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Research Network: Global Re-Visions

Talk The Art of Un-belonging Deniz Sözen and Sarat Maharaj

29 Oct 2020
  • Venue


  • Time


  • Admission

    Free, booking required

  • Artists

    Sarat Maharaj

Join us for an artist talk with Deniz Sözen and Sarat Maharaj, departing from Deniz’s practice-based research ‘The Art of Un-belonging’. The research sets out to investigate and develop artistic strategies that challenge conventional notions of belonging and difference in the context of globalisation and diasporic art. Un-doing a binary conception of belonging, the research aims to shift the Eurocentric imaginary, which has been shaped by dualisms such as self and Other, mind and body, culture and nature, etc.

Taking her own practice and position as a diasporic artist as point of departure, Deniz seeks to formulate a critical response to the tendency in the arts to frame artists as representatives of a specific culture, nation, ethnicity or region, challenging essentialist conceptions of race, culture, ethnicity, and nationality. What strategies could diasporic and postcolonial artists use to challenge binary thinking and engage (more) critically with the notion of belonging and identity?

The presentation will take the format of an artist talk and include a screening of moving-image artworks and audio sequences, followed by a conversation with Sarat Maharaj.


Deniz Sözen studied Fine Art in Vienna and London and recently completed a practice based PhD at CREAM (Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media), University of Westminster. Her works have been shown in various contexts internationally. Recent exhibitions include ‘The Moon Museum’ at MAC Birmingham (2019), ‘Hyphen’ at Ambika P3 in London (2019), ‘The Art of Un-belonging’ (solo) at London Gallery West (2018), and ‘ResponseABILITY’ at < rotor > center for contemporary art in Graz (2018). Deniz has received numerous awards and residencies, including, ‘West Balkan Calling’, Public ROOM Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (2016), the MAK Schindler scholarship Los Angeles (2013/14), Cité des arts in Paris (2014), the CREAM research scholarship (2014-2017) and the Marianne.von.Willemer.Prize for digital media (Ars Electronica Center, 2014). Her video installation ‘Surya Namaz’ was nominated for the 2019 BAFTSS Practice Awards. Deniz has taught and held workshops at art colleges internationally.

Sarat Maharaj (South Africa/United Kingdom) is Professor of Visual Art & Knowledge Systems, Lund University/Malmo Art Academy, Sweden—and Research Professor, Goldsmiths University of London where he was Professor of Art History and Theory (1980-2005). He was Rudolf Arnheim Professor, Philosophy Faculty, Humboldt University, Berlin (2001-02) and Fine Art Research Fellow at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht (1999-2001). He was Stedelijk Fellow 2018 at University of Amsterdam/RKD, Art History Institute, Den Hague/Stedelijk Museum and is Visiting Fellow, Antwerpen Academy of Art, 2020.

His specialist research and publications focus on Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce and Richard Hamilton. His writing covers: Monkeydoodle — ‘thinking through art practice’, Visual Art as Know-How and No-How, Textiles, Xeno-Sonics and Xeno-Epistemics – ‘thinking the other and other ways of thinking’; Cultural Translation, ‘dirty cosmopolitanism’, North/South divisions of work, manufacture and ‘creative labour’.

Image: Deniz Sözen, Surya Namaz (2018), film still.