LONDON — Cultural relativism is a problematic thing. If you don’t agree, ask Caveh Zahedi, whose new film, The Sheikh and I, was acquired by Factory 25 and is set to premiere at Brooklyn’s Videology on December 7, after having been banned on the grounds of blasphemy by the biennial that commissioned it. Responses to the movie have been varied: Some have called it unproductive, insulting and downright despicable. Others have called it illuminating and irreverent.
But who is right and who is wrong?
In thinking about the film, difficult questions are raised that perhaps need to be addressed as the world becomes more global. In the art world, especially, such questions are pertinent when considering that from three art fairs in 1970 – Art Cologne, Art Basel and Art Actuel (Brussels) – the number of art fairs has, according to The Art Newspaper, “mushroomed in the past decade from 68 in 2005 to 189 in 2011.” The art fair format has moved beyond Europe and the United States into Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and this expansion has coincided with a similar replication of the Biennial format, too. “Over 150 biennials for art and related disciplines are currently being organized all over the world,” announced the organizers of the First World Biennial Forum held in Gwangju in October 2012. Forum organizers also mentioned that these events are taking place in a world not with one, but with many cultural centers, characterized by rapidly changing socio-economic and political certainties.
It’s true: the world is changing and people are changing, fast. And as cultures meet and intermingle, with globalization comes its dilemmas, especially in such global spaces as those created by the contemporary arts. But in thinking about how one culture relates to another, how do we express, mediate and share culture today? And how far can we — or should we — critique the cultures of others?
When Zahedi showed his movie in America, he met another backlash and decided to document this experience in an eight minute short where he presents another side to his story.
But take note: A public debate as contentious as this one has many faces. This is just one of them.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very New York art events this month, including Lee Lozano, Cindy Sherman, Tokuko Ushioda, Anas Albraehe, and more.
The art establishment was never quite sure what to do with a self-taught artist like Basquiat, who owed as much to bebop and William S. Burroughs’s cut-up technique as he did to African influences.
International audiences have free access to the media collections of MMCA Korea, Sharjah Art Foundation, and ArkDes through this subscription-based art streaming platform.
Kadish’s fossil-like heads, forms, and figures remind us that every civilization, including our own, eventually collapses.
In every role she held, Vendryes advocated for marginalized people and celebrated the cultural contributions of the Black and queer communities.
Convened by Erika Sprey, Lamin Fofana, Sky Hopinka, Emmy Catedral, and Manuela Moscoso, the public program unfolds this summer at CARA in New York City.
Stanton, who died of AIDS complications in 1984, left behind an engaging body of work, a moving tribute to a bygone generation of creative minds.
Baz Luhrmann’s film Elvis and Danny Boyle’s miniseries Pistol are both overly fixated on the influence their respective musicians’ managers had on them.
The Bay Area art book fair is back this July with free programming at three different on-site venues, new exhibitors, and fundraising editions from renowned artists.
In the wake of the Roe v. Wade decision, arts workers and reproductive rights organizations are collaborating on educational resources for accessing safe procedures.
The couple launched the Futureverse Foundation, a grantmaking organization that aims to “help keep the metaverse widely accessible.”
The museum’s “pay-what-you-wish” policy will remain in place for New York State residents and tri-state students, but out-of-state adults will pay $5 extra.