Abstracting Parables is a manifestation of three distinct historical voices and artistic positions, each proposing unique understandings of how abstraction can be translated into multiple and complex languages. The exhibition brings together the works of Dutch-Jewish painter and composer Sedje Hémon (1923–2011), Afro-Brazilian painter, poet, essayist, dramatist, and political activist Abdias Nascimento (1914–2011), and Pakistani artist and designer Imran Mir (1950–2014).
Conceived as an exhibition with three in(ter)dependent chapters, Abstracting Parables is approached as a work of translation. In its meaning “to carry across,” the exhibition deliberates on translations of meaning to form, thoughts to symbols, symbols to language, and language to experiences.
Central to this exhibition is Hémon’s, Mir’s, and Nascimento’s relationships with abstraction, geometry, spiritualities, histories, and the way their works inherently challenge the confines of modernism—opening up a world of multiple modernisms. The exhibition highlights the artists’ multifaceted oeuvres across geographies and histories, as tales that assemble and interlink...aesthetic, socio-political, spiritual, and scientific discourses.
By presenting these positions at the Stedelijk, the institution continues its critical engagement with the blind spots, historical gaps, and silences in its collection. How does this exhibition shift current collection narratives at the Stedelijk?
For the wandering spirits, in the middle of the exhibition’s circuit Abstracting Parables offers a Contextualisation Room. Here artistic fragments of the three artists are interlinked, to show how they are connected through overarching themes such as resistance, cosmos, and sound. Also situated here is Parasite Radio, sonsbeek20→24’s broadcasting program in the (digital) ether.
Functioning as a mixtape, the exhibition includes a sonic route that gently guides you through and animates the worlds of Hémon, Nascimento, and Mir. With contributions by friends, family members, artists, and successive generations—voices that keep the memory and practice of these artists alive today.
Opening days programme
The public opening will take place on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2 with a series of conversations and interventions on Abdias Nascimento, Imran Mir, and Sedje Hémon. Among others they will include a diversity of speakers such as Elmyra van Dooren, Zippora Elders, Claire van Els, Krista Jantowski, Elisa Larkin Nascimento, Aude Christel Mgba, Nighat Mir, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Romy Rüegger.
Abstracting Parables will be accompanied by three readers, one on each of the artists, published by Archive Books. The contributing authors are Elmyra van Dooren, Keyna Eleison, Natasha Ginwala, Lélia Gonzalez, Negarra Kudumu, Elisa Larkin Nascimento, Abdias Nascimento, Cannach MacBride, Marianna Maruyama, Momtaza Mehri, Nighat Mir, Quddus Mirza, Kabengele Munanga, Gwen Parry, Nafisa Rizvi, Romy Rüegger, Maurice Rummens, Peter Wapperom, and Olabiyi Yai.
Sedje Hémon. Imran Mir. Abdias Nascimento. Abstracting Parables is curated by Amal Alhaag and Aude Christel Mgba with the support of Zippora Elders, Krista Jantowski and Stedelijk curator Claire van Els, under the artistic direction of Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung for sonsbeek20→24 and Rein Wolfs for Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
The exhibition is framed within the quadrennial sonsbeek20→24 Force Times Distance: On Labour and Its Sonic Ecologies, Arnhem, the Netherlands. Abstracting Parables is a joint partnership between Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Stichting Sonsbeek.
The exhibition is developed in partnership with the Sedje Hémon Foundation, Afro-Brazilian Studies and Research Institute (IPEAFRO), and the Imran Mir Art Foundation.
Entrada actualizada el el 17 jun de 2022
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