Accented curated by Murtaza Vali at BRIC Rotunda Gallery

To download a PDF flier for the event click here:ACCENTED Press Release

Contact: Johanna Taylor
33 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
718.875.4047 x11,
high resolution images available upon request

BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn Presents ACCENTED
at BRIC Rotunda Gallery

Lori Ledis Emerging Curator Fellow Curates Exhibition About
Accents in Contemporary Culture

January 20, 2010, Brooklyn, NY – BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn is
pleased to present ACCENTED, a group exhibition curated by
Murtaza Vali, the winter 2010 recipient of the Lori Ledis
Curatorial Fellowship, a program that fosters emerging curatorial
talent in the field of contemporary art. ACCENTED is on view from
January 20 through March 6, 2010.

ACCENTED brings together recent work that examines the
different ways in which accents operate in our contemporary
moment, featuring artists Kamrooz Aram, Brendan Fernandes,
Miguel Luciano, Yamini Nayar, Angel Nevarez and Valerie

For an immigrant, his or her (native) accent, the aural trace of a
culture left behind, is a source of both pride and shame, of
belonging and exclusion. In Foe (2008), Brendan Fernandes
unpacks the idea that cultural authenticity might reside in one’s
accent; it shows Fernandes struggling to recite a passage from
J.M. Coetzee’s novel of the same name in the accents of his
various cultural backgrounds—India, Kenya and Canada. Angel
Nevarez & Valerie Tevere’s Touching From A Distance (2008)
shows a traditional Mariachi band performing their interpretation of
Joy Division’s Transmission (1979) in the Plaza de la Liberación in Guadalajara, México, revealing
that accents are not limited to language alone, but extend to music as well.

Accents appear in other, more visual cultural realms, notably in the imagination and articulation of
spaces and selves through interior furnishing and fashion. The carefully constructed miniature
interiors captured in Yamini Nayar’s photographs are accented spaces, cobbled together like words
or sentences from various material scraps. Perceptibly off-key, the familiar interior is rendered
uncanny through Nayar’s exacting use of accents—furniture, photographs, objects, wall and floor
patterns—the way language is rendered unfamiliar to native speakers through a foreigner’s accent.
Riffing on the bling culture of urban youth, Miguel Luciano’s platinum coated plantains celebrate this
stereotypical yet iconic symbol of Caribbean culture and a staple of its cuisine, transforming a
shameful residue of otherness into an unabashed celebration of difference, a precious fetish and
proud fashion accessory. But such metamorphoses are always deceptive, the shiny surface masking
the slow rot within.

Finally, Kamrooz Aram’s meticulous drawings—loosely based on 19th-century ethnological
photographs—use color and ornamentation to challenge their problematic sources. The classification
of native types practiced by colonial administrators relied greatly on photography’s early claims to
scientific objectivity. While Aram’s considerable draughtsmanship mimics photography’s realism his
various visual accents playfully unsettle its truth claims.

Despite the grand claims that globalization has expedited a gradual process of cultural homogeneity,
the works in this exhibition suggest that accents endure as unassimilable markers of difference. They
might fade slightly but they rarely disappear completely. They resist, remaining stubbornly present,
forcing us to adapt ourselves to their alterity.

In conjunction with ACCENTED, BRIC will continue Moving Wall | Pictures, a curated film and video
series, on Wednesday, February 17 at 7 pm with a screening of JOHN & JANE (dir. Ashim
Ahluwalia), an experimental documentary portrait of six call center workers in Mumbai, India. The film
will be followed by a dialogue between curator Murtaza Vali and Sukhdev Sandhu, chief film critic for
the London Daily Telegraph, professor of literature at New York University and author of Night
Haunts: A Journey Through the London Night.

Murtaza Vali is a Brooklyn- and Sharjah-based art critic and historian. A contributing editor at
ArtAsiaPacific, he co-edited the 2007 and 2008 editions of its year-end Almanac. His writing has also
appeared in Art India, ArtReview and Bidoun and he has recently written catalog essays on Reena
Saini Kallat and Emily Jacir.

Semi-annually, BRIC dedicates the Project Room at BRIC Rotunda Gallery and full staff support to
the Lori Ledis Curatorial Fellowship, which realizes the vision of an emerging curator selected
through a competitive process. The fellowship program is supported by family, friends, and
professional associates of Lori Ledis, a pioneering Brooklyn art dealer and music producer.

Located in Brooklyn Heights, BRIC Rotunda Gallery is a short walk from the 2,3; 4,5; M; or R trains at
Court Street/Borough Hall; or the A, C trains at High Street.

The gallery is open to the public free of charge from Tuesday through Saturday, 12 – 6 pm.

Events at the gallery are free to the public.

BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn is a multi-disciplinary arts and media non-profit dedicated to presenting
contemporary art, performing arts, and community media programs that are reflective of Brooklyn’s diverse
communities, and to providing resources and platforms to support the creative process. All of our offerings
are free or low cost, to enhance the public’s access to and understanding of arts and media. Each year,
upwards of a million people in Brooklyn and citywide are served through our programs.
BRIC’s contemporary art initiatives aim is to increase the visibility and accessibility of contemporary art
while bridging the gap between the art world and global culture in Brooklyn through exhibitions, public
events, and an innovative arts education program at BRIC Rotunda Gallery and around the borough.
BRIC acknowledges public funds for its contemporary art programs from the Institute of Museum and
Library Services; National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts; New York City
Department of Cultural Affairs; New York State Senators Velmanette Montgomery and Daniel Squadron;
New York State Assembly members Inez Barron, Hakeem Jeffries, Alec Brook-Krasny, and Joan Millman;
and New York City Council members Lewis Fidler, Vincent Gentile, Letitia James, Domenic M. Recchia,
Jr., Diana Reyna, Kendall Stewart, Al Vann, and David Yassky. Additional support provided by The Lily
Auchincloss Foundation; Robert Lehman Foundation; and TD Bank. The 2009–10 exhibition season is
supported in part by Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin, in addition to numerous individuals.

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