[De]Mapping the Future—Listening to the Historic Origin Body
[De]Mapping the Future—Listening to the Historic Origin Body
June 9-29, 2021
Guest-curated by Zsuzanna Varga-Szegedi
Featured Artists: Marina Leybishkis, Nyugen E. Smith, and Zsuzsanna Varga-Szegedi
“Stories of origin cannot exist without a language to tell them in, without a tongue to carry the words,” -Magdalena Moskalewicz, In the Words, In the Bones (2019)
Join us on Wednesday, June 9th for the beginning of [De]Mapping the Future – Listening to the Historic Origin Body, a three-week online screening program guest-curated by Boston-based interdisciplinary artist and educator Zsuzsanna Varga-Szegedi. The online event will feature rarely exhibited video work by Marina Leybishkis, Nyugen E. Smith, and Zsuzsanna Varga-Szegedi as well as recorded excerpts from a recent panel discussion that placed the artists in conversation with historians specializing in art history, critical geography, and postcolonial studies. Capping off the three-part program is Georg, a documentary film about György Lukács that further contextualizes Varga-Szegedi’s Ghost of Lukács project, which will be on view at OSTRALE Biennale O21 July 1 - October 3, 2021. The video works, recorded panel discussion, and documentary film will stream according to the schedule below. To watch, the link to each video will be released on this page at its scheduled time below its description.
Wednesday-Tuesday, June 9-15, 2021 Video works by Marina Leybishkis, Nyugen E. Smith, and Zsuzsanna Varga-Szegedi. 77 minutes With excerpts from the panel, hosted by Wellesley College’s Art Department, featuring the three artists in conversation with critical geographer Zoltán Ginelli.
Marina Leybishkis Songs of the Sea, 2019, 5:23 min. Munir, 2019, 16:35 min. In Leybishkis’s work, the image becomes a fraught site for examining geopolitical concepts of nationality,
cultural memory, and the social body.
Nyugen E. Smith An Untitled Act of Disappearing, 2018, 5:04 min. Into the River-2, 2020, 9:21 min. Responding to the legacy of European colonial rule in the African diaspora, Smith’s work
considers imperialist practices of oppression, violence, and intergenerational trauma. Zsuzsanna Varga-Szegedi Ghost of Lukács, 2021, 5:30 min. Ghost of Lukács, 2021, 12 min. Varga-Szegedi combines traditional and emerging technologies, integrating video, painting, photography, as
well as performance, to consider issues of identity, place, the construction of narratives, and how absence can
produce empowering paradigm shifts.
Wednesday - Tuesday, June 16-22, 2021
Recording of the panel discussion, "[De]Mapping the Future - Listening to the Historic Origin Body 79 minutes Extended recording of the panel discussion, “[De]Mapping the Future – Listening to the Historic Origin Body,” which took place virtually on Saturday, May 1, 2021. The convening, moderated by critical geographer Zoltán Ginelli (Hungary) and introduced by Randi Hopkins (US), brought together scholars Magdalena Moskalewicz (US/Poland), Valeria Ibraeva (Kazakhstan), and D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem (US/Nigeria) to discuss the potential of current de-colonial efforts that point towards exciting trajectories—on the path from delinking structural national narratives to speculative fiction.
Wednesday - Tuesday June 23-29, 2021 104 minutes
Georg, a documentary film about the Hungarian Marxist philosopher, aesthetician, literary historian, and critic György Lukács, based on an idea of filmmaker Sotiris Bekas and the research of Cody J. Inglis, Agnes Kelemen, and Jordan Skinner, demonstrates the enduring relevance of Lukács’s ideas today, and how he has been the target of erasure by Viktor Orban and the Hungarian Fidesz government.
About the Program With a new selection of video works, Marina Leybishkis, Nyugen E. Smith, and Zsuzsanna Varga-Szegedi continue conversations that began in 2019 with their exhibition, In the Words, In the Bones, curated by Magdalena Moskalewicz at the Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts. Collectively, these interdisciplinary practitioners explore inherited identities as grounded in language and in the body, investigate the contentious heritage of the colonial era and postcommunist ruptures, and create powerful works that reclaim, revive, and recalibrate narratives. This online screening program interweaves the artists’ video work with recorded excerpts from a recent panel discussion sponsored by Wellesley College’s Art Department, thereby providing an exceptional opportunity to consider their works in extended formats alongside the academic discourse that directly informs their creative practices.
[De]Mapping the Future – Listening to the Historic Origin Body is a program guest-curated by Zsuzsanna Varga-Szegedi and hosted by Kunstraum via a collaboration with Kunstraum’s 2021-2022 Curator-in-Residence, Anthony Huffman. It will run on select days between June 9-29, 2021. For more information, please contact Anthony Huffman (email@example.com) or Zsuzsanna Varga-Szegedi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
About the Artists
Marina Leybishkis (1980) is a New York-based multimedia interdisciplinary artist who was born and raised in Uzbekistan. She holds a BA in Justice and Humanities Studies from The City University of New York and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a recipient of the Fulbright grant for artistic research and resident of Baxter St. Camera Club of New York. Through use of video, photography, archives, archeology, and text, Leybishkis analyzes the instability of meaning, the construction of visual narratives as locations of self-formation as well as the implications of such narratives into perceptions of identity. In her work, the image becomes a fraught site for examining geopolitical concepts of nationality, cultural memory, and the social body. Through her installations, she tries to transform memory into materiality, challenging viewers to inhabit histories in all their complexity.
Nyugen E. Smith (1976) is a first generation Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist and educator living and working in Jersey City, NJ. Responding to the legacy of European colonial rule in the African diaspora, Smith’s work considers imperialist practices of oppression, violence and intergenerational trauma. He is interested in ritual and sacred practice rooted in African spiritual systems and how they are employed as coping mechanisms and tools for collective empowerment. He holds a BA from Seton Hall University and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Nyugen E. Smith has conducted public programs, visiting artist lectures and panel discussions at institutions including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA. He was awarded the 2016 Leonore Annenberg Performing and Visual Arts Fund, the 2018 Franklin Furnace Fund, and the 2018 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.
Zsuzsanna Varga-Szegedi (1976) is a Boston-based interdisciplinary artist born in Hungary. Szegedi’s art is influenced by her experience of living through the transition from socialism to post-communist capitalism. She is interested in the conceptual matrix of geo- and chronopolitics concerning issues of identity, place and the construction of narratives. Her works address the critical space of the liminal; positions of change that respond to global concerns of belonging. Embracing sites of transition, Szegedi combines traditional and emerging technologies, integrating video, painting, photography, as well as performance. Szegedi’s research interests include the power of absence and the possibility of reparative histories; she explores these topics through the intersection of absentology, decolonial and posthuman theories and digital humanities. Her recent research travels to the former Eastern bloc examined how absence can produce empowering paradigm shifts. Zsuzsanna Szegedi holds a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited at sübSamsøn, Boston, MA; Montserrat Galleries, Beverly, MA; Modem Museum, Debrecen, and Knoll Galéria, Budapest, Hungary. Her traveling Ghost of Lukacs project will be on view at OSTRALE Biennale O21 from July 1 until October 3, 2021.
Main image: Nyugen E. Smith, still from the video "Into the River-2", 2020. 9:21 min., color and sound. Courtesy of the artist.