Join us to celebrate curator and writer Sara Raza’s New York book release of Punk Orientalism: The Art of Rebellion published by Black Dog Press, London, with a lively conversation between Raza and arts writer and New York Times contributor Siddhartha Mitter. This is a hybrid event. In-person tickets are free with museum admission during Late Night ICP hours (6–9 PM Thursdays), online tickets are free with suggested donation.
This timely book explores revolutionary artistic practices centered on the spaces and places associated with the former Soviet Union, focusing on Central Asia and the Caucasus during and after the Cold War as well as looking at the USSR’s complex relationship with the Arab world, Iran and Turkey. Inspired by punk methodology, this experimental book features fractured poetic forms and artworks by 31 contemporary art practitioners who have challenged state and academic policies, mapped new territories and formed new artistic movements, whilst embracing punk’s tacit rejection of ideas and values imposed by state authority. Offering a new kind of thinking about art and history, this book breaks free from the entrapment of imperialism and provides a fresh perspective on both postcolonial and post-Soviet artist-led art histories in tandem.
In-person and online tickets are non-interchangeable.
Conversation in ICP Library between Sara Raza and Siddhartha Mitter.
Book signing of Punk Orientalism: The Art of Rebellion in ICP's shop and bookstore.
Award-winning curator and writer Sara Raza is a specialist in global art and visual cultures from a postcolonial and post-Soviet perspective. Raza has curated exhibitions and projects for international museums, biennials and festivals, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Milan), Rubin Museum of Art (New York), Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art (Doha, Qatar), the MacKenzie Art Gallery (Saskatchewan, Canada), Maraya Art Centre, (Sharjah), the Tashkent Biennale (Uzbekistan), the 55th Venice Biennale, and the 3rd Baku Public Art Festival (Azerbaijan), among others. She lives and works in New York City, where she teaches on the MA Curatorial Practices Program at the SVA and BA and MA courses at New York University’s Media Cultures and Communications Dept and New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program where she is a Red Burns Fellow.
Siddhartha Mitter writes on contemporary art and its social context. He currently contributes most often to the New York Times, and has published widely elsewhere. He works locally, nationally, and internationally, and is based in New York City.
More About Punk Orientalism
Punk Orientalism: The Art of Rebellion explores the spaces and places associated with the former Soviet Union, focusing on the artists and ideas hailing from Central Asia and the Caucasus, which were long perceived as an extension, or “client” states, of the USSR. The theme of non-conformity and the punk rejection of state authority is a continuous thread throughout the book, which highlights changing and divided societies and their evolving norms in the post-Soviet period.
Inspired by the titular concepts, punk and orientalism, the text functions as a form of bricolage, uniting punk movements and strategies, which can be traced in popular visual culture from the 1970s onwards. The idea of punk is coupled with a critical study of orientalism and its historical association with imperialist assumptions of knowledge concerning the East. Punk Orientalism expands its association with this territory to explore former Soviet possessions in Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as looking at the USSR’s complex relationship with the Arab world, Iran and Turkey.
Thematically organised, Punk Orientalism presents a thoroughly researched and fascinating selection of contemporary art from a complex and multifaceted part of the globe, featuring diverse artists such as Lida Abdul, Babi Badalov, Ergin Çavusoglu, Taus Makhacheva and Erbossyn Meldibekov, who have challenged state and academic policies, mapped new territories, and formed new artistic movements. Punk Orientalism examines history as a conduit for revisionist thinking and rebellion, appealing to those readers interested in revolutionary practices in contemporary art. This thought-provoking book highlights breaking free from the entrapment of imperialism and shines a light on one of the most under-researched regions in the contemporary art world.