The Zurich Conference: July 28–30, 2016
Thursday, 21. July 2016
An initiative by Khanabadosh (Mumbai) and Institute for Contemporary Art Research (IFCAR), Zurich University of the Arts
The Zurich Conference
July 28–30, 2016
8005 Zurich West
Draft explores contemporary art that produces, contributes to or provokes public debate. It involves nine interdisciplinary collaboratives from nine cities: Beijing, Cairo, Cape Town, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Mumbai, St. Petersburg and Zurich. The conference is focused on the projects developed and carried out by the collaboratives over the past 12 months in their local contexts. The projects intervene in contexts of action, production and discourse, by exploring the imaginary, rendering the latent visible or critiquing concrete circumstances.
Media censorship, state authoritarianism, social injustice, xenophobia, nationalism, various forms of violence, migration, the effects of frantic urbanisation, real estate speculation, commodities trading and repatriation are some of the pressing issues highlighted by these year-long investigations. Artists respond to these circumstances through critique and fiction, by establishing infrastructures, educational programmes and counter publics, and by employing re-enactments and mnemonic techniques. They reveal the consequences of such phenomena and processes on our affective and intellectual life—in short, they draft a different history and a different present. The conference will address the notion of debate: debate as a device for managing conflicts, negotiating standpoints, making things public and defining the space we live in. It will be focused in particular on the debate around the crises of belonging—i.e. who can belong, to what and how much—a subterranean reverb that runs through each of the projects.
Draft was launched in June 2015 with a conference in Mumbai where the positions and working methodologies of the collaboratives and their members were presented. The 2016 conference in Zürich will provide insights into art activities undertaken as part of Draft, and discuss them in terms of their sources and research materials, approaches adopted and their consequences for life-worlds. How do these projects change their context, our worldview or concrete action? How do they maintain
dissent and promote complexity? What do they appeal for?
The upcoming conference is also imagined as a research and pedagogical environment; it will be attended by approximately 40 students visiting from universities across Alexandria, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Mexico City, New Delhi, Palermo, St. Petersburg, and Zurich. The students will be in town for Negotiating Space: Art and Dissent, the International ZHdK Summer School 2016,
convened in cooperation with Manifesta 11.
Contributors: Giorgio Biancorosso, CAMP (Shaina Anand, Ashok Sukumaran, Simpreet Singh), Helena Chávez Mac Gregor, Chto Delat (Tsaplya Olga Egorova, Nikolay Oleynikov, Dmitry Vilensky), Cosmin Costinas (Para Site), CTC. Curating the City (Sophie Goltz, Alice Peragine), Gitanjali Dang, Anila Daulatzai, Gareth Evans, Gabrielle Goliath, Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty, Rohit Jain, Ju Anqi, knowbotiq (Christian Hübler, Yvonne Wilhelm with Nina Bandi), Qinyi Lim, Jens Maier-Rothe,
Cuauhtémoc Medina, Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk, Alia Mossallam, Riason Naidoo, Ambimbola Odubegsan, Richard Pithouse, Sarah Rifky, Uzma Rizvi, Nils Röller, Christoph Schenker, Teatro Ojo (Héctor Bourges Valles, Laura Furlan Magaril, Karla Rodríguez Lira, Patricio Villarreal Ávila), Xu Peili (Mianbu), Samson Young and Zheng Bo
The conference is open to the public. Admission is free.
Artistic directors: Gitanjali Dang/Khanabadosh and Christoph Schenker/IFCAR
Partners: Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council, and Connecting Spaces Hong Kong –
Supported by: artEDU Foundation, Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation