Serena Lee’s practice stems from a fascination with polyphony and its radical potential. She works across disciplines, collaboratively and aleatorically. Serena also works with Read-in, a collective researching political, embodied, and situated practices of reading; and SHATTERED MOON ALLIANCE, a collaboration with artist Christina Battle. Recent projects have played out at CRAC Occitanie (Sète), Cubitt (London), transmediale (Berlin), Mitchell Art Gallery (Edmonton), Museum of Contemporary Art (Toronto), and Whitechapel Gallery (London). Serena holds an MFA from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, an Associate Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada, and is currently based in Vienna as a PhD researcher at the Academy of Fine Arts. Serena was born in Tkaronto/Toronto, Canada and at one point her first language was Cantonese.
Rester. Étranger is a kind of family. The family is the format of the work. Because Rester. Étranger is a work of art. What kind of art? A kind of art that is experimental. That is, an art in the making. Which is really experienced. A non-spectacular, non-exclusive, living kind of art. Which belongs to its makers. Those who breathe it. Those who sweat it. You are making it too. This moment when you engage in reading these lines belongs to you. You are getting in touch with an activity that grounds the experience of Rester. Étranger. An art practice that has no outside. That does not wait for an audience. Nor for the right place. Nor for the right time to happen. Rester. Étranger is happening and gives space to each person who encounters its activity. Crossing through what remains of the disoriented desire for camping in reality. A choreographic trajectory within the relation.
Barbara Manzetti deeply inhabits, in the company of others, an experiential and affective work that resists its own execution. Its variable, polymorphous, diffuse format gladly takes place in writing, either performed or deposited on diverse and perishable props, such as post-its, cards, reels, or finding hospitality in the shape of a book.
Karima El Kharraze
Sarah Rifky is a writer and theorist of modern and contemporary art. She is a PhD candidate in History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her current research is focused on the emergence of what she terms “Cultural Infrastructure” in Egypt during the 1950s and 1960s. She is interested in the work of institutions, artists and art in global modernism.
Rasha Salti is an independent film and visual arts curator and writer, working and living between Beirut and Berlin. She co-curated The Road to Damascus, with Richard Peña, a retrospective of Syrian cinema that toured worldwide (2006), and Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema from the 1960s until Now, with Jytte Jensen (2010-2012) showcased at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. She co-curated with Kristine Khouri Past Disquiet: Narratives and Ghosts from the Exhibition of International Art for Palestine (Beirut, 1978), at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) in 2015, at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, in 2016, at the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (MSSA) in Santiago de Chile and at the Sursock Museum both in 2018. Salti edited Insights into Syrian Cinema: Essays and Conversations with Filmmakers (2006, ArteEast and Rattapallax Press), Beirut Bereft, The Architecture of the Forsaken and Map of the Derelict a collaboration with photographer Ziad Antar (Sharjah Art Foundation, 2010), and I Would Have Smiled: A Tribute to Myrtle Winter-Chaumeny *co-edited with Issam Nassar, in 2010.
Victorine Grataloup studied art history and theory at EHESS (School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) and at the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne where she is now a lecturer, and worked at the Palais de Tokyo, KADIST, Bétonsalon - Center for art and research and Cneai before becoming an independent curator.
She has been collaborating with Virginie Bobin since 2018 through Qalqalah قلقلة, platform for artistic exchange, research and translations they co-founded together; and with the curatorial collective Le Syndicat Magnifique which she co-founded in 2012.
In 2020, she is the recipient of the Cnap (The National Centre for Visual Arts) curatorial research grant with a project on acquisitions of works by artists from the Islamic world. She simultaneously works with École des Actes (School of Acts), an experimental micro-institution working in between languages in Aubervilliers, France.
Montasser Drissi is a Moroccan graphic designer and type designer based in Paris. In his research at the Atelier national de recherche typographique in Nancy, he explored the design of multi-script characters (fonts that are compatible with several writing systems) and the way power relations between dominant and minority languages play out in the typographical field in Arab-speaking countries.
Virginie Bobin works at the crossroads between research, curatorial and editorial practices, pedagogy and translation. In 2018, she started a practice-based research project on the political and affective stakes of translation, within the framework of the PhD-in-practice program in Artistic Research at the Akademie der bildenden Künste (Vienna). In parallel, she co-founded with Victorine Grataloup the non-profit organization Qalqalah قلقلة, a platform for artistic exchanges, research and translations.
Until 2018, she was Head of Programs at Villa Vassilieff, a center for art, research and residencies, which she co-founded in 2016. Previously, she worked for Bétonsalon – Center for Art and Research, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam), Manifesta Journal, Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers and Performa, the New York Biennial for Performing Arts. Her independent curatorial projects have been hosted internationally, in such institutions as MoMA PS1, e-flux space and Tabakalera, and her texts have been published in international exhibition catalogues and magazines (including Metropolis M, Manifesta Journal, Frieze /de, Flash Art, Switch on Paper). Editorial projects include Composing Differences (Les Presses du Réel, 2015) and Qalqalah (an online platform jointly edited by Bétonsalon – Center for Art and Research, Villa Vassilieff and Kadist Paris, 2015–2018).
Vir Andres Hera
Vir Andres Hera, born in Yauhquemehcan, Tlaxcala, lives and works in France. Vir Andres’ imagination is told in several languages: French, Spanish, Creole, Aztec and other Amerindian languages. Several language realities merge into his work. His images and representations are mostly expressed through video, but with a broader idea of writing since narration is crucial to him. In his videos, everything is mysteriously strewn with stories and strange anecdotes, literature and his faraway tales, religious myths, dreamlike figures and sacred landscapes. (Text by Julie Gil Giacomini)
Vir Andres Hera is also a member of the Editorial Committee of Qalqalah قلقلة. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Quebec in Montreal and at the Fresnoy - National Studio of Contemporary Arts. His research, Literary heteroglossies focuses on the coexistence of different languages within mythological stories.
Line Ajan is an independent curator based between Chicago and Paris. In 2018, she completed her MA in Art History at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Her research interest were then oriented towards the appropriation of vernacular photographs in contemporary artistic practices. She notably wrote her master’s thesis on the experimental period of the Arab Image Foundation (1997-2004) under the direction of Michel Poivert. Between 2015 and 2019, she worked at Galerie Imane Farès in Paris, where she participated in the organization of the first exhibitions of Sinzo Aanza, Alia Farid, James Webb and the artist collective On-Trade-Off, amongst others, in Paris. She also assisted in the edition of Emeka Ogboh’s second monograph, Lagos Soundscapes, published by Kerber Verlag. In parallel, she conducted several long interviews, published in the online magazine Figure Figure, with young artists based in Paris.
In 2019-2020, she is the recipient of the Barjeel Global Fellowship at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago, Illinois. At MCA Chicago, she is preparing a screening program for the exhibition Alien VS Citizen and is organizing the exhibition The Location of Lines which will take place at the MCA between August 2020 and March 2021. In 2019, she joined the editorial committee of Qalqalah قلقلة association, a platform for artistic exchange, research and translations.
Sylvain Julé is a graphic designer and front-end developer based in Paris. After conducting a research project that questioned hypertextuality and inter-textual relations on the web at the National Workshop for Typographic Research (Atelier National de Recherche Typographique), he dedicated his work to designing websites, free digital tools, ephemeral web installations and other interacive experiences.