Contemporary Conversation: Form and Frontier

Image courtesy Iman Issa
Image courtesy Iman Issa


Join us for an evening conversation with artist Iman Issa and critical theorist Colin Wright about the critique and desconstruction of the modern canon of art and architectural history.

How did Bauhaus objects and ideas emerge as signifiers of modernity? How did legacies of Bauhaus modernism in architecture, design and visual arts demarcate the boundaries of the ‘modern’ individual? Whose ‘modernism’ does the Bauhaus refer to? Evidenced in previous chapters of bauhaus imaginista, engagement with premodern artefacts and practices was a constant feature of the work of teachers and students at the Bauhaus and continued to inform their approach in the transnational encounters that marked its complex trajectories of migration after the school’s forced closure. This Contemporary Conversation explores how form and frontier intersect in twentieth century art and architecture, how multiple modernisms have been erased from art and design histories, and how critical practices in art and architecture reposition these canons today.

The series Contemporary Conversations looks at how art is positioned to the present. Acknowledging artists’ roles in working with its passage, pressing and transforming it, this series of evening dialogues explores the present tense in its cultural and political dimensions, visual cultures and postcolonial debates.

We have a fully accessible building with lift access on all floors and Changing Places toilets. Click here for more detailed access information, or please contact us in advance of your visit on 0115 948 9750 if you would like to talk through your requirements.

Iman Issa (b. 1979, Cairo) is an artist currently based between New York and Berlin. Her work is driven by her intense interest in history and her insistence on questioning the preconceptions that govern knowledge. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Whitney Museum of American Art, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; MoMA, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; 21er Haus, Vienna; MACBA, Barcelona; the Perez Art Museum, Miami; New Museum, New York; and KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin; among others. Issa taught at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York between 2012-2017 and since 2014 has been a member of the curriculum committee of the Home Workspace program in Beirut. She is currently a guest professor at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen.

Colin Wright is Director of the Centre for Critical Theory and Associate Professor in Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham. His research interests include psychoanalysis, French Critical Theory, Continental Philosophy (particularly poststructuralism and the critique of humanism), and the intersections between Political and Postcolonial Theory. His teaching approaches the present through the changing role of critique in today's society. Wright has published extensively in international academic journals and is the author of three monographs and two co-edited volumes. He is currently working on two book projects exploring the relationship between Lacanian psychoanalysis and health, as well as technology and the 'digital unconscious'.

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