Weekly News Roundup: July 7, 2023
By The Editors
Artistic Director Appointed for the Next Aichi Triennale
The Aichi Triennale Organizing Committee announced on Wednesday the appointment of Hoor Al Qasimi as artistic director for the 2025 edition of the Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, Japan. Currently the president and director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, Qasimi curated the recently concluded 15th Sharjah Biennial, which featured more than 150 artists at sites in five cities across the emirate. As president of the International Biennial Association (IBA), Qasimi previously curated the Lahore Biennale in 2020 and was a board member of MoMA PS1 in New York and the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. She will be the first non-Japanese artistic director of the Triennale. The Aichi Triennale Organizing Committee said it hopes that Qasimi will be able to “strengthen Aichi’s presence on the world stage.” Speaking about her appointment, Al Qasimi said, “I am looking forward to highlighting the work of Aichi Triennale and the upcoming [edition] as well collaborating with various partners across the globe.”
Try to Block Exhibition in Istanbul Over LGBTQ Content
Last week, conservative protesters demonstrated at Istanbul’s new public art space, Artİstanbul Feshane, condemning an exhibition as “LGBT propaganda” and demanding the show to be removed, leading to a temporary closure of the cultural hub. Artİstanbul Feshane recently opened its doors after the building, a former fez factory, was restored. The institution’s inaugural exhibition, titled “Starting from the Middle,” celebrates around 300 contemporary Turkish artists and revolves around contemporary issues within Turkey, such as the recent earthquakes in the southeast, the place of ethnic and religious minorities, and the experience of being LGBTQ in Turkey. However, the show—organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, which is run by the main opposition party—soon became subject to protests by religious and rightwing members of the public. Police dispersed protesters, and the venue reopened its doors a few hours later. The LGBTQ community in Turkey has been under particular scrutiny during the recent national elections, when Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan routinely said his party was “against LGBT” people and accused opposition parties of promoting what they called “LGBT propaganda.”
Yokohama Triennale Announces Theme for 2024 Edition
At the end of June, the organizing committee for the 8th Yokohama Triennale in Japan announced that the theme for the upcoming event opening in mid-March 2024 is “Wild Grass: Our Lives,” inspired by Chinese writer Lu Xun’s work. Lu’s anthology of poems and essays, Wild Grass (1924–26), tracks the personal sentiments of personal despair and hope against the backdrop of a turbulent nation, creating a metaphor for life’s irrepressible nature in spite of its fragility. The Triennial’s artistic directors, artist Liu Ding and curator Carol Yinghua Lu, stated that they hope to “prioritize the relationship between art and its intellectual underpinnings and champion the engagement of art with reality. We hope to generate a new image of global friendship in the name of art.” The spirit of Wild Grass will also extend to modern artwork from Lu’s time alongside contemporary art in order to fully engage the public in its message of resilience during trying times. The Triennale runs from March 15 to June 9 in 2024 in the famous port city near Tokyo.