Marwa Arsanios: Who Is Afraid of Ideology?

Marwa Arsanios: Who Is Afraid of Ideology?

Blenheim Walk Gallery at Leeds Arts University

Marwa Arsanios, Who Is Afraid of Ideology? Part 3: Micro Resistencias (still), 2020. Video. Courtesy of the artist and mor charpentier.


July 18, 2022
Marwa Arsanios
Who Is Afraid of Ideology?
April 29–July 23, 2022
Blenheim Walk Gallery at Leeds Arts University
Blenheim Walk
Leeds LS2 9AQ
United Kingdom
Hours: Monday–Saturday 10am–4pm

T +44 113 202 8000
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Leeds Arts University is pleased to reopen the doors to the Blenheim Walk Gallery with an exhibition by artist, filmmaker and researcher Marwa Arsanios. The exhibition Who Is Afraid of Ideology? brings together the complete film quadrilogy alongside a tapestry piece in this timely exhibition of Marwa Arsanios’ critical practice.

Taking a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to research and filmmaking, Arsanios confronts long-established political and socioeconomic systems of oppression and exploitation by portraying alternative ways of living in harmony with nature. Women’s lived experiences and anti-colonial struggles marked by collectivism, care and self-defence become an example for wider social and political change.

In Part 1 (2017) & Part 2 (2019) of Who Is Afraid of Ideology?, Arsanios addresses forms of self-governance and knowledge production that have emerged from the Kurdish autonomous women’s movement. Part 3: Micro Resistencias (2020), takes place in Tolima, Colombia, and focuses on the current systemic war led by transnational corporations against the tiniest and most essential aspect of life: seeds. The last film in this quadrilogy, Part 4: A Letter Inside a Letter (2021–ongoing), examines the issues of inheritance, ownership, property and value through questioning the neoliberal politics of visibility and invisibility. This is a preview of the film that has just premiered at Documenta 15. 

Who Is Afraid of Ideology? is the first exhibition to be held in the University’s gallery in over two years after it was forced to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Marwa Arsanios was born in Washington DC, USA in 1978. She currently lives and works between Berlin and Beirut. Arsanios is an artist, filmmaker, and researcher who reconsiders mid-twentieth-century politics from a contemporary perspective, with a particular focus on gender relations, spatial practices, and land struggles. She looks at histories of resistances in their contemporary resonance. Arsanios approaches research collaboratively and seeks to work across disciplines. She is the co-founder of the Research Project 98weeks.

Arsanios has shown in solo and group exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2021); Berlin Biennale (2020); Warsaw Biennial (2019); Sharjah Biennial (2019); Gwangju Biennial (2018); Luleå Biennial (2018); Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana (2018); Beirut Art Center (2017); From Ear to Ear to Eye, Nottingham Contemporary (2017); Home Return, MAXXI, Rome (2017); HERE AND NOW, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2016); Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2015); Art in General, New York (2015); Thessaloniki Biennial (2015); Home Works Forum, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2010, 2013, 2015); Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York (2014); 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Meeting Points 7—Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks, M HKA, Antwerp (2013); and 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011), among others. Screenings of her videos have taken place at the CPH:DOX – Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (2018), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2011, 2017); Berlinale (2010, 2015). Arsanios was a researcher in the Fine Art Department at the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2010–12). She is currently a PhD candidate at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna. 

Leeds Arts University
Founded in 1846 as the Leeds Government School of Art and Design, Leeds Arts University has contributed significantly to the development of art education in Britain and across the world. In 2016 the University was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers, and in 2017 was awarded full university status, making it the only specialist arts university in the North of England.

Leeds Arts University has been recognised for its industry-standard facilities at the Whatuni awards (winners in 2019 and 2016, runner up in 2020), and was announced winner for Student Support in 2020. In 2021 Leeds Arts University appointed acclaimed musician Skin to the role of Chancellor.

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Blenheim Walk Gallery at Leeds Arts University
July 18, 2022

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