A Cultural Atlas: The Shifting Sands of Utopias  is a panorama of the intellectual history of the twentieth century. It reflects utopian and emancipatory intellectual artistic, political, ethical, and spiritual international networks, revisiting the intersection of modernism, art and revolution through radical aspirations of the twentieth century.

The cultural atlas traces a complex space of international modernity through which knowledge was exchanged across alternative (often non-European) plateaus. This process of global ‘reorientation’ takes us through a reconstruction of the gaze – subverting the single ‘reading’ of West to East into a more cyclical model, engaging in cultural, philosophical and political negotiations from East to East, East to West, South to East, South to South – constructing a panoramic exchange of global philosophical and artistic discourse.

Installation photograph from ‘A Utopian Stage’ at Dhaka Art Summit ’18. Courtesy of DAS ’18 and Archaeology of the Final Decade

The interactive and ongoing cultural atlas conjures afragmented history of the long twentieth century through the ambitions and contradictions of countless utopian universalist episodes and ideals: transcendental internationalisms; radical liberations; emancipating solidarities.

By the middle of the last century, the demise of the old European empires revealed a new horizon of opportunities and encounters for people and cultures across the world. The atlas serves as an evocation of the constantly evolving dreams and possibilities that emerged and dissolved during the period.

Intending to be a living object the cultural atlas mutates with each re-instalment. It remains a deliberately unfixed, unfinished and unstable process – like the ideas and connections it conjures – intending to be animated by the spaces that it arrives in. To that effect, the cultural atlas is a live object. Audiences are encouraged to interrupt, intercept and shape the colour and tone of its evolution, and to expand its cosmos by proposing new links and initiating new constellations, unearthing the shifting sites of utopias across the twentieth century, based on their local context and experience.


A selection of recent projects:

Asia Culture Centre
Gwangju | 13 May – 25 October 2020
Part of the Solidarity Spores exhibition, co-curated by Bojana Piškur; Vali Mahlouji / Archaeology of the Final Decade; Seonghee Kim; Sulki and Min / Tetsuya Goto; Dongjin Seo; and Sungwon Kim

The Shifting Sands of Utopias, on display at ACC Gwangju, Korea

SAVVY Contemporary
Berlin | 24 March – 28 April 2019
An exhibition in three acts: Act I: A Cultural Atlas: The Shifting Sands of Utopias; Act II: The Excavated Archives: Shiraz-Persepolis; Act III: Invocations (a series of contemporary debates, lectures, concerts and performances responding to the Cultural Atlas.

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Moscow | 6 March – 26 May 2019
Exhibited in conjunction with the exhibition Rasheed Araeen. A Retrospective.

Dhaka Art Summit ’18
Dhaka | 2 – 10 February 2018
An exhibition and contemporary performance and film programme presented in four zones:
Zone 1: A Cultural Atlas: beyond the bounds on the other side; Zone 2: thrust open the heavens and start anew; Excavated Archive: Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis; Zone 3: to be free is to lose sight of the shore – Film Programme; Zone 4: below the levels where differences appear – Performance Programme.

‘A Utopian Stage’ on the opening day at Dhaka Art Summit ’18

15th May 2020