University of Manitoba - School of Art -


VandeVen Cairo

Lidwien van de Ven : Living On

In conjunction with the journal Mosaic’s 50th-Anniversary Symposium, “Living On,” the School of Art Gallery is pleased to present the photographic work of Lidwien van de Ven. Curated by Dr. Shepherd Steiner, the installation will be van de Ven’s first solo exhibition in North America. Please join us on March 10 for the opening reception and a conversation between van de Ven and Dr. Axelle Karera (Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy Wesleyan University). Dr. Karera and van de Ven will reflect on the future of photography and discuss its relationship to notions of race, truth, and human rights.

Ever-attentive to the shifting borders of aesthetics, politics, and religion, van de Ven’s work is content rich and politically loaded. Since the late 1990s, she has turned to ethical and political issues of the contemporary moment, focusing especially on the geographies of Islam, multiculturalism in Europe, and, more recently, Dutch colonialism in Indonesia. Lidwien van de Ven: Living On is an installation of photographs from Cairo, Gaza, the West Bank, and Beirut. A new work titled, Berlin, 12/01/2015 (das Volk) will be installed outside of the gallery for the duration of the show. It is exemplary of the way van de Ven’s images seep across political, religious, and aesthetic borderlines, of how tricky it is to narrate one’s way into the photographic image, and of the contested nature of the voice in the street. As in other pieces, here van de Ven works within and against the institution of photojournalism. Like a lightning rod, its subject works to galvanize public debate. Viewers to the exhibition will find that van de Ven’s photographs require them to inhabit opposing perspectives and perhaps even question the parameters of the democratic crucible.

Lunch-time Lectures
A lunchtime lecture series by University of Manitoba faculty will begin in mid-March as will student led tours of the exhibition.

About Lidwien van de Ven
Lidwien van de Ven is a Dutch artist who lives and works in Berlin and Rotterdam. Her work is composed of a series of parallel research priorities in the politics of populism, religion, and the problem of the image. Situating her camera in sites of controversy and her images in the liminal threshold between photojournalism and art, van de Ven occupies fraught and loaded spaces. Her work always intersects with philosophical aesthetics and, in precise ways, the situational limits of visibility—such as censorship, photo-degradation, ideological suppression, political
correctness, aesthetics, and the processes of ideological creep over time—all questions of violence that are constitutive of the photographic image and the broader ecology of what has been called the “politics of aesthetic.”

Van de ven has received numerous awards for her photographs and installations, most recently, the Dolf Henkes Prize in 2014. Van de Ven exhibits on international platforms, reaching global audiences. Her work was included in the Sydney Biennale, Australia (2006), Documenta 12 in Kassel (2007), and the Busan Biennale in South Korea (2012). She has exhibited at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid (2014), Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2014), and, most recently, she has been working on a long-term research commission for the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Her exhibition FRAGMENTS [of a desire for revolution] explores Dutch colonialism in Indonesia. It opened at the Van Abbe in January 2017.

About Dr. Axelle Karera
Dr. Axelle Karera is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Wesleyan University. Her research focuses on the critical philosophy of race and examines its marginalization in academia. Her most recent work on the topic engages race, climate change, and the representation of exile. Dr. Karera has also written about language and Frantz Fanon, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari

The exhibition and gallery talk are also part of the Mosaic symposium "Living On", Thursday, March 9 - Saturday, March 11, 2017.

Lidwien van de Ven’s exhibition is supported by the University of Manitoba School of Art, the University of Manitoba Centre for Human Rights Research, and the Mondrian Fund.

Image: Lidwien Van de Ven, Cairo, 25/01/2013 (Tahrir Square)
250 cm x 375 cm, digital print on paper

Exhibition run
March 10 to April 28, 2017

Friday, March 10
6:00 - 7:00 pm

Gallery Talk
A conversation with
Lidwien van de Ven
and Dr. Axelle Karera

Friday, March 10, 1:30 - 2:45 pm

Gallery Hours
Mon. to Fri, 10 - 4 pm
Or by appointment

Mosaic symposium
Living On
Thursday, March 9 -
Saturday, March 11, 2017

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Lunch-time Lectures
Ben Baader
On Germanness and Peoplehood, 1945 to Today
March 20, 11:30 am

Susan Close
Exhibition Conversation: Susan Close and graduate students from Travelling Concepts in Photography
March 31, 12:00 pm

Simone Mahrenholz

The Danger of Beauty
April 3, 11:30 am

Hee-Jung Serenity Joo
Race, Precarity, Futurity
April 7, 11:30 am

David Churchill
Aperture of Resistance – Aperture

of Colonialism
April 10, 11:30 am

David Foster
Lidwien van de Ven: archive/argument
April 12, 11:30 am

Radhika Desai
The Pleasures and Dangers
of Ambiguity

April 17, 11:30 am