Kristina Lee Podesva

Kristina Lee Podesva is an artist, writer, and curator based in Vancouver. She is the founder of colourschool, a free school within a school dedicated to the speculative and collaborative study of five colours (white, black, red, yellow, and brown) and co-founder of Cornershop Projects, an open framework for engaging with economic exchange. She is also Co-editor at the Fillip Review.


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

    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)

    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.


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


    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

  • Judgment and Contemporary Art Criticism Sessions

    March 7–March 28, 2009

    March 7, 1pm

    Architect, writer, and curator Markus Miessen (Berlin), Amy Zion, and Kristina Lee Podesva will discuss architecture as political practice and the nightmare of participation. Miessen’s talk is supported through the Emily Carr University Student Symposium.

    March 14, 1pm

    Following up on a keynote address by critic/curator Tirdad Zolghadr, we are pleased to screen the film A Crime Against Art (Hila Peleg, 2007). Based on a trial staged at ARCO, Madrid, the film casts Zolghadr and Anton Vidokle as the defendants in a mock trial on a number of polemical issues in the world of contemporary art. This screening is presented with generosity from e-flux, New York.

    March 21, 1pm

    Curator Jo-Anne Birnie-Danzker (Vancouver/Munich) and Jordan Strom will discuss Birnie-Danzker’s curatorial experiences in Vancouver in the seventies and eighties, and, more recently, in Europe and Asia.

    March 28, 1pm

    For the final event, join us for an open discussion with critic Sven Lutticken (Utrecht). Joining us via Skype, Lutticken will discuss ways of navigating critical judgment within the spaces of contemporary art writing.


  • Judgment and Contemporary Art Criticism

    JCAC front
    JCAC spine
    JCAC back

    Title: Judgment and Contemporary Art Criticism
    Writers: Jeff Derksen, Diedrich Diederichsen, James Elkins, Maria Fusco, Sven Lutticken, Tom Morton, Kristina Lee Podesva, William Wood, Tirdad Zolghadr
    Editor: Jeff Khonsary, Melanie O’Brian
    Category: Criticism
    Design: The Future
    Printer: DieKeure, Belgium
    Publisher: Artspeak, Fillip Editions
    Year published: 2010
    Edition: 1000
    Pages: 176pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: Edge painting, green
    Weight: 159 g
    Dimensions: 19 x 11.5 x 1.5 cm
    ISBN: 978-0-9738133-6-4
    Price: $20 CDN

    Artspeak and Fillip are pleased to launch Judgment and Contemporary Art Criticism. The result of a public forum and reading room (held in 2009 at Emily Carr University and at Artspeak respectively) that investigated the role of valuation art criticism, this publication features commissioned texts by forum presenters and respondents: Jeff Derksen, Diedrich Diederichsen, James Elkins, Maria Fusco, Sven Lütticken, Tom Morton, Kristina Lee Podesva, William Wood and Tirdad Zolghadr. Examining the efficacy and function of art criticism, the publication focuses on the role of judgment in contemporary art writing and includes transcriptions from forum discussions with the Vancouver audience.

    Co–edited by Jeff Khonsary and Melanie O’Brian and co–published by Artspeak and Fillip. The book is distributed by Motto Distribution, Berlin and available directly from Artspeak and Fillip.

    Choose Shipping Option