Guest Speakers

Special Guests:

PANEL ONE: Translation as Dialogue.

This panel will consider what happens when translation is conceptualized as dialogue, foregrounding the contingent and relational activities of intercultural communication? What can be learned when both the source and the target language remain open and willing to be altered through an interaction with an ’other’ (Linnel 2009) and  what new knowledge is being created about translation through artistic practice?

Clare Charnley  (U.K.) For some time Clare Charnley has been working around issues of translatability and the politics of language both in a personal and global context.  She is particularly interested in using linguistic and cultural ignorance as a means of generating situations of mutual vulnerability. Another, related, interest is the act of misunderstanding which can be seen as creative or revelatory. Recent exhibitions, performances and screenings include The Casino, Luxembourg, Dashanzui Festival, Beijing, Performance Art Platform, Tel Aviv, Bengal Gallery, Bangladesh Castle of The Imagination, Poland, National Eisteddfod of Wales, Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico and NYLO, The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik.

For the last few years she has been mainly working with Patricia Azevedo, Professor of Photography in Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil) in both Brazil and England.  Their joint practice involves observations and negotiations to do with language, territory and power relationships and attempts to give material form to a series of encounters, games and stories to do with the act of communication itself. Often this involves working with the public. For their work together Azevedo and Charnley have received awards from Arts Council England, Visiting Arts and The British Council. They were finalists for The Northern Art Prize 2009. In addition their work has been exhibited in The Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool: Exchange Mechanism, Belfast Exposed Gallery, Belfast: The Drawing Shed, Project Space Leeds: Crunchtime2010, York: Coastal Currents, Hastings and St Leonards: Binaural, Portugal and Platforma, London.

Clare Charnley is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Katerina Zdjelar  (Belgrade) is an artist based in Rotterdam who represented Serbia in Venice Biennial 2009. Her practice consists of making video pieces, sound pieces, book projects and creating different platforms for speculation, knowledge building and exchange. Her work explores notions of identity, authority and community and revolve around individuals who challenged by simultaneous inhabitation of different languages, perform themselves through practicing, remembering or reinventing themselves.  

Dr Alex Mevel Dr Pierre-Alexis Mével is currently a lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Nottingham, and has just launched a new MA in Translation Studies He completed his doctoral thesis at the University of Nottingham in 2011. Situated at the intersection between Translation Studies, Sociolinguistics and Film Studies, his thesis provides an analysis of the subtitling into French of a corpus of films portraying speakers of African American Vernacular English (henceforth AAVE). By analysing the French subtitles, the thesis focuses particularly on the possibility to use non-standard forms in the target language, on their potential impact on the reception of a film, and on the theoretical underpinnings of juxtaposing two linguistic varieties on screen. This raises particular issues relating to the formation of identities, about their cultural porosity, and the transferability of culturally bound features and the nature of their adaptation in another culture. His latest project involves using a narrative theory framework, in order to analyse the cross-cultural dynamics of representations of Otherness in a corpus of multilingual films. According to several studies (Diadori, 2003; Heiss, 2004; Baldo, 2009), multilingualism in films is becoming increasingly frequent. It can serve to illustrate problems of communication between individuals, metonymically invoking cultural barriers and challenging the concept of borders.

LINELL, P., 2009. Rethinking language, mind, and world dialogically: interactional and contextual theories of human sense-making. Information Age Pub Inc.

Chaired by Heather Connelly(Loughborough University)


PANEL  TWO: Dialogue as a Curatorial/Artistic Process.

This panel will be an open working session: through the use of a dialectical method we will try to discuss about tendency of homogenization and hegemonization in art. How can a dialogical curatorial/artistic practice interfere in dynamics of normalization in art?

Bisan Abu Eisheh is an artist and M.A. candidate at Central Saint Martins,2014. He has recently obtained is B.A. at the International Academy of Art – Palestine.  He currently lives between London and Jerusalem. Selected Group Exhibitions include: Arrivals and Departures _ Mediterranean exhibition, Ancona, Italy (2012). The Jerusalem Show on/off Language (2011).  The 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011). Belongings exhibition, Vita Havet Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden (2011). World social forum photo exhibition, Jerusalem (2010). Inner abroad exhibition, international academy of art-Palestine, Ramallah (2010). Al-Rozana heritage festival, Berzeit, Ramallah (2009). On route exhibition, the international academy of arts-Palestine, Ramallah (2009). SIN festival, Al-Qattan foundation, Ramallah (2009). Selected workshops include: the 10th encounter for Mediterranean art schools, Mimar Sinan university, Istanbul, Turkey. AMSED Euro-Mediterranean youth exchange, Strasbourg, France. He has performed in several art events including: Prayers by Dora Garcia, The Jerusalem Show, Al-Mammal foundation, Jerusalem (2009). Hello Jerusalem by Hello Earth Danish group, the Palestinian national theatre, Jerusalem (2009). He has worked as an Assistant artist at the Return of The Soul exhibition by Jean Frere, the Palestinian art court (Al-Hoash), Jerusalem (2008). He has worked as an assistant curator for “Gaza Graffiti” project by the Swedish artist Mia Grondahl. He was part of a student exchange with university of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2010-11). Bisan was selected for a residency as part of Points of Departure at the Delfina Foundation, London, UK (2012).

My interest in performance, dialogue and criticality led me to develop the idea of the ‘typical’ Palestinian character. In this video I explore the contradictory, and paradoxical dialogue between the Palestinian himself and the reality when he responds to the political situation. I switch into different identities as a way of exploring our relationship to politics, how we narrate and how we narrate and discuss this. I am interested in the idea that we keep dreaming of victory, and live in ambivalence, illusions and disillusions. Commonly heard dialogues among the people and politicians inspire the script, which is normalizing the situation under the occupation in spite of the amount of the problems which are increasing day by day and year by year.

Mirna Bamieh

Born in 1983, Mirna Bamieh is an artist based in Jerusalem. She currently works at Al Hoash Gallery, Jerusalem, in addition to pursuing her M. A. in Fine Arts at Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design in Tel Aviv.In addition to her artistic research, Bamieh has an interest in curatorial practices, in addition to curating several shows with al-Hoash gallery, she is currently co-curating “Points of Departure” project organized by Delfina Foundation and art school Palestine. Her current artistic and curatorial research interests are in notions of space and transformation, psychic spaces, the landscape of politics, liminality, and the construction of collective memory.She participated in a number of local and international shows, such as “Here & Now” at Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art/ Poland/ 2011, “Young Palestinian Artists exhibition” at the Ethnographic and Art Museum of Birzeit University/ 2011, “Exhaustion” Jerusalem Show IV/ Jerusalem/ 2010.

Fucking Good Art

Alexandra Ross


Currently a PhD researcher at the University of Dundee, Alexandra Ross is exploring the role of conversation within curatorial practice and the possibilities of capturing a supplementary history of the field through the adoption of a dialogical methodology.

Her contribution to the panel will be in the capacity of co-chair, exploring how conversation-as-method can open up dialogue around the subject of homogenization and hegemonization in art. Interested specifically in the precariousness and temporal contingency of conversation she hopes to explore the performance and capture of conversation within the ‘In Dialogue’ symposium. During the programmed dinner on the 30th, she will record aspects of the convivial context for dialogue.

Her research explores the conflict between that which has been (mainly) written for posterity and that which falls away into the refuges of often unreliable and fallible memory. Either the history of curatorial practice emphasises highly edited texts written after the event to which they are in reference, or where reference to conversation is made (and this is increasingly the case) there is an inaccurate appropriation of ‘conversation’.

An accompanying online platform Continuous Curatorial Conversation serves two purposes: to act as an audio archive for her doctoral research project; and to allow a platform for future user-generated upload and access to the oral history of curating and surrounding critique.  CCC had from its conception an intention to think, or rather talk through issues surrounding curatorial practice, and how and why to document them.


Alexandra Ross is based in Dundee where she is currently conducting doctoral research in the field of curatorial practice exploring the scope and efficacy of conversation-as-method within curatorship and the capturing of its history. The fieldwork of this practice-led investigation into curatorial conversations focuses on Manifesta 8; the 54th Venice Biennale; and Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. The biennial provides a rich context in which to situate her research, although this is not the exclusive domain of investigation: also including conviviality within the curatorial; virtual, international networks; and experimental choreographed environments.

She read an honours law degree at the University of Edinburgh (1999-2004), followed by a Masters in Museum and Gallery Studies, University of St Andrews (2004-2005), and a Master of Fine Art, University of Dundee (2006-2007). From 2009 to present, she has been co-editor and co-curator of the collective Yuck ‘n Yum. YnY is a curatorial collective who produce a quarterly art zine and host events that promote and distribute art out with the gallery setting. She has worked in a variety of organisations including, IZIKO, South African National Gallery (Cape Town), Manifesta 7 (Bolzano), Bonhams Auctioneers (Edinburgh), and the Fruitmarket Gallery (Edinburgh).

Ross has also curated Symbiotic Intuition (Dundee, MFA degree show), State of Play (Berlin / Dundee), and Dance-On (Bolzano, during Manifesta 7). She works largely collaboratively with artists, choreographers, dancers, and educators assessing the boundaries, language and genealogy of curatorial practice. A forthcoming project is Yuck ’n Yum’s AGK3 (Annual General Karaoke) (Dundee) in a co-editor / co-curator capacity.

Katerina Zdjelar   (Belgrade) is an artist based in Rotterdam who represented Serbia in Venice Biennial 2009. Her practice consists of making video pieces, sound pieces, book projects and creating different platforms for speculation, knowledge building and exchange. Her work explores notions of identity, authority and community and revolve around individuals who challenged by simultaneous inhabitation of different languages, perform themselves through practicing, remembering or reinventing themselves. 

Chaired by Viviana Checchia (Loughborough University) & Alexandra Ross


PANEL THREE: Performing Dialogue.  

Panelists Martina Reuter  and Manfred Rainer  from Wochenklausur, Newton and Helen Harrison from The Harrison Studio and John Newling will each present their  latest work. Collectively their practice shares a common concern for the public interest which is activated through their use of the dialogic. The panel is chaired by  Rhiannon Slade  who will facilitate a conversation between artists, countries, time zones and sites to discuss the use of conversation to generate practice.

Martina Reuter and Manfred Rainer of WochenKlausur The artist group WochenKlausur has been conducting social interventions since 1993. The concept of intervention, whose usage in art has undergone an inflationary trend in recent years, is often used for any form of change. In contrast, WochenKlausur, at the invitation of art institutions, develops and realizes proposals – small-scale but very concrete – for improving sociopolitical deficits. In the context of many twentieth-century artists who understood how to actively take part in the shaping of society, WochenKlausur sees art as an opportunity for achieving long-term improvements in human coexistence. Artists’ competence in finding creative solutions, traditionally utilized in shaping materials, can just as well be applied in all areas of society: in ecology, education and city planning. There are problems everywhere that cannot be solved using conventional approaches and are thus suitable subjects for artistic projects. Theoretically, there is no difference between artists who do their best to paint pictures and those who do their best to solve social problems with clearly fixed boundaries. The individually selected task, like the painter’s self-defined objective, must only be precisely articulated. Interventionist art can only be effective when the problem to be solved is clearly stated. It all started in the winter of 1992. For an exhibition at the Vienna Secession Wolfgang Zinggl invited eight artists to work on solving a localized problem. Within the normal time span of an exhibition, the group was to work in closed session to develop and realize a small but concrete measure to improve conditions for homeless people. This first project succeeded in making medical care available to this group. Since then, a mobile clinic has treated more than six hundred homeless people per month free of charge. An invitation from the Zurich Shedhalle followed, where WochenKlausur – in a new line-up – developed a pension for drug-addicted women. A year later, the group established a social center with bocce court for the older residents of the Italian community Civitella d’Agliano. In Graz, seven immigrants were assisted in obtaining legal residency in Austria. Interventions in Salzburg, Berlin, Venice, Fukuoka, Chicago and other cities followed. In the meantime over 30 projects have been successfully conducted by alternating teams that have involved a total of over fifty artists.

The core team of WochenKlausur conists of 8 artists who have all participated in multiple projects. According to the intervention the team is going to be extended by other artists. WochenKlausur’s office is housed in a former storefront at Gumpendorferstrasse 20 in Vienna. It is responsible for conceiving and organizing new interventions, recruiting local artists from the communities where projects are to be held, and supporting professional implementation and follow-up work.Since 1993 and on invitation from different art institutions, the artist group WochenKlausur develops concrete proposals aimed at small, but nevertheless effective improvements to socio-political deficiencies. Proceeding even further and invariably translating these proposals into action, artistic creativity is no longer seen as a formal act but as an intervention into society. Social renewal is a function of art after the art of treating surfaces. It makes more sense to improve the carrying structure before improving the surface. This art’s big chance lies in its ability to offer the community something that also achieves an effect. The motives for concrete intervention based in art should not be confused with an excess of moralistic fervor. As a potential basis for action, art has political capital at its disposal that should not be underestimated. The use of this potential to manipulate social circumstances is a practice of art just as valid as the manipulation of traditional materials. The group WochenKlausur takes this function of art and its historic precursors as its point of departure. WochenKlausur sets precise tasks for itself and, in intensive actions that are limited in time, attempts to work out solutions to the problems it has recognized. Widespread interest in the theoretical foundations and practical working methods as well as the concrete results of projects in Austria and abroad have encouraged WochenKlausur to continue working in this direction.

 Newton and Helen Harrison  of The Harrison Studio.  Among the leading pioneers of the eco-art movement, the collaborative team of Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison (often referred to simply as “the Harrisons”) have worked for almost forty years with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners and other artists to initiate collaborative dialogues to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development.The Harrison’s concept of art embraces a breathtaking range of disciplines. They are historians, diplomats, ecologists, investigators, emissaries and art activists. Their work involves proposing solutions and involves not only public discussion, but extensive mapping and documentation of these proposals in an art context.Past projects have focused on watershed restoration, urban renewal, agriculture and forestry issues among others. The Harrisons’ visionary projects have often led to changes in governmental policy and have expanded dialogue around previously unexplored issues leading to practical implementations throughout the United States and Europe. “Our work begins when we perceive an anomaly in the environment that is the result of opposing beliefs or contradictory metaphors. Moments when reality no longer appears seamless and the cost of belief has become outrageous offer the opportunity to create new spaces – first in the mind and thereafter in everyday life.”

By the early ‘90s, the Harrisons perceived that every work they were doing either needed or engendered a collaborative group. As a consequence, they formed the Harrison Studio and Associates. It’s earliest manifestation was at the Bauhaus Dessau in 1993 in a team that centered around Bauhaus personnel with Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, Vera Westergaard and Gabriel Harrison, working collectively on the Mulde River watershed. Thereafter, the Harrison Studio has formed and reformed many times. There was the Harrison Studio in Borna, South Leipzig. In Bonn, with the Endangered Meadows. In Gouda, with Greenheart Vision. Most recently, the Harrison Studio Britain and, as an offshoot, the Harrison Studio Devon.Their work process is singular. It begins with the question, “How Big is Here?” Here may be a street corner, as in California Wash or a sub-continent, such as Peninsula Europe. They only do work that is the outcome of an invitation to engage a particular place or situation. Typically, they agree to go to such a place to see, think, speak, research and engage a broad spectrum of people and groups. They will only take on a work if there is a general agreement that their actual client is the environment itself. The agenda is created by the artists in discourse with the larger community. Thus, the Harrisons see themselves simultaneously as guests and co-workers. They stay only as long as the invitation continues, or until they deem that they have done all that is possible for them to do.

John Newling was born in Birmingham and after completing MA and M.Phil degrees at Chelsea and Wolverhampton he was awarded the first Fulbright Fellowship in Visual Art in 1985.During his time in America, Newling produced works in hotels, swimming pools, burnt out cars, sales of memorabilia and on the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC and New York. This experience marked the beginning of his enduring interest in notions of Place both in terms of cartography and context. This has generated many works over the following decades both gallery based and site specific.Newling constantly reviews ‘The tacit agreements of Place’ and this has coalesced into a view of the pathology of institutions such as banks and churches. His current researches have been into the nature, manifestations and relationships of Currency and Belief. This process of review is the initial impetus for a work for a specific place.Whilst always underpinned by rigorous conceptual thinking, Newling’s works are always conscious of material, fabrication and architectural space. His sculptural installations are possessed of a quiet beauty that resonate with layers of meaning that are inherent within the form. Newling has large-scale works within the public domain such as major commissions for the Post Office and The Inland Revenue. His exhibitions include a recent retrospective at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park that also incorporated nine new works for the Pavilion Gallery. Newling has an international reputation and has installed works across Europe and the USA. John Newling lives in Nottingham where he is currently Professor of Installation Sculpture at The Nottingham Trent University.

Chaired by Rhiannon Slade (Nottingham Trent University)


In Dialogue is kindly sponsored by Loughborough University and Nottingham Trent University and supported in Kind by Nottingham Contemporary and Primary.