identityXI POST CONFLICT - curated by Bradley McCallum-

identityXI POST CONFLICT - curated by Bradley McCallum-

2015 3.6 - 4.18

Opening reception:
3.6 Fri. 18:00 - 20:00

Press Release

Place: nca | nichido contemporary art
Date: March 6th (Fri.) – April 18th (Sat.), 2015
Opening hours: Tue. – Sat. 11:00 – 19:00 / Closed on Sun., Mon. and National Holidays
Reception: March 6th (Fri.) 18:00 – 20:00 *Bradley McCallum will attend the opening.
A special talk with Motoo Noguchi with Bradley McCallum : March 6th 19:00 –

nca | nichido contemporary art is delighted to announce its eleventh group exhibition entitled, “identity XI.” The exhibition is curated by nca artist Bradley McCallum and explores the theme of identity and conflict in politically charged situations. McCallum brings together thought-provoking works by international artists that challenge us to examine issues of accountability and prompts us to consider how art might serve as a catalyst for social-political awareness and critical response. The exhibition features the art of Ai Weiwei, Han Ishu, Jenny Holzer, Pieter Hugo, McCallum & Tarry, Lana Mesić, Richard Mosse, Daapo Reo and Creative Court.



The context for this exhibition is shaped by my work as the Artist in Residence at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and my role in defining and directing the long-term mission of the Coalition's Arts Initiative which aims to engage artists in fresh conversations about questions of international justice. In my own project with the CICC, I examine cases brought before the International Criminal Court concerning individuals accused of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity as well as those working to end impunity. For instance, even as criminals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are being tried at the International Criminal Court, the underlying conflict continues.

'Post-conflict' is a term used in international recovery and justice communities to mark the end of a conflict and the beginning of a new period of development aid, reconstruction, and accountability. But the duration of time that marks the 'post' of the conflict is variable and fragile and involves multiple challenges-ranging from transitional justice issues to rebuilding civil society. While the problems, regions, politics and the points in time are all variable, the power of art to address incomprehensible human abuse, treat injustice as moments of self-examination, and focus our attention in visual and poetic ways remains constant.

The exhibition highlights the different ways artists have responded to situations of extreme conflict, abuse of power, and international engagement. Some of the artist have long been committed to politically engaged work while others address a single instance of abuse. Some question the role of a nation, while others examine the more personal forces of forgiveness and reconciliation.

CREATIVE COURT's series 'Africans and Hague Justice' was composed in 2014 to reflect on perspectives and realities of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The work of several prominent African cartoonists is represented in this collection, among them are GADO (Tanzania), Victor Ndula (Kenya), Brandan Reynolds (South Africa), and GLEZ (Burkina Faso/France). Some cartoons poke at indicted leaders, others reflect on the position of witnesses on the stand and question the ethics of the ICC. Published in prominent newspapers, the cartoons are an influential source of information for the general public in Africa and abroad. As GADO says, "Satire is a serious business."
Creative Court is an organization at the interface of art and global justice, based in The Hague.

JENNY HOLZER negotiates the political landscape after 9/11 and traces the debate over covert operations, ghost detainees, prisoner abuse, and war tragedies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay through the directives, emails, and testimonies of policy makers, soldiers, and prisoners. Her portraits of Guantanamo Bay detainees, rendered through enlarged silk-screen paintings of declassified documents, detail prisoner abuse. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Waterboarding, Geneva Conventions--the subject of torture leads quickly to an examination of morality, civic responsibility, and issues of representation. Her paintings lend tactility to documents often unseen and offer visibility to hidden pasts and a masked present.

Twenty years after the genocide in Rwanda, some victims say that they have forgiven their perpetrators. Photographers PIETER HUGO and LANA MESIĆ travelled to Rwanda in early 2014 to visualize their forgiveness. The series, Rwanda 20 Years: Portraits of Reconciliation, was commissioned by Creative Court, an organization at the interface of art and global justice, based in The Hague. Mesić and Hugo and encountered various sides to forgiveness and captured different relationships between people who forgave each other. "In the photographs," Hugo said in an interview for The New York Times, "the distance or closeness you see is pretty accurate." In addition to the portraits, Mesić developed a reflective concept on forgiveness by trying to visualize the process of forgiveness as well as her own poetic perception of the post-conflict situation. "The people I photograph are gentle, soft-spoken," she states, "They feel like paper, so fragile. Not broken. Their taciturn hearts still beating. I wanted to literally transform the weight of history they carry into sacks, bananas, jerry cans, big balls of green grass. Because then putting the weight down and walking away would be a much easier task."

Throughout 2012, RICHARD MOSSE and his collaborators travelled in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, infiltrating armed rebel groups in a war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres and systematic sexual violence. His most recent Infra series captures the ongoing war between rebel factions and the Congolese national army in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Infra series is marked by Mosse's use of Kodak Aerochrome resulting in the lush Congolese rainforest rendered into a beautifully surreal landscape of pinks and reds. Mosse said in an interview with The British Journal of Photography, "I wanted to export this technology to a harder situation, to up-end the generic conventions of calcified mass-media narratives and challenge the way we're allowed to represent this forgotten conflict… I wanted to confront this military reconnaissance technology, to use it reflexively in order to question the ways in which war photography is constructed."

DAAPO REO is a video artist interested in the discourse that surrounds the itinerant experience of African immigrants. His works investigate the events and cultural circumstances that create identity disputes. They aim to move the stories he reveals from the periphery to the center, as a way to confront traditional structures and break religious and social conditionings through the exposure of the existence of oppressed and silenced voices.

HAN ISHU is a conceptual artists working mainly with video and photography. His work questions the notion of belongingness, civic duty, and how such notions influence our voices as individuals. In Han’s video practice, he uses his own body and migration history to explore notions of ‘identity’. He explores how people of different nationalities, races, ethnicities and cultures coexist, and investigates the ways in which identities are retained through memory, culture, history, and geography.
Bradley McCallum


Bradley McCallum
Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin and trained at Virginia Commonwealth University (BFA, 1989) and Yale University (MFA, 1992). He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, since 1997.
McCallum's installations embody the silenced lives of individuals and the disempowerment of communities. Representational in form yet open to interpretation, his work serves as testimonies on behalf of victims and perpetrators. McCallum creates collective social portraits and works in close collaboration with a team of researchers, assistants, production specialists and the communities to which his work refers. He challenges audiences by activating them in an examination of notions of human rights, democracy and truths about the violence, alienation, and inhumanity that underlie countless aspects of social interaction in present-day society.
In addition to his solo practice, McCallum is part of the collaborative art duo McCallum & Tarry since 1999. Together they emphasize personal and racial histories to address larger issues of race, justice and social exclusion in the United States. Their collaborative work is often large-scale and site-specific, and relies on civic advocacy to confront and make connections with local communities. Their works range from video, paintings and performance, to sculpture and installations.

Motoo Noguchi
Born in 1961 in Tokyo. Held various professional positions in the area of domestic and international criminal justice since 1985, including prosecutor in Japan, counsel at the Asian Development Bank, professor at the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute, attorney at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Legal Affairs Bureau, the UN international judge of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge Trials (2006-12), Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims at the International Criminal Court (2012-). Visiting fellow at Yale Law School Schell Center for International Human Rights (2007-08), visiting professor at the University of Tokyo (2009-).

Support: Taguchi Art Collection, MISA SHIN Gallery

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