Curators Announced for the 2nd Edition of The Immigrant Artist Biennial in 2023

14 october, 2021
Anna Mikaela Ekstrand, Bianca Abdi-Boragi, Katherine Adams, and Meghana Karnik. Photographed by Yann Chashanovski.

The Immigrant Artist Biennial (TIAB) announced the appointment of two members of TIAB 2020’s curatorial advisory, Katherine Adams and Anna Mikaela Ekstrand joined by TIAB 2020 artist Bianca Abdi-Boragi, and Meghana Karnik, formerly of EFA Project Space and FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, as co-curators of the 2nd edition of The Immigrant Artist Biennial in 2023.

This announcement comes nine months after the inaugural TIAB, held March-December 2020, that showcased over 60 artists at Brooklyn Museum, EFA ProjectSpace, Greenwood Cemetery, and online. Through exhibitions, performances, panel discussions, and two publications the TIAB 2020: Here, Together! celebrated marginalized voices, creating an important platform to support artists born outside but working in the U.S. while developing critical discourse on immigration. The second edition of TIAB extends its scope towards artists born to immigrants.

On her selection of the curatorial team, Katya Grokhovsky, Founding and Artistic Director of TIAB noted: “TIAB is both a flexible and fluid platform. The selected curators will bring their own unique multicultural perspectives and experiences to it, igniting and renewing a critical and necessary dialogue around art and immigration. The curators will highlight a broad variety of first and second-generation immigrant experiences in the U.S.”

The French-born artist Abdi-Boragi addresses the historical repercussions of post-colonialism, mechanisms of assimilation, and themes of trajectory, subsistence, gender, ideology, and autonomy in her artistic practice. As a first-generation Parisian raised by a North African Berber mother who was a refugee of the Algerian War of Independence and an American Syrian-Italian father, Abdi-Boragi has always felt the
push and pull of the multiple. Adams comes to TIAB with a strong interest in international law around immigration and a desire to create space for diverse im/migrant stories. In 2020 she was a selected participant of IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture’s 'Full Spectrum Curatorship' Program and a scholarship recipient for the Certificate Program of the New Centre for Research & Practice. Her work centers
on time-based media, performance, and expanded practices. Ekstrand is the founding editor-in-chief of Cultbytes. In 2020/21, she co-wrote two books Assuming Assymteries and Archeology of a Profession, Sternberg Press, one that presents socially engaged projects in public art, the other, feminist and collective curatorial practices in Sweden. She is born to a Guyanese mother who migrated to the U.S., U.K, and Sweden and is interested in migration that leads to more autonomy and legal agency for women. A curator, artist, and writer, Karnik organizes culturally responsive exhibitions and programs across modalities; most recently with FRONT International 2022, EFA Project Space, Harlan Levey Projects, and FCCA Prague. Born in the U.S., she is the child of a love marriage between South Indian immigrants of different ethnic communities and studies astrology as a practice of re-indigenization. Karnik joins TIAB wanting to broaden and deepen narratives of artists born to immigrants. The four curators will work collaboratively to stage TIAB 2023.

Integral parts of the TIAB 2020 team, Mary Annunziata, Development Manager at Access Now and an Independent Writer continues as a Curatorial Advisor and Grant Writer, and Alexandra Sullivan, an interdisciplinary artist, TIAB 2020’s Digital Manager will continue to contribute. Grokhovsky aims to foster TIAB as a responsive platform, commenting: “TIAB was officially launched and relaunched throughout 2020 and we had to meet the many unprecedented obstacles as a newly established project at the time of a global pandemic onset. I would like to see how the project develops in our new reality marked by environmental and ecological, migratory, and health crises while continuing to amplify the resilient, powerful, and bold voices of immigrant artists.”

Counteracting inequality and bias which is prevalent in the art world, TIAB is designed to attract a diverse audience that includes immigrant and multicultural communities. For its 2023 edition, the biennial will cultivate existing and develop new institutional and other partnerships. TIAB continues to be fiscally sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts and the director and her team will expand the biennial funding through a young patron circle with in-person events 2021-2022.

More information about the first Biennale of Immigrant Artists 2020 you can find at the following link.