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Conversations · Exhibition-Related

Spaceship Skype Session: On Ruti Sela, with Vít Havránek and Joshua Simon

Cover Image:

“Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module,” 2014. Exhibition View: New Museum. Photo: Jesse Untracht-Oakner

The Spaceship Skype Sessions are a series of talks held in the Fifth Floor gallery during the run of “Report on the Construction of the Spaceship Module,” an exhibition guest curated for the New Museum by The sessions involve in-person participants in conversation with remote respondents, dialed in via Skype. Within the exhibition’s simulated interior of a spaceship, the dialogues mimic the experience of an astronaut calling Earth while on an outer space expedition.

The provocative and profound artistic practice of Ruti Sela includes video and performance, which explores how broad ideologies, like nationalism or liberation philosophy, is internalized and acted out. On the occasion of her upcoming solo show at MoBY, Museums of Bat Yam outside Tel Aviv, Director Vít Havránek and curator Joshua Simon will copublish Sela’s first monograph. For this Skype session, Havránek will mediate a conversation with both Simon and Sela on her work and collaborative project “Exterritory” (with artist Maayan Amir).

Ruti Sela teaches at the Haifa University Avni Institute of Art and Design and at the Midrasha Art School. She has received a number of prizes and scholarships, among them the Anselm Kiefer prize. Her work has been shown internationally at various exhibitions and venues, including the Sydney Biennial (2006), Istanbul Biennial (2009), Berlin Biennial (2010), Manifesta 8 (2010), Israel Museum, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Art in General, New York, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tate Modern, London, and Jeu de Paume, Paris. In 2009, she initiated, together with Maayan Amir, the “Exterritory Project,” for which they won a Young Artist Award from the the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Joshua Simon is Director and Chief Curator at MoBY, Museums of Bat Yam. He is Cofounding Editor of Maayan Magazine for literature, poetry, and ideas, Maarvon (Western)New Film Magazine, and the New & Bad Art Magazine, all based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Recent exhibitions include “ReCoCo – Life Under Representational Regimes” (co-curated with Siri Peyer) and “Goods” (co-curated with Liz Hagag). Simon is a 2011–13 fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, the New School, New York, and a PhD candidate at the Curatorial/Knowledge program at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the Editor of Solution 196-213: United States of Palestine-Israel (Sternberg Press, 2011) and author of Neomaterialism (Sternberg Press, 2013).


Exhibition funding

The presentation of “tranzit: Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module” is made possible through a partnership with

Additional support provided by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.
Artist travel is provided, in part, by the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Additional support for artist travel has been provided in part by Balassi Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center and the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania.

Museum as Hub FUNDING

Museum as Hub is made possible by

Artist residencies are made possible by

Support for Museum as Hub and public programs is provided, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support for artist residencies is made possible by Laurie Wolfert.

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David B. Heller & Hermine Riegerl Heller.

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