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Naeem Mohaiemen / What Do We Need Art For?

Artist Naeem Mohaiemen is Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Head of Photography at Columbia University, New York. Combining photography, films, archives and essays he researches the many forms of utopia-dystopia that began with South Asia's postcolonial markers and evolved into unlikely transnational alliances and collisions.

As an answer to the question posed in this online forum, Naeem Mohaiemen shows his new film Against Regret (2021, 23 min). When a loved one is in their final days, tools of science can settle some hearts; others they leave adrift. The visual arts can offer a safe space to explore in ambiguous, inconclusive ways the complex questions of responsibility, choice, and free will.

Mohaiemen has shown his work extensively at exhibitions and film festivals around the world. In 2021 he had a large solo exhibition at Bildmuseet, curated by Katarina Pierre, where the new film work Jole Dobe Na (Those Wo Do Not Drown), commissioned by Bildmuseet and the Yokohama Triennale, was shown for the first time after its premiere in Japan. On show at Bildmuseet until 30 January 2020 is Mohaiemens film installation Two Meetings and a Funeral, commissioned for documenta 14, 2017.

What Do We Need Art For? / Programme 29–31 October 2021

Fri 29 Oct, 13:00 / Katarina Pierre, Umeå

Welcome by the director of Bildmuseet and host of the anniversary forum What Do We Need Art For?.

Fri 29 Oct, 14:00 / Katarina Pirak Sikku, Jokkmokk

Artist Katarina Pirak Sikku gives a personal account of art’s significance for herself and people around her.

Fri 29 Oct, 15:00 / Gavin Butt, Newcastle

Professor Gavin Butt considers the history of "art-pop" music and the world-making capacities of art today.

Fri 29 Oct, 16:00 / Stina Oscarson, Stockholm

Dramatist and writer Stina Oscarson talks about the importance of art in reminding us that we are human.

Fri 29 Oct, 17:00 / John Akomfrah, London

Artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah answers the posed question in conversation with director Katarina Pierre.

Sat 30 Oct, 13:00 / Cedric Nunn, Mangethe

South African photographer Cedric Nunn talks about the context in which he is a politically active artist.

Sat 30 Oct, 14:00 / Maria Lind, Moscow

Curator Maria Lind on contemporary art as a form of understanding and tool for relating to existence.

Sat 30 Oct, 15:00 / Sofia Jannok, Umeå, & Dennis Lyxzén, Vännäs

Musicians Sofia Jannok and Dennis Lyxzén on what art and culture have meant in their lives.

Sat 30 Oct, 16:00 / Tone Olaf Nielsen, Copenhagen

Curator Tone Olaf Nielsen discusses artistic and curatorial responses to the refugee crisis.

Sat 30 Oct, 17:00 / Jumana Emil Abboud, Jerusalem

Artist Jumana Emil Abboud performs a reading about walking in the Palestinian landscape.

Sun 31 Oct, 13:00 / Mats Caldeborg, Järnäsklubb

Artist Mats Caldeborg reflects on the significance of art and the human ability for abstract thinking.

Sun 31 Oct, 14:00 / Lars Strannegård, Stockholm

Professor and president Lars Strannegård on why art and culture become even more important in a digital world.

Sun 31 Oct, 15:00 / Grada Kilomba, Berlin

Artist Grada Kilomba gives her answer to the question posed in a conversation with director Katarina Pierre.

Sun 31 Oct, 16:00 / Antonia Alampi, Berlin

Curator and director Antonia Alampi addresses the multifaceted roles that art and cultural practices play.

Sun 31 Oct, 17:00 / Naeem Mohaiemen, New York

As his contribution to the online forum, Naeem Mohaimen shows us the new film work Against Regret (23 min).