TrAIN Open Lecture | Leah Gordon and Nadine Zeidler | Ghetto Biennale

Open Lecture


TrAIN Open Lecture | Leah Gordon and Nadine Zeidler | Ghetto Biennale

The second edition of the Ghetto Biennale took place in November 2011 in Haiti. It was hosted once again by the Atis-Rezistans, the Sculptors of Grand Rue, who work and live in the slums of the red-zone in Port-au-Prince. This is referred to as, a Salon des Refusés for the 21st century, and it is an ambitious instance of marginalized artists seizing the initiative. They are asking the question ‘what happens when first world art rubs up against third world art. Does it bleed?’. That these artists have achieved visibility in the art world is due to their ability to take the structures that had excluded them, and deploy their strategies for their own ends. The Ghetto Biennale has, over its 2 installations, brought their work to the world’s attention without big budgets and big name artists.

UK based curator Leah Gordon, who pioneered the Biennale with the artists, and Nadine Zeidler, Assistant Curator at Nottingham Contemporary, discuss the Biennale, its impact, as well as different curatorial approaches and exhibitions featuring the work of Atis-Rezistans like the upcoming exhibitions of Haitian art at Nottingham Contemporary in 2012.
Leah Gordon’s film about Atis-Rezistans shot in 2008 will also be shown.

Leah Gordon Biography

Leah Gordon is a photographer, film-maker and curator and has produced a considerable body of work on the representational boundaries between art, religion, anthropology, post-colonialism and folk history. In 2006 she commissioned the Grand Rue Sculptors from Haiti to make ‘Freedom Sculpture’, a permanent exhibit for the International Museum of Slavery in Liverpool. Leah organized and co-curated the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince in 2009 and 2011. Her photography book ‘Kanaval: Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti’ was published in June 2010. Her photographic work registers Haiti’s juncture between its history, its cosmology and the present. Gordon is represented by Riflemaker Gallery, London.

Nadine Zeidler Biography

Nadine Zeidler is a curator and writer based in the UK and Berlin. She has been Assistant Curator at Nottingham Contemporary since 2010 where she was in charge of the exhibitions Jean Genet, DAAR, and where she currently works on the upcoming exhibition of Haitian Art. She is curating a group exhibition addressing concepts of thingness, animism and the agency of objects at Kraupa-Tuskany Gallery in Berlin in June 2012 including works of Grand Rue artists. At Kunstverein Munich and as a freelance curator she worked with artists like Allora & Calzadilla, Lutz Bacher, Duncan Campbell, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Latifa Echakhch, Liam Gillick, Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, Franz Erhard Walther and Akram Zaatari amongst others. Her writing has been published in exhibition catalogues, Frieze and Mousse.

This event is free and open to all but places are limited so please RSVP to the TrAIN Administrator, Nick(

Upcoming Open Lectures
Wednesday 23rd May – Speaker(s) TBC
Wednesday 6th June – Luis Camnitzer – Infography versus Geography

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    TrAIN Open Series

    The TrAIN Open series is a forum for invited speakers to present exhibition, publication, and research projects in the form of lectures, discussions and screenings.

    Taking place at fortnightly intervals on Wednesday evenings during the academic term, the series is open to the public, as well as staff and students across the University of the Arts London.
    Find out more about TrAIN Open Series

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    Dr Michael Asbury

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    I was born in Teresópolis, in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro, the son of British missionaries. After twenty years in Brazil I came to England to study engineering but fortunately to myself (and others) changed course and went on to complete an MA in The Study of Contemporary Art at Liverpool University and a PhD in the History and Theory of Art at The London Institute (now UAL).
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