The 2017 Annual Meeting of the Consortium for Humanities Centers and Institutes will include presentations from renowned artists Issac Julien and William Kentridge as well as curator Alya Sebti. Julien will deliver the inaugural Srinivas Aravamudan Lecture, named in honor of the former CHCI President.
Under the theme of “The Humanities Improvised,” the annual meeting aims to bring together artists, art commentators and humanists from CHCI member institutions to reconceptualize the relationship between art and the humanities in a rapidly changing world of work, politics and technology. The meeting will explore these shifts against the backdrop of an African and South African context where debates about nationalism, decolonization, neocolonialism, postcolonialism, globalization and neoliberalism have found complex expression and contestation in burgeoning arts initiatives across the continent. The meeting takes place from August 10–13 at the University of the Western Cape, in Cape Town, South Africa.
Isaac Julien is an installation artist and filmmaker who is currently Chair of Global Art at University of Arts London. He’s known for pioneering large, multi-screen video installations including “Western Union: Small Boats” (2007), “Ten Thousand Waves” (2010), and “Playtime: Kapital” (2014). Julien has had solo shows at the Pompidou Centre in Paris (2005), MOCA Miami (2005), Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2006), the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea - Museu do Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal (2009), Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2011) and SESC Pompeia in Brazil (2012). His work “Ten Thousand Waves” has been on display in over 15 countries to date. He lives and works in London.
William Kentridge is a South African artist best known for photographing charcoal drawings as the are in-prograss, creating animated films that capture each new line and erasure. His work has been celebration for its depiction of South African politics through a mix of personal reflection and poetic allusion. Kentridge has had major exhibitions at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, (2007); and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2004). In 2010 he had a career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. That same year, his production of Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera The Nose premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Alya Sebti is a Moroccan-born art historian and curator who was recently appointed Director of ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) Gallery Berlin. She started her career at the Paris Photo Fair dedicated to the Arab Countries and Iran, in 2009, and in 2011 she organized the first exhibition of Youssef Nabil in Morocco. From 2011–2014 she was the Artistic Director of the 5th Marrakech Biennale. Between 2012 and 2014 she initiated a cycle of online exhibitions with ArteEast on contemporary art in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.