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Tirdad Zolghadr

Tirdad Zolghadr is a curator and writer. Currently he is artistic director of the Summer Academy Paul Klee in Bern and associate curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. Zolghadr also teaches at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem.

As an Academic Visitor to the Ruskin School of Art, over the course of 2016-17, Zolghadr has benefited from both the peer network as well as the extensive library and archival infrastructure to finalize his most recent publication, Traction: an applied and polemical attempt to locate contemporary art - published by Sternberg Press Berlin 2016. The book argues that contemporary art is defined by a moral economy of indeterminacy that allows curators and artists to imagine themselves on the other side of power. This self-positioning, in turn, leaves us politically bankrupt, intellectually stagnant, and aesthetically predictable. In this memoir-polemic, Zolghadr candidly reflects on his own experiences and the work of others but also also drafts possibilities for a logic and a support structure that can offer some purchase of their own, beyond the gravitational pull of business as usual.