Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts



Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts has selected Taraneh Fazeli as its 2018 Curator-in-Residence. From January–December Fazeli will participate in Bemis Center's Residency Program, serve as a professional resource to Bemis Center artists-in-residence and the Greater Omaha arts community, and organize exhibitions and public programs at Bemis Center.

Fazeli is a curator, educator, editor, and researcher from New York, NY. Her practice, emerging from institutional critique and radical pedagogy, engages art as a site for prefigurative politics, critical discourse, and somatic healing.

For the past fifteen years she has investigated what it means to do institutional critique from within arts organizations, be it as Managing Director of the meta-institution e-flux or when re-imagining long-form arts publishing online as a Contributing Editor to Triple Canopy. Building on this, during her time at The New Museum for Contemporary Art she worked on new forms of exhibitions, events, seminars, and residencies that enable artistic production to be co-constituted with publics and practitioners from other disciplines. Subsequently, as a freelance curator, she’s continued organizing configurations of objects and experiences to explore the relationships of groups, bodies, and objects within various social and political systems and institutional bodies.

She was most recently a 2017 Curator-in-Residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, Netherlands and a 2015-17 Critic-in-Residence at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Core Residency Program. She has taught at the City College of New York and has been a visiting critic and guest lecturer at schools and arts residencies. She studied art at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, NYC, and sociology at CUNY Graduate Center, NYC. Fazeli is a member of Canaries, a group of people with autoimmune conditions, and Pedagogy Group, a collective of socially engaged art educators.

During her year-long residency at Bemis, she will curate three exhibitions, the first of which will be a version of Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying, which first took place at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts–Project Space (EFA), New York, NY from March 31–May 13, 2017. (Note: “Crip” is a political reclaiming of the derogatory label cripple.) The artists in this exhibition, through artworks and practices with care-focused groups, examine how support for the body in states of illness, rest, and disability prompts us to re-imagine collectivity as existence under capitalism and interwoven forces of oppression becomes impossible.

The exhibition at EFA had an associated program series, The Warp and Weft of Care, which occurred as a dialogue between artists and communities of care in different contexts, with some events at EFA and others at Lawndale Art Center, Project Row Houses, and various locations in Houston. Groups involved were focused on the health of communities disproportionately facing violence and the program’s engagements drew from a long history of feminist, indigenous, black, and queer art that investigates how trauma gets held and expressed through collective rituals and shared somatic experiences. In Omaha, the groups involved will cut a wider swath, again including those for whom it is clear that their wellbeing is intertwined with that of others and are already invested in building alternative systems of support. Additionally, groups of people that might operate under the belief that interdependency is only for those without enough resources to be independent and illness is an impediment to personal freedom will also be included.

Considering Fazeli’s history working to foster dialogue and an exchange of resources between contexts—geographic, institutional, social, disciplinary—we look forward to seeing how her programs will add to Greater Omaha, in the arts and beyond.

The 2018 Curator-in-Residence program is made possible by Carol Gendler and the Mammel Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Fazeli was selected from a national pool of 59 applicants. All applications were reviewed by a five-person panel including Karin Campbell, Phil Willson Curator of Contemporary Art, Joslyn Museum, Omaha, NE; Chris Cook, Executive Director, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE; Alex Priest, Exhibitions Manager, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE; Risa Puleo, Independent Curator and 2017 Curator-in-Residence, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE; April Watson, Curator, Photography, Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO. 

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 South 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
Admission and Parking: FREE
Phone:: 402.341.7130