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Sadira Rodrigues

Sadira Rodrigues is an independent curator and arts administrator based in Vancouver. She has curated a number of exhibitions by local, national, and international artists. She was the Assistant Curator of the 2004 Shanghai Biennale, and also curated At Play at the Liu Haisu Museum. She has been a sessional Instructor at Emily Carr Institute since 2001 and has a Masters in Art History from the University of British Columbia. She has written for journals and catalogues, including Thirdspace and Yishu—Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and co-organized symposiums such as Locating Asia and InFest: International Artist Run Culture. Formerly the Manager of Arts Programs for 2010 Legacies Now, she is currently involved in a range of projects including public programming at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and diversity facilitator with the Equity Office at the Canada Council for the Arts.

Exhibitions

  • Speaking Truth to Reconciliation (a project in two parts)

    ABBAS AKHAVAN, KRISTINA LEE PODESVA, MOHAMMAD SALEMY
    September 12–October 31, 2009

    Race: Proposals in Truth and Reconciliation

    What are the possibilities of talking about race today? It is critical that we continue to challenge the conditions of racism, marginality, exclusion, and xenophobia. But how does one approach talking about a subject whose archaeologies of knowledge have been laden with histories of conflict and contestation? And how does one do this with a commitment to generosity, truthfulness, and reconciliation?

    Over the last year, there has been an escalating presence of race in every aspect of social, political, and economic life. Barack Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech in Philadelphia became the most popular video in the world, drawing 1.2 million views in the first 24 hours after it aired. Described by some writers as the most important speech on race given by any American politician, it pointed to the fact that racial discord in the US, although entrenched, distracting, and emotional, was not necessarily intractable. It is this disavowal of intractability that forms the core of Speaking Truth to Reconciliation. Is it possible to engage with a fraught subject, but with a commitment to moving beyond questions of accountability or accusation, towards a conversation that both acknowledges the conditions of exclusion, while seeking shared ground?

    Through an exhibition and forum Speaking Truth to Reconciliation brings together artists, writers, and curators to consider the possibilities of discussing this contested subject and “speaking out.”

    The artists will engage with Artspeak as a site of dialogue and discussion that takes the principle of “truth telling” as a framing device, while considering these concepts poetically, pedagogically, and declaratively.

    Curated by Sadira Rodrigues

Talks & Events

  • Speaking Truth to Reconciliation (a project in two parts)

    ABBAS AKHAVAN, RANDY LEE CUTLER, KRISTINA LEE PODESVA, KEN LUM, SVEN LÜTTICKEN, ASHOK MATHUR, TED PURVES, MOHAMMAD SALEMY
    October 23–October 24, 2009

    Speaking Out: A Lamentation for Parrhesian Strategies

    Emily Carr University Theatre, Room 301, South Building

    “My intention was not to deal with the problem of truth, but with the problem of truth-teller or truth-telling as an activity… Who is able to tell the truth? What are the moral, the ethical, and the spiritual conditions which entitle someone to present himself as, and to be considered as, a truth-teller? About what topics is it important to tell the truth?… What are the consequences of telling the truth?… And finally: what is the relation between the activity of truth-telling and the exercise of power, or should these activities be completely independent and kept separate? Are they separable, or do they require one another?”
    —Michel Foucault, Discourse and Truth: the Problematization of Parrhesia (1983)

    In a two-day forum, local and international speakers will consider the possibilities of “speaking out” in the context of cultural production. Speaking out describes adopting a position which is perceived to be oppositional to mainstream cultural production and which chooses to reveal the limitations or structures in the operation of power. Speaking out also implies a consequence to the act of intervening or critiquing these institutions. The act of speaking out is not only intellectual, but extends to the value of the speaker as a social individual, his or her place in society, the consequences on their cultural capital, and the ramifications of talking about things most people do not want to.

    The project will include a publication co-published by Artspeak and West Coast Line.

    FRIDAY OCTOBER 23

    6:30pm / Sadira Rodrigues
    7pm / Ken Lum

    SATURDAY OCTOBER 24

    10am / Sven Lütticken (virtual)
    11am / Ted Purves
    12:30–1:30pm / Break
    1:30pm / Ashok Mathur
    2pm / Mohammad Salemy
    2:30pm / Kristina Lee Podesva
    3pm / Abbas Akhavan
    3:30–5pm / Panel: Randy Lee Cutler, Ken Lum, Kristina Lee Podesva, Ted Purves, Sadira Rodrigues

    Curated by Sadira Rodrigues

  • Vancouver Art & Economies Book Launch

    CLINT BURNHAM, RANDY LEE CUTLER, TIM LEE, MELANIE O'BRIAN, SADIRA RODRIGUES, MARINA ROY, SHARLA SAVA, REID SHIER, SHEPHERD STEINER, MICHAEL TURNER
    March 28, 2007

    Wednesday, March 28, 7-9pm

    At the Brickhouse, 730 Main Street

    Please join Artspeak and Arsenal Pulp Press in celebrating the release of Vancouver Art & Economies, edited by Melanie O’Brian, with essays by Clint Burnham, Randy Lee Cutler, Tim Lee, Sadira Rodrigues, Marina Roy, Sharla Sava, Reid Shier, Shepherd Steiner and Michael Turner.

    Vancouver Art & Economies was financially supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the City of Vancouver, Arts Now: Legacies Now 2010, the Spirit of BC Arts Fund and the Hamber Foundation.

  • Vancouver Art & Economies: A Forum

    SHARLA SAVA, CLINT BURNHAM, MARINA ROY, TIM LEE, SADIRA RODRIGUES, RANDY LEE CUTLER, REID SHIER, SHEPHERD STEINER, MICHAEL TURNER
    October 6–November 3, 2005

    Vancouver Art and Economies is a forum for critical dialogue on Vancouver’s contemporary art practices in the face of globalization and a remarkable recent history. Academics, artists, curators and writers will speak at Emily Carr Institute over the course of five evenings in the fall of 2005. The speakers will consider Vancouver art and its institutions over the last two decades in particular, remarking on the economies at work. whether global, institutional or market. Addressing a perceived professionalization of the institution of art, the talks will collectively consider Vancouver’s position within local, national and international art economies. The forum talks will be published in an anthology in 2006.

    Thursday, October 6

    Sharla Sava: The Political Culture of the Counter-Tradition in Vancouver Art

    Clint Burnham: Imperial Art: the Vancouver School in the age of Empire

    Thursday, October 13

    Marina Roy: The Art Star, the Academic, the Author, and the Activist: Art-writing in Vancouver 1990-2005

    Tim Lee: Specific Objects and Social Subjects: Industrial Facture and the Production of Polemics in Vancouver

    Thursday, October 20

    Sadira Rodrigues: Dealing (with) Cultural Diversity: Art and the Economies of Race

    Randy Lee Cutler: Vancouver Singular Plural: Art in an Age of Post-Medium Production

    Thursday, October 27

    Reid Shier: Do Artists Need Artist Run Centres?

    Shepherd Steiner: Beyond the “Ifs” of an “Ifing” Hermeneutic Economy: Examples from an Unsystematizable System 

    Thursday, November 3

    Michael Turner: Who’s Business Is It? Vancouver’s Commercial Galleries and the Production of Art 

Publications

  • Vancouver Art & Economies

    VAN A and E front
    VAN A and E spine
    VAN A and E back

    Title: Vancouver Art & Economies
    Category: Criticism
    Writers: Clint Burnham, Randy Lee Cutler, Tim Lee, Melanie O’Brian, Sadira Rodrigues, Shepherd Steiner, Michael Turner, Sharla Sava, Reid Shier, Marina Roy
    Editor: Melanie O’Brian
    Design: Robin Mitchell
    Publisher: Artspeak, Arsenal Pulp Press
    Year published: 2007
    Pages: 236pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 13 b&w images, 44 colour images
    Dimensions: (Height x Width x Depth) 23 x 15.5 x 2 cm
    Weight: 496 g
    ISBN: 978-1-55152-214-2
    Price: $27.95 CDN

    Since the mid-1980’s, the once marginal city of Vancouver has developed within a globalized economy and become an internationally recognized centre for contemporary visual art. Vancouver’s status is due not only to a thriving worldwide cultural community that has turned to examine the so-called periphery, but to the city’s growth, its artists, expanding institutions, and a strong history of introspection and critical assessment. As a result, Vancouver art is visible and often understood as distinct and definable.This anthology intends to complicate the notion of definability. It offers nine essays to address the organized systems that have affected contemporary art in Vancouver over the last two decades.

    The essays in Vancouver Art & Economies collectively remark, both compatibly and contradictorily, on the economies at work in Vancouver art – its historical, critical, and political engagement; its sites of cultural production; and its theoretical and practical intersection with technology or policy. Considering a selection of conditions, focuses, and resources within the community, Vancouver Art & Economies marks shifting ideologies and perspectives on art, politics, society, and capital in Vancouver.