Azar Mahmoudian: Social Bubbles and Prefigurative Platforms
Im Rahmen des Projekts „Broken Relations - Infrastruktur und Unterbrechung“
Lecture and discussion with Beatrice von Bismarck and Ilse Lafer
In segregated societies, living in bubbles turns into a split experience. Insulation becomes a survival mechanism; creating spaces of self-affirmation against systemic erasures and maintaining pockets for sanity amongst eroding landscapes. They become “prefigurative platforms” to experiment with collective desires and political scenarios in nascent and loose forms, before solidify in the public sphere. Yet closed circles could end up in reproducing segragation too, where borders of self-care and care for others get either intensely blurred or violently polarized. Thinking of cultural infrastructures, what is to be learnt from working conditions which require limited visibility and scale? While often associated with precarity, practicing such limits could also be understood as strong ethical and political positions. They could introduce alternative value systems, in contrast to liberal notions of openness, transparency and myths of accessibility, which define leverage of cultural institutions in current times. This conversation will speculate over potential unfoldings caused by inward moves: acknowledgment of the already existing, relying on kinships and reformulating ones own relation with history. For instance, how trans-historical bonds, intergenerational time and memory turn into infrastructures? Respectively I reflect on how these have been formative for my curatorial practice, in terms of self organization, space making, and working with exhibitions as sensory technologies.
Azar Mahmoudian is an independent curator and educator. Her recent projects include the multi-chapter film program, Sensible Grounds/Techtonics of Camaraderie, for the Tensta Konsthall, MAAT Lisbon, SAVVY Contemporary, and Fundació Antoni Tàpies, among others (2018-2021); When Legacies Become Debts, at The Mosaic Rooms, London (2019), and Shifting Panoramas, program of seminars, residencies and production grants, at TMOCA and various off-spaces in Tehran, and DAZ Berlin (2018-2021). In 2016 she was part of the curatorial team of the 11th Gwangju Biennial, and she co-ran kaf, a self-organized space for collective learning of art and theory in Tehran (2010-2015). She is currently on a PhD fellowship at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.