Assoc. Prof. Dr. BASAK SENOVA
University of Applied Arts Vienna
Basak Senova is a curator and designer. She studied Literature and Graphic Design (MFA in Graphic Design and PhD in Art, Design, and Architecture at Bilkent University), and attended the 7th Curatorial Training Programme of Stichting De Appel, Amsterdam. As an assistant professor, she lectured at various universities in Turkey. In 2017, she received her Associate Professorship from the Higher Education Council of Turkey, and a resident fellowship at the University of the Arts, Helsinki, in co-operation with HIAP. From 2020 to 2022, she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, running a research-based educational platform “the Octopus Programme”. She holds a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher position at the University of Applied Arts Vienna with her PEEK project, awarded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
Senova has been writing on art, technology, and media, initiating and developing projects and curating exhibitions since 1995. She is one of the founding members of NOMAD and the organizer of the “ctrl_alt_del” sound art project and “Upgrade!Istanbul”. She was the editor of art-ist 6, Kontrol Online Magazine, Lapses book series, UNCOVERED, Aftermath, Obje’ct: Yane Calovski, The Move, The Translation, Scientific Inquiries, Cultural Massacre, Ahmet Elhan—Ground Glass, Lines of Passage (in medias res), The Discord: Benji Boyadgian, Shadow Optics, CrossSections: Processing Artistic and Curatorial Research and Silent Activism among other publications. Senova is the Turkish correspondent of Flash Art International and was one of the editorial correspondents of ibraaz.org (2012-2016). She is on the editorial board of PASS, the International Biennial Association’s (IBA) journal.
Senova acted as an advisory board member of the Turkish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the Istanbul Biennial, and the Biennial of Contemporary Art, D-0 ARK Underground in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She curated the Zorlu Center Collection for two years (2011—2012) while also acting as the editor of its publications.
Senova was the curator of the Pavilion of Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennale. She co-curated the UNCOVERED project (Cyprus, 2011—2013); and the 2nd and 5th Biennial of Contemporary Art, D-O ARK Underground (Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013 and 2019). She acted as the Art Gallery Chair of (ACM) SIGGRAPH 2014 (Vancouver), the curator of the Helsinki Photography Biennial 2014, and the Jerusalem Show VII: Fractures (2014). In 2015, she curated the Pavilion of North Macedonia at the 56th Venice Biennale; in 2016, Lines of Passage (in medias res) Exhibition in Lesvos; and in 2019, the inaugural exhibition of B7L9, Climbing Through the Tide in Tunis. Between 2017-2019, she worked on CrossSections, a research/process-based art project, and curated five groups and three solo exhibitions in the context of the project in Vienna, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Rome in 2018 and 2019. In 2022, she concluded the Octopus Programme with two exhibitions that took place in Tunis and Vienna. In 2022, her Arts-based Research (PEEK) project Atlas (of Creative Mechanisms): [Curating-Conducting] was awarded by the FWF Austrian Science Fund (2022-2026).
Prof. Dr. JOHAN THOM
University of Pretoria
Thom is a Senior lecturer and Coordinator for Fine Art and Postgraduate studies in Fine Art, University of Pretoria. In 2014, he completed a PhD in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art (UCL) on a Commonwealth scholarship.
Thom is a key figure in performance art in South Africa and his works have been shown at such venues as The Tate London and the Venice Biennale. He works across a variety of media including sculpture; video; performance; drawing; printmaking and photography. From a broader focus on the body in his earlier work Thom’s interest have gradually shifted to a more specific exploration of the material relationship between the body and found objects. For example in ‘The Animal Series’ (2013) Thom explores his body’s relationship to an African elephant skull. In other artworks he engages with pencils, fishing gut, soil, gold, broken glass and oil amongst others. More recently Thom created a series of sculptural works in builders foam drawn from a cast of a 19th century French ceramic of Faustus and exhibited as a solo exhibition ‘The devil made me do it’ at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg 2015. Solo exhibitions include The Goodman Gallery (2015), Nirox Project space (2014), Iwalewa Haus (2010), the Johannesburg Art Gallery (2008) and the Bag Factory (2008), amongst others. His works have also been included in group exhibitions at the Venice Biennale (2003), the Canary Islands Biennale (2006), and at the Palazzo delle Papesse (2008).
He is an active presence in the art research community and has participated in conferences and workshops at the University of Pretoria (2013/14 & 15) Documenta 13 (2012), the University of Cambridge (2009), GradCam in Dublin (2010), the Finnish Academy of Fine Art (2010), the Slade School of Fine Art (2010, 2011, 2012), ‘Real Presence’ at the Venice Biennale (2005), the University of Bayreuth (2010) and elsewhere.
Thom has curated several large-scale exhibitions including The Potchefstroom National Arts Festival (2016-2019) and most recently, ‘New World Order’ for the Turbine Art Fair (2020), a survey of South African artists working in academia.
Centre for Less Good Idea, Johannesburg
Bronwyn Lace works primarily in site specific installation, sculpture and performance and participates in national and international projects focusing on the relationships between art and other fields, including Physics, Museum Practice and Education. From 2006-2010, she ran the About Art education and exhibition programme at The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios. She currently sits on the board of the David and Goliath Foundation and is the director for the Centre For the Less Good Idea, established by William Kentridge.
Dr. AVITHA SOOFUL
University of Pretoria
Sooful is a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator for Undergraduate studies in Fine Art at the University of Pretoria South Africa. She is an established artist-researcher with a particular focus on the history and marginalization of black female artists and women during apartheid. Sooful is the National president for the South African National Association for Visual Arts (SANAVA), among others.
University of Applied Arts Vienna
Kurbak is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and runs the FWF Elise-Richter-PEEK project titled The Museum of Lost Technology. She is currently also Visiting Professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Department of Textiles – Free, Applied and Experimental Artistic Design.