Night Watch with Shimon Attie

Presented by Berkeley Arts + Design, the Department of Art Practice, and the Headlands Center for the Arts.

Shimon Attie has created a variety of site-specific media installations in sites of urgent political conflict. In this talk, starting with his seminal The Writing on the Wall—a series of projections in Berlin’s former Jewish quarter—Attie shares the central ideas of his earliest experiments. He goes on to consider the formal and political stakes of truth, diaspora, and geography in works such as Facts on the Ground, a series of site-specific installations and accompanying photographs realized across Israel and Palestine; The Crossing, an eight-minute film made with seven Syrian refugees who had recently arrived in Europe; and Lost in Space (After Huck), an immersive mixed media installation created for the St. Louis Art Museum; Night Watch, a floating media installation on the ethics of political asylum; and his upcoming installation Truth Is Flexible.

Shimon Attie is a Berkeley alum and an internationally renowned visual artist. In many of his projects, he has a used a variety of media to animate sites with images of their lost histories or speculative futures, introducing the histories and narratives of marginalized and/or forgotten communities into the physical landscape of the present. In creating his works, Attie often engages local communities in finding new ways of representing their history, memory, and potential futures, and explores how contemporary media may be used to reimagine new relationships between space, time, place, and identity. Attie’s work has been exhibited and collected by numerous museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; National Gallery, Washington, DC; ICA, Boston; and Miami Art Museum, among many others. In addition, he has received numerous visual artist fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize, and a Visual Artist Fellowship from Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute.