2022 highlights from Transart Institute community practitioners
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Transart Institute for Creative Research is very pleased to share some recent achievements from our community of practitioners.
Transart alum and current advisor Syowia Kyambi represents Kenya in the 59th Biennale di Venezia. Under the title “Exercises in Conversation,” the pavilion of Kenya, curated by Jimmy Ogonga and organized by Kurabu Projects, showcases works by four Kenyan artists: Dickens Otieno, Syowia Kyambi, Wanja Kimani and Kaloki Nyamai.
In response to the overarching theme of the exhibition, “Exercises in Conversation” explores the relationships and dynamics between participants in a conversation, the inter-changing roles of both talker and listener, and how this complex relationship affects, influences and occupies the space of a story, of history and of pedagogy.
Transart alum and current advisor Rachel Epp Buller was recently awarded a 2021–22 Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Arts and Humanities at the University of Alberta. She is spending winter/spring 2022 on site in Edmonton, in partnership with the University’s Research-Creation and Social Justice CoLABoratory. Her multimodal research-creation project is titled Acts of Listening: Art and Relational Attunement. This is Rachel’s second Fulbright. Her first, when she was hosted as a researcher at the Akademie der Kuenste in Berlin in 2011, resulted in the first-ever retrospective exhibition and catalogue of German artist Alice Lex-Nerlinger, exhibited at Das Verborgene Museum, Berlin, in 2016.
Earlier this year one of Transart’s beloved advisors Jean-Ulrick Désert was awarded the Inaugural Wi Di Mimba Wi Prize, a new and long-term commission grant for artists of colour based in Germany from AKB Stiftung and SAVVY Contemporary.
Jean-Ulrick was selected by a jury of five members: Bassam El Baroni, Karina Griffith, Otobong Nkanga, Mirjami Schuppert and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung. The jury noted that “Jean-Ulrick Désert’s body of work is impressive in its breadth and ingenuity. His decades-long work in Germany has made and shaped spaces for crucial questions and practices…This award goes to Jean-Ulrick Désert for his deep engagement with his social/cultural practices. His work has the power to activate the viewer in engaging ways, to connect and reveal intertwined histories.”
In February, current Transart PhD Creative Practice candidate Jake Tkaczyk was appointed as Program Manager, Performing Arts at Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. Jake’s practice is rooted in performance. His work centres and explores the deep sense of awe and pleasure that can be experienced by simply being alive and turning this awe and pleasure into live events and experiences. Resisting the endless stream of fetishised “catastrophe” which is beautifully packaged (by Hollywood, Instagram, CNN) and taking great joy in life in our communities can be liberating for audience and artist. Right now he is curious about the effects of creating work that isn’t solely based on a linear structure and how this can shift theatrical pedagogy and practices.
Head of Art and Design at our partner university Liverpool John Moores University, Professor Joasia Krysa was recently appointed curator of the second edition of Helsinki Biennial, which will take place June 12–September 18, 2023.
The Polish-born curator, who is interested in the juncture of contemporary art and technology, and was co-curator of the Liverpool Biennial 2016 and part of curatorial team for Documenta 13, had already been an advisor to the inaugural event in the Finnish capital in 2021. The 2023 edition will take place on the former military island of Vallisaari in the Helsinki Archipelago and will occupy Helsinki Art Museum and the wider city as well. In a statement Krysa said, “The biennial’s specific location on and off the shore of the Gulf of Finland provides a unique context for activating practices and discussions in response to some of the most urgent contemporary issues. Co-creating with others—collectives, research organizations and technological entities as curatorial intelligences—I look forward to learning from shared experiences, contributing to developments in the city, and working toward qualitatively different futures.”
Admissions to MFA/PhD:
June 1–July 1 for fall 2022–23
September 1–November 1 for summer 2023–24.