Nadim Samman (UK/GER)



Studio/audience is a series of video portraits of artists at work, and in their work-places, curated by Nadim Julien Samman. A creative blurring of the boundaries between documentation and performance, probing the construction and clichés of artistic identity, Studio/audience is television for the 21st century.

Hans Namuth photographed Jackson Pollock at work. His images would do much to establish the painter’s public persona – smoking, pacing, without pretension. Despite their documentary form, the shots were as much a creation of Pollock’s myth as unmediated records of his process and subjectivity. In 1950, Namuth began to film Pollock in action. However, one winter’s day the project came to an abrupt conclusion, with each man accusing the other of being ‘phoney’. The staging and performance of the so-called creative act was at issue. As this episode demonstrates, the documentary genre of the artist at work in their studio has its conventions and fictionalizing strategies – which can run counter to some conceptions of authenticity and identity.

This series of newly created videos for Ikono TV, curated by Nadim Samman, explores such tension between documentation and performance. Studio/audience is a series of video portraits of artists at work, and artist’s workplaces. Seeking an equitable exchange between the camera, the artist and the audience, Samman has invited participants to direct the representation of their practice. Only the following questions serve as prompts: What is the most relevant way of looking at your work? Which details are important? What key perceptual/creative processes might a video capture and how? Studio/audience stretches the television format, questioning the representation of creative work and probing the construction and clichés of artistic identity today.

Atelier Van Lieshout
Dora Budor 
Constant Dullaart 
Emil Holmer
Helga Wretman 
Darri Lorenzen
Brenna Murphy 
Jaakko Pallasvuo 
Andrew Norman Wilson 
Harm van den Dorpel

Curator’s Bio

Nadim Julien Samman is a curator and art historian based in Berlin. He read Philosophy at University College London before completing a PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has written for publications including Third Text, The Art Newspaper, Art Review, Dazed, Contemporary, Asian Affairs, Art India, Artchronika, Erotic Review, Naked Punch and more. He has also been an invited speaker at MoMA Warsaw, Università Ca’ Foscari, the 798 Beijing Biennale, Christies and SoAs. His curatorial projects in London, Moscow, Berlin, Venice, Zurich and Marrakech have included presentations of leading modern and contemporary artists. In 2012 he curated the 4th Marrakech Biennale with Carson Chan.  He is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and a Director of Import Projects, Berlin.