Core Lecture Series online: Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Tirdad Zolghadr

Core Lecture Series online: Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Tirdad Zolghadr

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Walled Unwalled (video still), 2018. Courtesy of the artist. 

September 30, 2020
Core Lecture Series online: Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Tirdad Zolghadr
Core Program at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)
5101 Montrose Street
Houston, TX 77006

This fall, the Core Residency Program presents two livestreamed web lectures at

Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Thursday, October 8, 2020, noon central time

Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s interest in sound and its intersection with politics originates from his background as a touring musician and facilitator of DIY music. The artist’s audio investigations have been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and as advocacy for organizations such as Amnesty International and Defense for Children International, together with fellow researchers from the London-based Forensic Architecture multidisciplinary research group. His works are part of the collections at MoMA, Guggenheim, Van AbbeMuseum, Centre Pompidou, and Tate Modern.

Tirdad Zolghadr
Thursday, November 12, 2020, noon central time

Tirdad Zolghadr is a curator and writer. His most recent publication is the memoir-polemic Traction (Sternberg Press 2016), in which he suggests possibilities for a logic and a support structure within the world of contemporary art that lie “beyond the gravitational pull of business as usual.” Zolghadr is artistic director of the Summer Academy Paul Klee in Bern and associate curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. His curatorial work has included biennial settings as well as numerous long-term research-driven projects. The role of art and culture in urban development has been a concern throughout his work, from his documentary film Tehran 1380 (2001, with Solmaz Shahbazi), to his novel Softcore (Saqi 2005/KiWi 2008), to his collaboration with RIWAQ Palestine (2014–15).

Upcoming exhibition:

Rewrite the World, curated by Core critic-in-residence Ana Tuazon
On view December 3–February 14 in the Leslie and Brad Bucher Gallery, Glassell School of Art

Rewrite the World borrows its title from the writings of Paulo Freire, the late Brazilian philosopher and author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Freire believed that the world must not be regarded as a static entity, but rather as a “reality in process,” arguing that a liberatory model of education would understand dialogue itself as an act of world-building. The exhibition seeks to understand the pedagogical capacities of art through this lens, with work by Jamal Cyrus, Demian Dinéyazhi’, Newton and Helen Harrison, and Cecilia Vicuña. It also offers a selection of materials, available in both physical and digital formats, recently created by artists and activists to protest police brutality and honor Black lives. Engaging with histories of struggle from the 1970s to 2020, the exhibition explores how art-making intersects with other forms of producing and sharing knowledge, among them poetry, periodicals, maps, and zines. Formal interventions into the ways in which information is transmitted—and the very structure of language—begin to undo the fixity of a political order designed to control and suppress dialogue, inviting in the possibility of new, revolutionary ways of living and relating.

About the Core Program
The Core Program awards residencies to exceptional, highly motivated visual artists and critical writers who have completed their undergraduate or graduate training and are working to develop a sustainable practice. Established in 1982, the Core artist residencies encourage intensive and innovative studio practice; the Core critical studies residencies, added in 1998, provide an opportunity for writers to pursue independent curatorial and writing projects, broadening the scope of the critical dialogue that is central to the practices of all Core residents.

Residents participate in a yearlong seminar and engage with a wide range of distinguished artists, critics, curators, and art historians who are invited to meet individually with the residents, lead group seminars, and deliver public lectures. Recent program visitors have included Charles Gaines, Tania Bruguera, Huey Copeland, Stan Douglas, Helen Molesworth, Gerard Byrne, Kaja Silverman, Byron Kim, Stephanie Syjuco, Jack Halberstam, Anand Patwardhan, Sharon Hayes, and Hamza Walker. Residents receive a 20,000 USD stipend and 24-hour access to a private studio or office. Applications for the 2021–22 term open January 1 through Slideroom. For more information, see

The Core Program at the Glassell School of Art receives generous funding from The Joseph & Sylvia Slifka Foundation; The Powell Foundation; The Glassell Family Foundation; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Core fellowships have been underwritten by The Dickson-Allen Foundation; Mr. Brad Blume; Mr. and Mrs. Jamal H. Daniel; The Francis L. Lederer Foundation; McClain Gallery; Karen Pulaski; and The Arch and Stella Rowan Foundation, Inc.

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Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)
September 30, 2020

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