VA15: Crossing Boundaries Discussions



Wednesday 6 May 2015           

Moderators JW Stella and Mark Waugh.

Marita Isobel Solberg (a musician, a visual artist and poet. A nomad of the world), Richard Demarco (curator of cross-cultural links, presenting artists such as Joseph Bueys and Marina Abramovic) Tony Heaton ( artist, Chief Executive SHAPE), Ala Younis (Artist and curator based in Amman) Gaynor O’Flynn (artist and pioneer in interactive, inter disciplinary art)

The discussion considered identity, do artists belong to one culture or are they citizens of the world. There has always been an appropriation of artist’s heritage, but does art and culture belong to everyone? Debate asks questions about statehood, effects of global migration on cultural boundaries, and if it matters where you are from?



Thursday 7 May 2015            

Moderator Gilane Tawadros (Director of DACS)


Sacha Craddock (curator/writer), Anna Bitkina,(co founder of Creative Association of Curators TOK, Russia), David A Bailey (artist Gilane Tawadros (Director of DACS), Sue Williamson (artist), Vassiliki Tzanakou, (curator/writer)  and Emeka Okereke (Artist, Founder and Artistic Director of Invisible Borders – The Trans-African project)

Recent questioning of geographical boundaries globally, both democratically and by force, and the withdrawal of support by some European countries for various International artists and institutions act effectively as a boycott with cultural events being altered by political agendas. Is this a genuine support for civil rights or a convenient way for governments to play politics with culture; a boycott as a medieval throw back to the days of blockades and siege.  What is a boycott for, who is meant to benefit, who is meant to suffer?



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VA15 Venice Performances 

VENICE AGENDAS AT IMAGINA CAFÉ Artist performances curated by Mark Segal

Imagina Café, Rio Terà Canal, 3126 Dorsoduro, Venezia (Near Campo Santa Margherita) Vaporetto: Ca’ Rezzonico

Three artists have been selected to realise or represent the theme of Crossing Boundaries for Venice Agendas 2015. Each addresses, considers, celebrates and/or challenges single or multiple boundaries, be they neurological, physical, sculptural, geographic, fictional or actual.

Jon Adams

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Jon Adams: 18.00h Wednesday 6 May 2015

Jon performs Games with the Water Horse, a performance/installation piece that he has learnt as a memory journey. Starting from a time on the 12 hour clock face (provided on request by an audience member), then following Fibonacci numbers, he will describe events connected to time, but liberated from an easily digested narrative, informed by his synaethesia.

KAtarina PAlmer

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Katrina Palmer: 18.00h Thursday 7 May 2015

Katrina will read from a selection of her books on a one-to-one basis with one individual for up to ten minutes, along with a further 12 audience members as observers. The one-to-one listener can select from one of Katrina’s publications which will be available on the table while the observers view the reading in close proximity. Four one-to-one readings will take place from 6pm, in twelve minute slots. Places are very limited. Courtesy of the artist and MOT International, London and Brussels.

Marita Isabel Solberg 

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Marita performed, There exists love, will, sounds and movements in this vast room. We are deeply connected. The performance concerns reflections on the challenges, conflicts, potentials, aspirations, importance and impact of being both a citizen of the world while remaining close to our roots. A spoken word session which includes poetry, movement, singing, making sounds and rhythm.


Katrina Palmer works through a range of media including published stories, live reading/performances and installations which include recordings. Palmer locates the sculptural object in fictional narratives. These stories typically feature artist-protagonists negotiating aspects of materiality and the dynamics of fictional spaces. End Matter, an Artangel commission launches on 26 April 2015 in Portland, Devon with a new publication End Matter, available from Book Works. In May 2015 her work will be included in the group show The Weight of Data at Tate Britain, and she will have a solo show at the Henry Moore Institute Leeds later in the year. Katrina’s work was recently included in the exhibition Mirror City at Hayward Gallery, London. Courtesy MOT International.

Jon Adams works in a variety of mediums, is a trained geologist and considers himself to be an ‘Outsider Artist’. His work references his neurodiversity including Asperger’s (an autism spectrum condition), dyslexia and synaesthesia, a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sense leads to automatic, involuntary responses in a second sense, for example, ‘seeing or tasting sounds’. Jon has recently been awarded the first digital commission by the Speakers Art Fund for Democracy Streets celebrating Parliament in the making throughout 2015 (with Mozilla, National Portrait Gallery, Arts Council England and Local Trust). Jon Adams is currently an Associate Artist of the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth and Research Fellow in Disability Arts within the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth.

Marita Isobel Solberg is a musician, a visual artist and poet. A nomad of the world. A multifaced crossover artist, she experiments and engages many different media in her work such as spoken words, sound/music, performance art, photography, video, clay/ceramics and sculpture. Interweaving elements from Sámi, Northern and Japanese Culture and subculture she embodies personas or characters of varied but particular properties; The seer, the witch, the sage or the jester. Her nomadic practice has taken in a wide range of residencies and professional performances around the world, from Arkhangelsk, Russia to Melbourne, Australia, including the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan, 2007; The Watermill Center in New York (Robert Wilson), 2008 and The Performance Centre, London (David Thorp), 2013.




Friday 8 May 2015                

“Congratulations great invention of a new conversation format”  Hans Ulrich Obrist

Moderator Tim Rawlins

Participants included Hans Ulrich Obrist,  Yvannoé Kruger, Tony Heaton, Louise Camrass, Jean Wainwright,  Katie Jolin, Gill Hedly, Voilet MacClean,

Piloted at VA13 and subsequently in Norway, Speed Dating successfully gets people talking and involved in the project. With 60 questions relating to the idea of identity and crossing boundaries, each deal specifically with how we connect to ‘local’ culture and how that interfaces with the wider international agenda.  Meet, discuss and exchange ideas with some of the worlds leading artists, curators, critic, directors and collectors.




Border Line: Rights of Passage Publication 

Curated by: Jean Wainwright

Oliver Gapper, Martin Garwood, Katie Jolin and Hala Morris George.

The publication launched in a unique event on Wednesday 6 May 2015

A unique publication where 100 individual art books will be assembled and constructed on site from work by 23 international artists who have produced signed photographic art works as a ‘one off’. Each book with the 23 signed prints is made to order and available to purchase. The selected artists address complex issues of individual identity, territorial borders, society, economics, and immigration.  The artists include: Martina Bacigalupo, Roger Ballen, Bernd Behr, Valérie Belin, Adam Chodzko, Shezad Dawood, Ori Gersht, Shaun Gladwell, Glenna Gordon, Nina Katchadourian, Steffi Klenz, Martin Kollar, Karen Knorr, Sohei Nishino, Max Pinckers, Charlie Shoemaker, Laurie Simmons, Heidi Specker, Terry Smith, Julian Stallabrass, Daniel Traub, Sue Williamson and Catherine Yass.


The most obvious contextual concept of the boundary is linked to that of the nation-state. Often associated with the territory or border of a country, boundaries have changed significantly over the course of human history.

The idea of having national pavilions at the Venice Biennale representing the essence of an identity has been increasingly questioned in the context of today’s globalized world. In recent years, many curators of the biennale have strongly encouraged the idea of using the national pavilion in more experimental ways by suggesting that boundaries are constantly subject to change.

Rights of Passage is a limited edition publication of 100 copies. The photographic artists participating show the ability to engage with the discourse of globalism while at the same time critically examining their position in their local regions. This does not mean that the participating artists reduce their works to symbols of nostalgia but they rather offer a critical perspective on their current situation within a local as well as national context and as part of the international community.

The invited artists address complex issues of individual identity, territorial borders, society, economics, and immigration in this age of advanced photographic technology and globalization.

Each invited photographic artist responded to the theme by submitting a photographic piece of work that has been reproduced on an A4 sheet of paper and is signed by the artist.