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Zeina Barakeh and Kathy Zarur in Conversation

Zeina Barakeh and Kathy Zarur in Conversation

Date(s) - 10/28/2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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Mills College Art & Visual Culture

A conversation between artist Zeina Barakeh and curator Kathy Zarur

About this Event

At the end of a typical phone call between artist Zeina Barakeh and curator Kathy Zarur, Barakeh often says sarcastically: “thank you for giving me five new projects to work on.” Join Barakeh and Zarur for one of these generative sessions, conceived as part studio-visit, part conversation.

Zeina Barakeh (b. Beirut) is a Bay Area multimedia artist. Her work deconstructs war and polarization and is rooted in her experiences of growing up in Beirut. She created the Third Half––a constellation of artistic explorations––to tackle complexly connected aspects of conflict. The Third Half includes serialized animations, installations based on archival materials, and collaborations to depict the space of encounter between antagonistic forces, and to act as a disrupting mechanism to reconfigure the present and generate reparative narratives.

Her work has been exhibited on ZAZ Corner’s billboard, Times Square; MOCA Yinchuan, China; Newport Art Museum, RI; San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art; Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University; Princeton University; San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries; The Center for Book Arts, NY; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; the Harlem International Film Festival (11th); Another Hole in the Head (15th), SF; and the International Film Awards Berlin. She received a Residency Award at the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions. Her work will be featured in CAA’s online journal Art Journal Open in August 2020.

Kathy Zarur is a curator, educator, and conference organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her research areas include modern and contemporary South West Asian/diaspora art, museology, and the history of exhibitions. Zarur’s curatorial work centers on place as both a lived and imagined subject to consider themes such as belonging, exile, landscape, and mutual care in collectivity.

Her most recent exhibition, Preoccupations: Palestinian Landscapes, opened in San Francisco and traveled to Detroit in 2019-2020. She has curated exhibitions for the San Francisco Arts Commission, Minnesota Street Project, SOMArts, San Francisco State University (SFSU), and the Museum of the African Diaspora. She was assistant curator of the 2011 Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates and in 2013, she co-produced a live musical performance installation with artist Wael Shawky. She has organized several symposia, including Chinese Painting Here, Then and Now (SFSU/Asian Art Museum, 2020), Teaching Art of the Middle East and Islamic World (SFSU/de Young, 2017), and Zones of Representation (SF Camerawork, 2016). She has published articles in Art in America and Broadsheet. An essay about the Iraqi Syrian artist Madiha Umar in the American Art Journal is forthcoming (Summer 2022). Zarur holds a PhD in art history and certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Michigan.She teaches at the California College of the Arts and is Carver Professor of Art History at Mills College.

Image: Zeina Barakeh, Homeland Insecurity & Slam Bang Blue Remix, 2020, Times Square, NY, as part of Tunnels of the Mind exhibition, curated by Orit Ben-Shitrit; Photo Credit: Hashem Eaddy

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