On Friday the 8th and Saturday the 9th of March 2024 we will host the final conference for the Horizon 2020 Network Research project The Future of European Independent Art Spaces in a Period of Socially Engaged Art (FEINART) at Edinburgh College of Art. On March 8, we focus on projects developed by our 11 Early Stage Researchers within the broader research. On March 9, we are discussing key issues, prompted by our invited keynote speakers: the renowned international curator Dr. Annie Fletcher, Director of IMMA, and artist Mali Wu from Taiwan.

Annie Fletcher is a curator with extensive leadership experience in the contemporary arts, interested in how an encounter with art can generate a shared civic space. Prior to her appointment as Director of IMMA in 2019, she was a Chief Curator at Van Abbemuseum, a tutor at de Appel, Amsterdam, the Dutch Art Institute (DAI) and the Design Academy Eindhoven. Annie has regularly worked with art institutions around the world including the SALT Istanbul, New Museum, New York, L’Internationale network and De Appel Art Centre, Amsterdam, and has contributed to various magazines including Afterall and Metropolis M. She was co-founder and co-director of the rolling curatorial platform If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution with Frederique Bergholtz and Tanja Elstgeest (2005-10). As Acting Head of Exhibitions in IMMA in 2001-2002, she produced, among other projects, the noted performance art weekend Marking the Territory. In 2012, Annie was Curator of Ireland’s Contemporary Art biennale EVA International. She is regularly called upon to sit on major International juries, including the Turner Prize in 2014 and the selection committee for the Irish Pavilion at Venice in 2016.

Mali Wu is a conceptual artist and curator from Taiwan, was professor at Graduate Institute of Interdisciplinary Art, National Kaohsiung Normal University from 2006-2023. Born in Taipei in 1957, graduated from the German Department of Tamkang University in 1979, and received a master’s degree in free art sculpture from the National Academy of Arts in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1985. Wu Mali returned to Taiwan in 1985 and entered a new environment. She reconsidered the role of the artist in society, and  turned her creative attention to installations and objects that reinterpreted history. From personal creation, it has gradually turned to interdisciplinary discussions such as caring social intervention, community connection and the enlightenment of local awareness of the masses. In 2016, Wu Mali became the first female winner in the fine arts category of the National Literature and Art Award. As the key promoter of socially engaged art in the Chinese art world, she assists National Tainan Living Arts Center in the research, publication, and residency program of “Art for Social Change” from 2020 on. Mali Wu was the first female recipient to be awarded the prestigious Taiwan National Award for Arts in 2016. In 2018 she has co-curated the 11th Taipei Biennial, “Post Nature: A Museum as an Ecosystem”. More recently she had her solo exhibition “Dàng” at Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in 2023. She has been exhibited internationally, featured at the Venice Biennale, and in many other exhibitions.

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