin, Germany

Philip Rizk
, film-maker/artist, Mosireen video collective, Cairo, Egypt

Philip Rizk is a filmmaker and writer from Cairo living in Berlin. In his films, he experiments with methods of “making the habitual strange.” In Out on the Street (2015), he uses performance. In his found footage films Mapping Lessons (2020) and Terrible Sounds & Wonderful Things (2022, work in progress), he experiments with the technique of montage. In a world that is breaking down, a question that runs throughout Rizk’s projects is: “How do we prepare ourselves for what is to come?” He is a member of the Mosireen video collective behind the archive 858.ma. His texts include the essay “2011 is not 1968: a letter to an onlooker,” and the co-authored book (with Jasmina Metwaly) On Trials: A Manual on the Theatre of Law (Archive Books, 2021). He occasionally teaches in classrooms and workshops. His work can be followed @ filfilfilm.com

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Kike España, Dr., Architect, Urban researcher, La Casa Invisible, Málaga, Spain

Kike España
, Dr., Architect, Urban researcher, La Casa Invisible, Malaga, Spain

Kike España participates in the social and cultural center La Casa Invisible as activist and researcher, is one of the editors of the publishing house Subtextos, and is part of the collective bookshop Suburbia in Málaga. He trained as an architect and has a PhD in urban theory from the University of Seville. He collaborates in the Overtourist City research project of the School of Architecture of the University of Málaga. His more recent publications include the book Die sanfte Stadt (2021, Transversal Texts), the articles “La ciudad contra el Estado” (2020, Scienze Del Territorio) and “Städte zu verkaufen: Prozesse der Enteignung und Praktiken der Wiederaneignung in Spanien” (2019, sub\urban) and the book chapter “The City of Attractions” (2019, MNCA Reina Sofía).

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Meenakshi Gopinath,
Founder-Director, Women in Security Conflict, Management and Peace (WISCOMP), New Delhi, India

Meenakshi Gopinath is currently Chair, Centre for Policy Research, and Founder-Director of Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), an initiative that promotes the leadership of South Asian women in the areas of peace, international affairs and regional cooperation. She is also Principal Emerita of Lady Shri Ram College, a premier women’s institution in India. A member of multi-track peace initiatives in South Asia, Meenakshi’s work and several publications focus on Gender, Security, Peacebuilding and Education. Her interests also include issues of human rights and gender, conflict transformation, Buddhist and Gandhian philosophy and the performing Arts. She was the first woman to serve on the National Security Advisory Board of India. She serves on the Boards of several Civil society initiatives for peace and nonviolence as well as educational institutes.

In recognition of her contribution to the field of women’s education and empowerment, she has received several national and international awards including the National Honour of Padma Shri. She also held the L.M. Singhvi fellowship at the David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies (DDMI), University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Visiting MacArthur Senior Fellowship at Nanyang University, Singapore, was conferred the Honorary Doctorate Degree of Letters (Honoris Causa) for significant contribution to the education of women and commitment to global peace, La Trobe University, Australia, She was Distinguished Visiting Scholar, School of Social Sciences, Monash University (2015)