Feb 21, 2020 — 18:00

Vera Icona: On Archives, Borders, and Nature

Vera Icona: on Archives, Borders, and Nature, is an informal conversation between Jerusalem-born artist Dor Guez and New York City-based curator Sara Reisman, moderated by Jaro Varga, to introduce some of the ideas underpinning Guez’s solo exhibition Vera Icona, which opens the following week at FUTURA.

With his artistic practice situated between historical archives, contemporary photography, and video, Guez will speak about projects that reflect on the relationship between language and displacement, and the entanglement of nature with perceptions of home and identity. Reisman will present recent curatorial projects that question the efficacy of revolution and activism in times of political instability, and how art spaces can be sites of organizing.

/ Dor Guez was born into a family of Palestinian and Jewish Tunisian lineage. Guez's photography, video, mixed media, and essays explore the relationship between art, narrative, and memory. Interrogating personal and official accounts of the past, his artwork raises questions about contemporary art's role in narrating unwritten histories and re-contextualizing visual and written documents. Since 2006, Guez’s ongoing research focuses on archival materials of the Middle East. His work has been displayed in over thirty solo exhibitions worldwide. To date, eight catalogues have been published internationally about his practice. Publishers include Distanz, New England Press, and A.M Qattan Foundation. Currently Guez serves as the Head of the Master of Fine Arts Program at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. www.dorguez.com

Sara Reisman is a curator whose practice engages public art, social practice, and the politics of place. Since 2014, she has served as Executive and Artistic Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation which is focused on supporting art and social justice through grant making to New York City nonprofit organizations, and organizing exhibitions and public programs at the foundation’s gallery, The 8th Floor. Recent exhibitions have included Revolution from Without, The Watchers, and Relational Economies: Labor over Capital. In 2019, two book projects were published: Mobilizing Pedagogy: Two Projects in the Americas by Pablo Helguera and Suzanne Lacy with Pilar Riaño-Alcalá (co-edited with Elyse Gonzales, published by Amherst College Press) and Elia Alba: The Supper Club (edited with George Bolster and Anjuli Nanda, published Hirmer Verlag). From 2008 to 2014, Reisman was director of New York City’s Percent for Art program where she commissioned permanent artworks by Xu Bing, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Pablo Helguera, and Jeffrey Gibson, among many others, for civic sites like libraries, public schools, courthouses, plazas, and parks. Reisman has worked in curatorial roles at the Queens Museum, the New Museum, and the Philadelphia ICA. She was the 2011 critic-in-residence at Art Omi, a 2013 Marica Vilcek Curatorial Fellow, and was awarded a 2020 CEC Artslink residency in St. Petersburg. Reisman has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Purchase College, and since 2016, the Masters in Curatorial Practice Program at the School of Visual Arts. www.the8thfloor.org