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De Appel Amsterdam: Introducing the New Curatorial Programme Participants

De Appel Amsterdam: Introducing the New Curatorial Programme Participants

From left to right: Masha Domracheva, Edwin Nasr, Laura Castro, Hera Chan and Àngels Miralda. Photo by Andres Lora Bastidas.

De Appel’s Curatorial Programme (CP) is a life-changing opportunity for motivated individuals who seek experience in making art public, beyond what academic degrees can offer. This ten-month learning residency in Amsterdam offers full immersion into the local scene, with de Appel as an institutional base. Each year, the selected participants embark on a rich curriculum, intended to provide direct insight into the work of art-, history- and community-makers, whose work poses vital questions shaping society. The presentation of the CP Final Outcome is an institutional ritual and the measure of our heartbeat.*

The current group of CP participants arrived in Amsterdam in late 2020 and began their work despite the severe restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They bring distinct skills, sensibilities, political passions and a desire to learn from each other and from their advisors, who are worldly practitioners defining the local culture. Collectively, they will determine de Appel’s public offering in Summer 2021.

The team of de Appel is delighted to welcome and introduce:

Àngels Miralda (1990) is an independent curator and art critic based in Terrassa, Catalonia. Àngels describes her curatorial practice as a secret politics of materiality with the belief that materials contain embedded meanings, relating to global chains of extraction, trade, and industry. Her recent exhibitions have drawn on art historical research into Arte Povera, neo-materialisms, and the roots of Installation Art to create parallels between artists' materials and global industry. She has realised residencies and new productions in volcanic craters and sulphuric pits with artists Regina de Miguel and Paul Rosero Contreras. Based on observations of how biotechnology interacts with our world as well as our own bodies in changing and sometimes violent manners, she has imagined speculative sculptural futures with artists Julia Varela and Andrej Škufca. Her projects with Débora Delmar have addressed matter in its consumer form as market commodity with economic and cultural repercussions. She has organized exhibitions at the Tallinn Art Hall, MGLC - International Centre for Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic in Zagreb, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chile, Museu de Angra do Heroísmo in the volcanic archipelago of the Azores, and the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art. Her writing and art criticism have been published in Artforum, Collecteurs Magazine, and Arts of the Working Class. Àngels is an avid hiker who enjoys moving through lost paths and coming across new landscapes; her walking becomes a meditative practice where every site changes every sensitivity, creating entirely unique ways of thinking.

Àngels Miralda’s participation in de Appel’s Curatorial Programme is supported by the Generalitat de Catalunya Iniciativa Cultural.

Edwin Nasr (1994) lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon. He is the Assistant to the Director at Ashkal Alwan, a non-profit organization dedicated to artistic production, research, and study where – since 2017 – he has been taking part in the curatorial development of discursive programs, publications, and exhibitions. His current research deals with the interdependencies of critical infrastructures, ideological formations, and cultural production within the Arab region. His writings have appeared in Afterall (forthcoming), Bidoun, The Funambulist, n+1, Jadaliyya, and ArteEast Quarterly, and were commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation, Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement in Geneva, and MMAG Foundation in Amman. Edwin has worked on several editorial projects, including Beirut Art Center’s The Derivative and the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial’s Rights of Future Generations. Additionally, Edwin sits on the editorial board of Journal Safar, Beirut’s biannual independent visual and design culture magazine, and regularly translates texts written in French and grounded in decolonial thinking. Wound Contra Empire, his ongoing archival project with artist Bassem Saad, examines the geopolitics of digital image-making, and was presented at Harvard University VES in Cambridge, the AA School of Architecture in London, STRUKTURA at Podium in Oslo, and Asia Contemporary Art Week: Field Meeting at Alserkal Avenue in Dubai. Edwin looks forward to joining rowdy reading groups, learning from local struggles against police violence, and biking across Amsterdam to Celine Dion’s Greatest Hits.

Edwin Nasr’s participation in de Appel’s Curatorial Programme is supported by Ashkal Alwan and the DOEN Foundation.

Hera Chan (1993) is not to be confused with Miss Hong Kong 2019. In Hong Kong, she was associate curator of public programmes at Tai Kwun Contemporary, director/ curator of Videotage, and researcher at the SEACHINA Institute, where she focused on socially engaged art practices in contemporary China. Committed to sustaining networks of solidarity and building media infrastructures, she co-founded Atelier Céladon in Montreal, speaking with diasporic people to socially engineer a future that is already possible. Hera has staged exhibitions and public programmes at Para Site and Spring Workshop in Hong Kong, UCCA Beijing, SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin, and spaces like articule, SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, and Studio XX in Montreal. In 2019, she completed a residency at Artista x Artista in Havana with artist Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin as the inaugural residents of the Guangzhou Times Museum's All The Way South exchange, and was a fellow of the RAW Académie Session 7 at the RAW Material Company in Dakar. She was editor-in-chief of Theoretically in the Gutter: A Manga Essay Collection and editor of Ruthless Lantern. Forthcoming, her writing will appear in Best! Letters from Asian Americans, and Ecologies of Darkness—Building Grounds on Shifting Sands. She has been invited to speak at Asia Contemporary Art Week: Field Meeting at the Asia Society in New York. In 2017, she co-founded Miss Ruthless International, a contemporary art network that mimics the infrastructure of diasporic beauty pageants. Hera is currently listening to Okay Kaya’s rendition of Believe, the recurring theme being: “Do you believe in life after love?”

Laura Castro (1982) is an artist and cultural agent based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She engages with nature, architecture and history through artistic and curatorial practice. Castro is co-founder and co-director of the artist-run hybrid platform Sindicato, which combines the curatorial and commercial possibilities of an art space by proposing alternative forms of cultural production and exhibition making. With no permanent physical space, the project provides opportunities for artistic experimentation and generates links with new audiences while mobilizing collaboration between institutions, groups and individuals in its immediate context. She has been artistic director of several cross-disciplinary projects such as Tropical Ghosts, an investigation into the evolution of Santo Domingo’s central area and its impact on the current social life of the city, which was created in 2014 for the open call World Wide Storefront from the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York. Its program includes site specific urban interventions, theoretical events and gatherings, an online archive and commissioned writing. Círculos is the name of her most recent project: a series of conversations between specialists from diverse fields and the wider community to reread history, discuss the present, and envision futures collectively. Everything’s a way of dancing.

Masha Domracheva (1993) is a curator, researcher and cultural practitioner from Yekaterinburg, Russia. She holds a BA in Art History and a MA in Political Philosophy, both from the Ural Federal University. Masha’s work is focused on creating and sustaining environments for artistic and research initiatives in the Ural region. She was curator and coordinator at the Ural branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Russia, and implemented public programs at the Yeltsin Сenter Art Gallery. Since 2015, she has been involved in production of the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art. For the 4th and 5th editions of the Biennial she worked as a general coordinator of the Main Project and as assistant curator for Image as Witness / Capitalist Choreographies / the Persistent Word by João Ribas and For a Multitude of Futures: Overcome the Limits of Immortality by Xiaoyu Weng. In 2017, Masha initiated a long-term interdisciplinary project called MZhK-1980, which investigates the “Youth Residential Complex” — a social experiment that was implemented in Yekaterinburg in the 1980s. The project aims to build a historiography of the experiment and to see how that history impacts the present of the Complex and its inhabitants. Revolving around strategies for self-organization amongst communities, it questions the very possibility of collective existence within the current institutional structures. MZhK-1980 consists of extensive research, exhibitions, performative and public programmes, as well as site-specific interventions in the public space of the Complex. Masha looks forward to further exploring Amsterdam's Nieuw-West area, where she has already encountered fascinating echoes of the architecture of her native city Yekaterinburg.

Masha Domracheva’s participation in de Appel’s Curatorial Programme is supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Moscow and the AVC Charity Foundation in Moscow.

Special thanks to our jurors: Beatrix Ruf, Charl Landvreugd, Hicham Khalidi and Nikolay Alutin; they interviewed candidates with CP Coordinator Liza Nijhuis and de Appel director Monika Szewczyk in March 2020.

For further information about de Appel’s Curatorial Programme, including inquiries on how to become a participant, please visit our website.

*Please note that due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, health measures and restrictions of 2020, the participants of the 2019-2020 CP Session will present their Final Outcome in an altered manner, soon to be revealed.

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