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Traces of War was a major new exhibition from King’s College London. Curated by Cecile Bourne-Farrell and Professor Vivienne Jabri, the exhibition brought together three internationally renowned artists, Jananne Al-Ani, Baptist Coelho, and Shaun Gladwell to explore the relationship between war and the everyday.
*Images are original works of the artists and under copyright.
The exhibition reimagined war beyond its exceptionality, locating it in spaces where it would be least expected. At the same time, the art works revealed the sheer power of the everyday, as life itself and in its most ordinary makes its presence felt in the most dangerous locations of war.Working primarily with photography, film and multi-media installations, all three artists have direct experience of the zones of conflict and war, from Iraq, to India, to Bangladesh, to Afghanistan, and then ‘back home’ where the traces of war are revealed again, as if there is no such thing as leaving war behind.
For additional information please read the exhibition outline.
The exhibiton catalogue can be downloaded here.
The project is supported by Leverhulme Trust, The Delfina Foundation, Australia Council for the Arts and the Department of War Studies (Arts & Conflict Hub), King's College London. It was also supported by the university's Culture team.
Jananne Al-Ani, is a London-based Iraqi-born artist. Working with photography, film and video, she has an ongoing interest in the representation of contested landscapes filtered through the technologies of surveillance and aerial reconnaissance in modern warfare. Jananne has exhibited widely nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include In-Dis-Appearance, E-WERK, Freiburg (2015); Excavations, Hayward Gallery Project Space, London (2014); Groundwork, Beirut Art Center (2013) and Shadow Sites, Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Washington DC (2012). She participated in Mom, am I Barbarian?, the 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013); Re:Emerge Towards a New Cultural Cartography, Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); all our relations, the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) and The Futureof a Promise, the 54th Venice Biennale (2011).
Recipient of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2011), her work is in the collections of the Tate and the Imperial War Museum, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and Darat al Funun, Amman.
Recent publications include Documents of Contemporary Art: Moving Image, edited by Omar Kholeif and published by the Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press; Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image by Laura U Marks, published by MIT Press, and an interview with Cécile Bourne-Farrell for Issue 59 of the journal Multitudes, published by Association Multitudes, Paris (all 2015). She is currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of the Arts London.
Baptist Coelho is the 2015-16 Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence at the Department of War Studies, King's College London. A key focus of his practice is to uncover how conflict affects and relates to everyday life. His artistic process, fact-finding and engagement with military and civilian personnel in conflict zones leads his works in various media, including installation, video, sound, photography, performance and sculpture. These explore the notions of conflict, emotion along with thepastand present experience of across varied geographies.
In 2006, Baptist received his Master’s of Arts from the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD), UK. He was awarded the 'Sovereign Asian Art Prize' (2016) by The Sovereign Art Foundation, Hong Kong; ‘Façade Video Award’ (2011) by Art Today Association, Plovdiv-Bulgaria; ‘Promising Artist Award’ (2007) by Art India & India Habitat Centre, Delhi-India and ‘Johnson Prize Fund’ (2006) by BIAD. His UK solo exhibitions took place at Goethe-Zentrum, Hyderabad, India (2015); Project 88, Mumbai, India (2015); Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation, Leh, India (2015 and 2009); Pump House Gallery, London, UK (2012); Grand Palais, Bern, Switzerland (2009); Visual Arts Gallery, Delhi, India (2009) and BIAD, Birmingham, UK (2006).
Baptist has exhibited as part of other shows at institutions including Arab-Jewish Culture Center, Haifa, Israel (2015); Museo de la Ciudad, Cuernavaca, Mexico (2013); Jönköpings Läns Museum, Jönköping, Sweden (2013); CASS Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, UK (2012); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2012); Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo (MAXXI), Rome, Italy (2011); Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon (MAC), Lyon, France (2011); Zacheta National Art Gallery, Poland, Warsaw (2011); Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria (2010); Herning Museum of Contemporary Art (HEART), Herning, Denmark (2010); and Gwangju Museum of Art, South Korea (2010).
Baptist has also participated in various artist residencies and conducted workshops, artist talks and panel discussions across Asia, Europe, UAE and South Africa. He lives and works in Mumbai. Visit his website for more information: www.baptistcoelho.com.
Based in London, Shaun's art is known primarily for its investigation into contemporary forms of human movement, spatial experience and transformation. He explored these themes through hsi own video and photographic recordings, as well as of other athletes involved inextreme sport. Shaun uses activities such as skateboarding, parkour, BMX bicycle riding, graffiti, urban exploring or "buildering", as well as completely invented actions, as a means to rethink the function of objects and environments. Through his work, Shaun proposes alternative representations of the individual and their agency to directly author or re-author their environment.
Shaun has been exhibiting extensively throughout Australia, Asia, the United States and Europe since 2001. He has participated in many international biennales and triennales, including: the Yokohama Triennale (2005); Busan Biennale and Bienal de São Paulo (both 2006); La Biennale di Venezia (2007 & 2009); the Biennale of Sydney, Taipei Biennial and Biennale Cuvée, Linz (all 2008); Cairo Biennial (2010); the Shanghai Biennale, China (2012); the California-Pacific Triennial and SCAPE 7, Public Art Christchurch Biennial, New Zealand (both 2013); as well as la Biennale d’Arte Contemporain, Douai (2015). In 2009, Shaun was Australia’s representative at the 53rd Venice Biennale.
Shaun's solo exhibitions include: The Lacrima Chair, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Collection+: Shaun Gladwell, UNSW Galleries, Sydney (both 2015); Afghanistan: Field Recordings, Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide, Australia (2014); Shaun Gladwell: Cycles of Radical Will, the De La Warr Pavilion, UK, Shaun Gladwell: Afghanistan, Australian Embassy, Washington, and Morning of the Earth, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (all 2013); Broken dance (Beatboxed), Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney (2012); Perpetual 360° Sessions, SCHUNCK* Heerlen, The Netherlands, Shaun Gladwell: Matrix 162, Wadsworth Atheneum, Connecticut andStereo Sequences, ACMI, Melbourne (all 2011); Portrait of a man: alive and spinning/Dead as a skeleton dressed as a Mountie, Georgia Sherman Projects, Toronto, Canada and Interior Linework/Interceptor Intersection, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (both 2010).
Vivienne Jabri is a leading voice in developing understandings of war, violence, security, and conflict, drawing on critical, post structural, and feminist social and political theory. She is widely published, with four monographs, two co-edited volumes, and a number of peer reviewed articles in leading International Relations journals, including European Journal of International Relations, International Theory, Review of International Studies, International Political Sociology, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, and Security Dialogue, amongst others. Vivienne has served on the Economic and Social research Council’s professorial fellowships selection panel (2010); on the ORA Plus final assessors’ committee (2013), and on the Politics and International Studies sub-panel for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) of the UK’s Higher Education Funding Council. She serves on the Editorial Boards of the journals International Political Sociology, Journal of Global Security Studies, Security Dialogue, and Alternatives. Jabri’s most recent books include War and the Transformation of Global Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and The Postcolonial Subject (Routledge, 2013).
Cécile Bourne-Farrell is an independent curator who worked for the Musée d’Art Moderne Ville de la Paris (ARC) and for both public and private institutions in Africa, Asia and Europe. One of her recent projects was for Es Baluard Museu, Palma, Mallorca and she has been appointed curator of SUD triennale, Douala, Cameroon. She served the committee of the NMAC Foundation, Spain (2002-06) and since 2006 the curatorial delegation of L’appartement 22, Rabat, Morocco. She is currently working with M Linman (www.newpatrons.eu) for the implementation of public projects for Fondation de France in the suburb of Saint Denis, Paris, and was the Fondation’s Spanish mediator for 5 years. See www.chooseone.org for more information.
October – December 2016, Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing
Friday 9 December 2016, Anatomy Lecture Theatre
Following two successful performances of the newly commissioned dance piece by Candoco Dance Company, the Department of War Studies screened the making of film of the dance performance.
Noemie T J Philipson documented the creative process during a week-long workshop, capturing the individual stories of those involved as they worked together to make an original dance performance and installation as part of the Traces of War exhibition in the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing.
Candoco Associate Artists and choreographers Jemima Hoadley and Welly O’Brien worked with the cast from the Charlie F Project, Cando2 Youth Dance, King's College London students and pupils from Harris Girls Academy and Clapton Girls Academy to produce performances that audiences described as ‘inspiring' 'powerful', and 'moving’.
This was a unique opportunity to glimpse some of the magic that happened behind the scenes during rehearsals.
After the screening performers Cassidy Little (former Royal Marine), Louisa Shadlen (Clapton Girls Academy), Ari Salazar Volkmann (King’s MA Student) and Jemima Hoadley (Candoco Artist & Choreographer) reflected on their experiences of the project.
October - November 2016, Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing
The exhibition curators and artists lead visitors around the exhibition and introduced the stories behind the works. Each event focused on one of the three artists.
Friday 28 October 2016, John Virtue Corridor, Somerset House & Inigo Rooms
Candoco Dance Company and the cast members of the Charlie F Project presented a newly commissioned dance piece performed by students from King’s College London, Cando2 Youth Company, local school children and war veterans.
The Department of War Studies commissioned two choreographers to work with Cando2, a contemporary youth dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers and the Charile F Project, a theatre company of ex-soldiers to work with students and children with little or no dance background to create an original piece of choreography on the impact of war on individuals and the collective.
This was the first time that the Department of War Studies engaged with dance as a medium to understand and communicate the complexities of war. Read more about this project here.
The performances moved through spaces around Somerset House East Wing and the Inigo rooms amongst the exhibition works. Three videos capturing the making of the work are online via the Traces of War YouTube Channel.
This project was supported by Amanda Faber and contributions from Widening Participation Somerset House Trust and the university's Culture team.
1 October 2016, Anatomy Lecture Theatre
This event was held in partnership with the Courtauld Institute of Art.
This symposium marked the beginning of the Traces of War exhibition. It created a space for exploratory dialogues between scholars, artists, practitioners and interested parties around the presence and intersection of war with the everyday.
Panel discussions were divided into three themes. The first, Traces of war: aerial perspectives explored, in a discussion with Jananne Al-Ani, how aerial imagery might be used in art, archaeology as well as in intelligence gathering. The second, Traces, Fragments and Landscapes of War delved into the everyday-ness of war by making use of what Baptist Coelho, refers to as the ‘fabrics’ of war; literally the materials that have lived in battle zones. The third, Traces and Introspections in Zones of War focused on the camera as a means to destabilise the time and space of war, and engages with the work of artist, Shaun Gladwell.Joining the artists on the panels were a range of experts including archaeologists, curators, journalists, art historians, and scholars of international relations, politics and propaganda.
Meet some of the participants who created work for the Traces of War dance performance as part of the exhibition programme.
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