University of Cambridge > > The Cambridge Modern and Contemproary Art Seminar Series  > Cultures of Interruptions: Punk Post-Soviet Orientalism and Rebellion in Art

Cultures of Interruptions: Punk Post-Soviet Orientalism and Rebellion in Art

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This talk with Sara Raza will depart from her recent book Punk Orientalism: The Art of Rebellion stemming from a long term research project on Punk, Post-Soviet Orientalism and Rebellion in Contemporary Art. Following the artists’ lead, the book Punk Orientalism presents art and ideas from Sara Raza’s curatorial projects and writing, and offers an alternative to the punk movement’s proclamation of “NO FUTURE ” because its interests lie in a different kind of future. This thought-provoking book presents art and ideas hailing from the former Soviet Union, focusing on artists from Central Asia and the Caucasus and reflecting on the USSR ’s complex relationship with the Arab world, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey during and after the Cold War and the collapse of the USSR in 1991. The text functions as a form of bricolage, uniting punk strategies with the critical study of Orientalism and its historical associations with imperialism. Examining punk methodology as a conduit for revisionist thinking and rebellion, appealing to readers interested in revolutionary practices in contemporary art. Thematically organized Punk Orientalism focusing on areas such as geopolitical games, proxies, conceptual landscaping and poetic codes as alternative cultural barometers, alphabet politics (including the displacement of language and culture), whistleblowing, and the ideologies of formal and informal architecture in the making and unmaking of state narratives.

Sara Raza is an award-winning curator and writer specializing in global art and visual cultures from a postcolonial and post-Soviet perspective. Raza has curated exhibitions and projects for international museums, biennials, and festivals including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Milan), Rubin Museum of Art (New York), Mathaf: Modern Arab Art Museum (Doha, Qatar), the MacKenzie Art Gallery (Saskatchewan, Canada), Maraya Art Center, (Sharjah), the Tashkent Biennale (Uzbekistan), the 55th Venice Biennale, and the 3rd Baku Public Art Festival (Azerbaijan), among others. Formerly, she was the Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator for the Middle East and North Africa at the Guggenheim Museum, New York and Curator of Public Programs at Tate Modern, London. Raza is the West and Central Asia Desk Editor for ArtAsiaPacific magazine and has written for numerous artist monographs, books, and catalogues. She is the recipient of the 11th ArtTable New Leadership Award for Women in the Arts and was honored by Deutsche Bank and Apollo as one of 40 under 40 global art specialists (thinkers’ category). She is a Walter Hopps Curatorial Excellence Award Finalist and the Arts Council of England Emerging Curator’s Awardee (2004-05). Sara holds a BA (hons) in English Literature and History of Art and an MA in 20th-Century Art History and Theory, both from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and pursued studies towards her PhD at the Royal College of Art, London. She lives and works in New York City, where has taught for the School of Visual Arts Masters Curatorial Practice. Currently, Sara is a Red Burns Fellow at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and teaches on the Progam’s Masters’ course.

This talk is part of the The Cambridge Modern and Contemproary Art Seminar Series series.

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