Winning Artist: Yto Barrada (b.1971, Paris)
Yto Barrada studied history and political science at the Sorbonne and photography in New York. Her work—including photography, film, sculpture, prints and installations—began by exploring the peculiar situation of her hometown Tangier. Her work has been exhibited at Tate Modern (London), MoMA (New York), Renaissance Society (Chicago), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Guggenheim (Berlin), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London), and the 2007 and 2011 Venice Biennale.
She was the Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year for 2011, after which her exhibit RIFFS toured widely. Barrada is also the founding director of Cinematheque de Tanger. She is a recipient of the 2013-2014 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography (Peabody Museum at Harvard University). She has published several books, and her first comprehensive monograph was published by JRP Ringier in 2013. Barrada is represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery (Beirut, Hamburg), Pace Gallery (London), and Galerie Polaris (Paris).
Image (c)Benoit Peverelli
Shortlisted Artist: Sarnath Banerjee (b. 1972, Kolkata)
Sarnath Banerjee studied biochemistry from Delhi University and Image and communication from Goldsmiths University. He wrote graphic novels Corridor, Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers and The Harappa Files, published by Penguin, Harper-Collins and Denoel. He has received several fellowships, such as the MacArthur, Charles Wallace, Egide Bursary, and IFA. Banerjee has been as a fellow of Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart and Institute of Advanced Studies, Budapest. His drawings and videos have been exhibited at Paris-Delhi-Bombay, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Indian Highway 5, MAXXI-National Museum of XXI Century Art, Rome, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones,(Directors, Serpentine Gallery); Chalo India!, Mori Museum, 2008; Karton Gallery, Budapest, 2007, Kunstmuseum Bern, 2007; The Museum Fondazione Sandretto re Rebaudengo, Torino, 2006; IFA Gallery Berlin, 2005; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London June 2003. Banerjee has also participated in Hong Kong Art Fair (2012), Fiac, Paris (2011), Frieze Art Fair (2011 and 2009) London, Arco, Madrid (2009) and the Sao Paolo Biennale in 2008. In 2012 Banerjee had a solo exhibition at the CCA in Glasgow, and was commissioned by Frieze Projects East for a public arts project during the London Olympics. He writes a weekly column of visual commentary called ‘Enchanted Geography’ for The Hindu. Sarnath is represented by Project 88 (Mumbai).
Shortlisted Artist: Setareh Shahbazi (b. 1978, Tehran)
Setareh Shahbazi was born in Tehran in 1978 and moved to Germany in 1985. From 1997 to 2003 she studied Scenography and Media Arts at the State Academy for Art and Design in Karlsruhe. Her solo exhibitions were held at Gypsum Gallery, Cairo (2013); 98weeks Project Space, Beirut (2010); Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara (2008); Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg (2006) and Montgomery, Berlin (2006); and Karlsruher Kunstverein (2004). Her group shows include ‘When It Starts Dripping from the Ceiling’, Kadist, Paris, curated by Bassam El Baroni (2012); ‘Jostari dar Salighe va Ehsass’, Asar Gallery, Tehran (2010); ‘Whenever it starts, it is the right time!’, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, curated by Chus Martinez (2007); ‘Rainbow’ at Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut; ‘J’en Reve’ at Fondation Cartier, Paris (2005) and ‘Iranian Pool, Rooseum’, Malmo, curated by Chus Martinez (2003). A one-year research residency by DAAD brought her to Beirut for the first time in 2003 to collaborate with the Arab Image Foundation. She has further been invited for residencies at Townhouse Gallery, Cairo (2005) and Villa Romana, Florence (guest artist 2011). Shahbazi received a publication grant from Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn for her artist book Spectral Days (2011) and her catalogue Oh, no, no, ... – The Crystal Series was awarded The Most Beautiful Swiss Books (2005). After spending some years in Lebanon, Setareh Shahbazi currently lives and works in Berlin and travels regularly to Iran. Setareh is represented by Gypsum Gallery, Cairo.
Shortlisted Artist: Mounira Al Solh (b. 1978, Beirut)
Mounira Al Solh started painting in 1996 with Hussein Madi and then completed a degree in painting from the Lebanese University. In 2001 she won the Kentertainment Painting Award in Beirut and went on to the Rietveld Akademy in Amsterdam where she found her voice in multidisciplinary practices. After that, she worked for two years in a studio at the Rijksakademie before being offered artist residencies in South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and the USA. Al Solh has participated in several group shows including: the first Lebanese Pavillion in Venice, Home Works IV and VI, the 11th Istanbul Biennial, Manifesta 8, Tate Modern, SALT Istanbul, the New Museum, the 5th Marrakech Biennial and Art Dubai Projects 2014. Her works have been presented in solo shows at Fennel, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut; SMBA and rongwrong, Amsterdam; CCA, Glasgow; and Kunsthalle Lissabon in Lisbon. In 2007, she was awarded the Jury Prize of Videobrasil IEA Festival, The Black Magic Woman Award, The Uriot Prize of the Rijksakademie, and was nominated for the Volkskrant Award in 2010 in the Netherlands. Mounira co-edits NOA (Not Only Arabic), an ongoing magazine she created in 2008, which has expanded into a collaborative project: noa language school. She also taught part-time at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, the Rietveld Akademie in Amsterdam and ALBA (Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts) in Lebanon. Mounira is represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery (Beirut, Hamburg).
Guest Curator: Omar Kholeif (b. Cairo)
Omar Kholeifis a writer, curator and editor. He is currently Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Senior Visiting Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME, Manchester as well as Senior Editor of Ibraaz Publishing. Previously he headed up Art and Technology at SPACE, London (where he was director of The White Building, London's centre for art and technology) and was Curator at FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool. Kholeif has also been Artistic Director at the Arab British Centre, London and founding director of the UK's Arab Film Festival. In 2012, he was a co-curator of the Liverpool Biennial. He was a founding editor of Portal 9, an Arabic-English journal of urbanism and architecture. His most recent publications include, You Are Here: Art After the Internet (2014), Virgin with a Memory (For Sophia Al-Maria) (2014) and Jeddah Childhood circa 1994 (2014). In 2015, he will curate the Cyprus Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.
Abbas Akhavan (b. 1977, Tehran)
Abbas Akhavan's practice ranges from site-specific ephemeral installations to drawing, video and performance. The domestic sphere, as a forked space between hospitality and hostility, has been an ongoing area of research in Abbas' work. More recent works have shifted focus, wandering onto spaces just outside the home – the garden, the backyard, and other domesticated landscapes.
Residencies include Foundation Marcelino Botin with Mona Hatoum (Spain), Le Printemps de Septembre (France), Trinity Square Video, Western Front, and Fogo Islands (Canada), The Watermill Center (USA), and The Delfina Foundation (Dubai, UAE & London, UK). Recent exhibitions include: 8th Montreal Biennale, Montreal, Canada, Manifestation Internationale d’art de Quebec (MIAQ), 2014'Variations on a Garden', Galerie Mana, Istanbul (2013); 'Study for a Garden', Delfina Foundation, London (2012); 'Tactics for Here & Now', Bucharest Biennale, Bucharest (2012); 'Tools for Conviviality' Power Plant, Toronto (2012); 'Beacon', Darling Foundry, Montreal (2012); 'Phantomhead', Performa 11, New York (2011); 'Seeing is Believing', KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011). He lives and works in Toronto, Canada.
Kamrooz Aram (b. 1978, Shiraz)
Kamrooz Aram’s diverse practice often engages the complicated relationship between traditional non-Western art and Western Modernism. Through a variety of forms including painting, collage, drawing and installation, Aram has found the potential for image-making to function critically in its use as a tool for a certain renegotiation of history.
Aram’s paintings reveal the essential role that ornament played in the development of Modern art in the West. Taking floral motifs from Persian carpets, Aram repeatedly reconfigures them into painterly mediations, building the pattern, destroying it and rebuilding again, resulting in explosive images, always in a state of flux. These lush canvases form repetitive patterns that coax new meaning from the chaos of fragments. Aram complicates the relationship between ornament and decoration, revealing the history of ornament as a drive towards the absence of figuration, a movement towards abstraction.
Kamrooz Aram (born 1978, Shiraz) received his MFA from Columbia University in 2003. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Palimpsest: Unstable Paintings for Anxious Interiors at Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2014); Kamrooz Aram/ Julie Weitz at The Suburban, Chicago, Illinois (2013); Brute Ornament: Kamrooz Aram and Seher Shah, curated by Murtaza Vali, at Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2012); Negotiations at Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York, New York (2011); Generation After Generation, Revolution after Revelation at LAXART, Los Angeles, California (2010) and Kamrooz Aram: Realms and Reveries at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, Massachusetts (2006). He has shown in numerous group exhibitions including roundabout, City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand (2010); the Busan Biennale (2006); P.S.1/MoMA’s Greater New York 2005; and the Prague Biennale I (2003). Aram is the winner of Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014; he has also been awarded grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts (2004) and the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program (2001-2003). His work is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; The FLAG Foundation, New York; and Deutsche Bank Collection among others. Aram’s practice has been widely featured and reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, Art in America, Artforum.com, ArtAsiaPacific, The New Yorker, The National and Bidoun. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Bouchra Khalili (b. 1975, Casablanca)
Moroccan-French artist Bouchra Khalili was born in Casablanca. She later studied Cinema and Visual Arts in Paris. Her work in video, photography and prints, articulates documentary practice and conceptual approach to investigate methodologies and discourses of resistance as elaborated by members of minorities. Khalili’s work has been shown internationally, as recently at "The Encyclopedic Palace", 55th Venice Biennale (2013) ; "Intense Proximity’’, Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2012); The 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012); "Mapping Subjectivity", MoMA (New York, 2011) ; The 10th Sharjah Biennial (2011); among others. Recent solo shows and screenings include "Wet Feet and More" at DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2013) ; "The Seaman" at Freedman Gallery, Albright College (2013) ; Wet Feet/Dry Feet at Tarragona Art Center, Spain (2012), Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin, and Deutsches Film Institut in Frankfurt, among others. Khalili has received numerous awards as "DAAD Artist-in-Berlin" (2012) ; "The Vera List Center Fellowship" (The New School, New York, 2011-2013) ; and CulturesFrance Award in 2010. In 2012-2013, she was commissioned by The Perez Miami Art Museum to produce an original artwork for its inauguration in December 2013. Bouchra Khalili lives in Berlin. She's represented by Galerie Polaris (Paris), and galerieofmarseille (Marseilles).
Basim Magdy (b. 1977, Cairo)
Basim Magdy was born in 1977 in Assiut, Egypt, and lives and works in Basel, Switzerland and Cairo, Egypt. His work appeared recently in solo and group exhibitions and screenings at La Biennale de Montreal, Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal; Art in General, New York; Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA, Melbourne; Tatra Museum, Zakopane, Poland; SeMA Seoul MEDIACITY Biennial 2014, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul; Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Brest, France; State of Concept, Athens; Trafo House of Contemporary Art, Budapest; CRAC Alsace, Altkirch, France (2014); 13th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul; Tate Modern, London; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; Sharjah Biennial 11, Sharjah, UAE; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Biennale Jogja XII, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; The High Line, New York; Askhal Alwan, Beirut (2013); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; La Triennale: Intense Proximity, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); Argos Art Center, Brussels; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Institut Mathildenhohe, Darmstadt, Germany (2011); Mass MOCA, North Adams and Ateliers de Rennes – Biennale d╩╝art contemporain, Rennes, France among others. In 2012 he was shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize, Kiev and the NEW:VISION Award at CPH:DOX Film Festival, Copenhagen. Upcoming shows include The New Museum Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York; Lest the Two Seas Meet, The Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland; The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, HOME Manchester, Manchester and The Green Parrot, Barcelona among others.
Anup Mathew Thomas (b. 1977, Kochi)
Guest Curator: Nada Raza (b. 1977, Karachi)
Nada Raza is from Karachi, currently based at Tate Modern in London where she is Assistant Curator focusing on South Asia. Raza holds an MA in Critical Writing and Curatorial Practice from the Chelsea College of Art and has previously worked with Iniva and Green Cardamom in London where she contributed to curatorial projects including Lines of Control; (Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University 2012)and Social Fabric(Iniva, 2012). She has lived and worked independently in the UAE, where she maintains strong links. She writes regularly for regional and international publications.
Vartan Avakian (b. 1977, Byblos)
Vartan Avakian is a Beirut based artist, he works with mundane esthetics, with a focus on urban and consumer culture. Avakian studied Communication Arts at the Lebanese American University and has a Masters in Architecture and Urban Culture from Universitat Pompeu Fabra and the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona. He works with video, photography and natural material. Avakian is a founding member of the art collective Atfal Ahdath. Since 2007, his work has been widely shown including Art Dubai (2013), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012), Transmerdiale 2K + 12, Berlin, (2012), Wallach Art Gallery, New York (2012), Sharjah Biennial X (2011), South London Gallery, (2011), Home Works V, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2010), Tokyo Wonder Site (2009) as well as in venues in Iceland, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Taiwan, Australia, Spain, Indonesia and India. He is represented by Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki
Iman Issa (b. 1979, Cairo)
Iman Issa is an artist living and working between Cairo and New York. Recent group and solo exhibitions include: 'The Ungovernables', New Museum, New York (2012); 'Seeing is Believing', KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011); 'Material', Rodeo, Istanbul (2011); 'Short Stories', SculptureCenter, New York (2011); and 'Propaganda by Monuments', Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo (2011). Her video work has been screened at several venues including Transmediale, Berlin; Tate Modern, London; Spacex, Exeter; Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; and Bidoun Artists Cinema, Art Dubai, Dubai. Her book Thirty-three Stories about Reasonable Characters in Familiar Places was published in 2011 by the SculptureCenter in New York. Issa graduated with an MFA from Columbia University and a BFA from the American University of Cairo. She often employs a variety of mediums including text, sound, sculpture, photography, and video, to raise questions as to the relationship between language, history, and personal cognition and articulation. Issa won the inaugural FHN MACBA award in 2012, was a recipient of the Young Arab Theatre Fund Production Grant in 2010 and The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture Grant in 2009. She is represented by Rodeo, Istanbul. imanissa.com
Huma Mulji (b.1970, Karachi)
Hrair Sarkissian (b.1973, Damascus)
Rayyane Tabet (b.1983, Ashqout)
Guest Curator: Murtaza Vali (b. 1974, Sharjah)
Taysir Batniji (b. 1966, Gaza)
Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige
Wael Shawky (b. 1971, Alexandria)
Wael Shawky studied fine art at the University of Alexandria before receiving his M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000. He lives and works in Alexandria. In 2010 he launched MASS Alexandria, the first Independent Studio Programme for young artists in the city. Shawky has received international acclaim for his work as an artist and filmmaker, his work largely explores transitional events in society, politics, culture and religion in the history of the Arab world. He has had numerous solo shows including: Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK (2011) Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Beirut, Lebanon (2010), Cittadellarte, Italy (2010), Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt (2009). Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File (2010) at ‘Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial)’(2011). He has also exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK (2011), Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels, Belgium (2011), New Museum and Queen’s Museum of Art, New York, UK, SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Santa Fe, US (2008); 3rd Riwaq Biennale, Ramallah, Palestine (2009), 3rd Marrakech Biennale, Morocco (2009), ‘Disorientation II’, Abu Dhabi, UAE (2009), 2nd Moscow Biennale, Russia (2007), 50th Venice Biennale, Italy (2003) among others. His work is included in the collections of Tate Modern, London, MACRO Museum, Rome, Darat Al Funun, Amman and Mart Museum Collection, Rovereto. Shawky has received Egyptian and international prizes such as the Ernest Schering Foundation Art Award, Berlin, (2011). He has participated in several international residency programmes. Wael Shawky is represented by Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg/Beirut.
Risham Syed (b. 1969, Lahore)
Risham Syed’s practice critically focuses on the remains of cultural/historical inheritance and its perceived authenticity in present-day Pakistan. She received a BFA in Painting from the National College of Art, Lahore (1993) and an MA from the Royal College of Art, London (1996). Solo shows include: ‘Lahore 2010’, Rohtas Gallery, Lahore (2010), ‘And the Rest is History’, Talwar Gallery, New York (2010), Canvas Gallery, Karachi (2008). Her work has been exhibited in group shows including: ‘The Rising Tide’, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi (2010-11), Art Dubai, (2010), ‘Resemble/Reassemble’, Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, India (2009), ‘Emperor’s New Clothes: Dress, Politics and Identity in Pakistani Art’, Talwar Gallery (2008), ‘Conversations 1’, Elementa Gallery, Dubai (2007), ‘Landscape and Outside the Cube’, National Gallery of Art, Islamabad, (2005), ‘58 Years of Pakistani Art’, Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore (2004), ‘Playing with the loaded gun’, Apex Art, New York (2002) & Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany (2004) 2nd Fukuoka Triennale, Museum of Asian Art, Fukuoka, Japan (2002), in ‘Threads, Dreams and Desires’, The Harris Museum, Preston, UK (1998). She was awarded the Stephenson Harwood Award (1996), Charles Wallace Trust Scholarship, UK (1996) and the Cite’ International des Arts, Paris, France (1995). She is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Visual Art, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan, where she continues to live and work. Risham Syed is represented by Talwar Gallery, New York.
Raed Yassin (b. 1979, Beirut)
He graduated from the theatre department at the Institute of Fine Arts in Beirut in 2003. An artist and musician, Yassin's work often originates from an examination of his personal narratives and their workings within a collective history, through the lens of consumer culture and mass production. He has exhibited and performed his work in numerous museums, festivals and venues across Europe, the Middle East, the United States and Japan, including Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2014), Vienna Kunsthalle (2014), ICA in London (2014), Castello Di Rivoli in Torino (2014), Gwangju Art Museum (2014), Thessaloniki Biennial 4 (2013), Singapore Art Museum (2013), Mori Art Museum in Tokyo (2012), The New Museum in New York (2012), "Sharjah Biennial 10" (2011), Delfina Foundation in London (2011 & 2014) where he has completed a residency program, "Manifesta 8" in Murcia (2010-2011), Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (2011), De - Ateliers in Amsterdam following a 2-year residency, "Home Works 5" in Beirut, (2010) and Photo Cairo 4 (2008). Yassin was awarded the Fidus Prize for The Best of Sammy Clark at Beirut Art Center's Exposure (2009), the Sharjah Art foundation production programme (2014), the AFAC grant for production (2010), the YATF grant for production (2008 & 2012) and the Cultural Resource grant for production (2008). Yassin is one of the organizers of IRTIJAL Festival, and has released 12 music albums and founded the production company Annihaya in 2009. He is also a founding member of "Atfal Ahdath" a Beirut based art collective. He currently lives and works in Beirut and represented by Kalfayan Galleries (Athens – Thessaloniki).
Guest Curator: Nat Muller
Nat Muller is an independent curator and critic based in Rotterdam. Her main interests include: the intersection of aesthetics, media and politics; media art and contemporary art in and from the Middle East. She is a regular contributor to Springerin and MetropolisM. Her writing has been published in, amongst others, Bidoun, ArtAsiaPacific, Art Papers, Canvas, X-tra, The Majalla, the MIT journal Art Margins and Harper’s Bazaar Art Arabia. She has also written numerous book chapters, catalogue and monographic essays. With Alessandro Ludovico she edited the Mag.net Reader2: Between Paper and Pixel (2007), and Mag.net Reader3: Processual Publishing, Actual Gestures (2009), based on a series of debates organized at Documenta XII. She has taught at universities and academies in the Netherlands and the Middle East, and has curated video and film screenings for projects and festivals internationally, including for Rotterdam’s International Film Festival, Norwegian Short Film Festival and Video D.U.M.B.O in New York. Recent curated projects include Spectral Imprints for the Abraaj Group Art Prize in Dubai (2012), Adel Abidin’s solo exhibition I love to love… at Forum Box in Helsinki (2013), Memory Material at Akinci Gallery, Amsterdam (2014); Customs Made: Quotidian Practices & Everyday Rituals at Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah (2014); This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam & American University of Beirut Gallery (2014/15). Nat is editorial correspondent for Ibraaz, a member of the editorial board of Broadsheet Magazine, Australia and most recently was a speaker on BBC World's award-winning program The Doha Debates. She is the curator of Sadik Kwaish Alfraji’s solo show at Ayyam Gallery in Dubai (2015) and 2015 curator-in-residence at the Delfina Foundation’s Politics of Food Program in London.
Hamra Abbas was born in Kuwait in 1976 and lives and works between Islamabad and Boston. Abbas has a versatile practice that straddles a wide range of media. Drawing upon culturally loaded imagery and iconography, in an often playful manner, Abbas appropriates and transforms traditional motifs and styles to examine questions of conflict within society. She has held several international solo exhibitions that include Cityscape, OUTLET Independent Art Space, Istanbul (2010); Adventures of the Woman in Black, Green Cardamom (2008); God Grows on Trees, Schultz Contemporary, Berlin (2008) and Lessons on Love, Rohtas 2, Lahore (2006). Her work has also been included in the 9th Sharjah Biennial (2009); the International Incheon Women Artists Biennale (2009): Thessaloniki Biennale (2009); Guangzou Triennial (2008); Istanbul Biennial (2007) and Sydney Biennale (2006). In 2009 Abbas was awarded the Jury Prize at the 9th Sharjah Biennial and was shortlisted for the inaugural Jameel Prize. She is represented by PILOT, Istanbul and Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai.
Jananne Al-Ani (b. 1966, Kirkuk)
Shezad Dawood (b. 1974, London)
Nadia Kaabi-Linke (b. 1978, Tunis)
Timo Nasseri (b. 1972, Berlin)
Timo Nasseri was born in Berlin in 1972 to a German mother and an Iranian father. He began his artistic career as a photographer, and in 2004 he made the transition to creating sculpture. Combining Islamic and western cultural heritages, his work is inspired as much by specific memories and religious references as by universal archetypes described by mathematics and language, and the inner truths of form and rhythm. He has held several solo exhibitions which include Ghazal, Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg (2009); One of Six, Kunstverein Arnsberg (2009); Epistrophy (2008) and Falling Stars (2006) both at Galerie Schleicher+Lange, Paris and Op-Felder, Galerie ABEL Raum fur Neue Kunst, Berlin (2002). He has also participated in the following group exhibitions: Taaffe-Streuli-Nasseri, Sfeir-Semler, Beirut (2010); Nasseri/Englund, Schleicher+Lange, Paris (2010); En Miroir, CRAC Alsace (2010); Taswir – Pictorial Mappings of Islam and Modernity, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2009); Mashq: repetition, meditation, meditation, Green Cardamom, London (2009) and Eurasia, Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Trento (2008); Phoenix vs Babylone, Espace Paul Richard, Paris (2008) and ECHO, Sfeir-Semler, Beirut (2008). He was awarded the Prix Saar Ferngas F÷rderpreis Junge Kunst in 2006. He is represented by Galerie Schleicher+Lange, Paris and Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg and Beirut.
Guest curator: Sharmini Pereira
Sharmini Pereira is the director and founder of Raking Leaves, a not-for-profit independent publisher of artists' book projects and special editions, now regularly funded by the Arts Council England. Since 1999 she has worked internationally as an independent curator and writer. In 2006 she co-curated the first Singapore Biennale. She was a Trustee for Book Works, London (2005-2010) and an academic advisor for the Asia Art Archive (AAA), Hong Kong (2005-2009). She currently acts on the boards of several international organisations and journals such as: Arts Initiative Tokyo, Tokyo; In(de)print, South Africa and Camden Council Public Art Advisory Board, London. Sharmini lives and works in London and Columbo.
Kader Attia (B. 1970, Paris) with Curator Laurie Ann Farrell
Born in 1970, Laurie Ann Farrell is Curator and Executive Director of Exhibitions for the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), which operates galleries in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, Lacoste in France and in Hong Kong. From 1999 to 2007 Farrell was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum for African Art in New York.
Hala Elkoussy (b. 1974, Cairo) with Curator Jelle Bouwhuis
Marwan Sahmarani (b. 1970, Beirut) with Curator Mahita El Bacha Urieta
Kutlu─č Ataman with Curator Cristiana Perrella
Kutlu─č Ataman, born in Istanbul in 1961, is an acclaimed filmmaker and artist. Ataman's works primarily document the lives of marginalised individuals, examining the ways people create and rewrite their identities through self-expression, blurring the line between reality and fiction. In 2009 Mesopotamian Dramaturgies - a multi-element project which includes Strange Space has been exhibited at Lentos Museum as part of Linz European Capital of Culture 2009. His work fff has been shown at Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2009) and Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009/10).
Born in 1965, Cristiana Perrella was curator of the Contemporary Arts Program at the British School at Rome for ten years until 2008. In 2007 she was the founding curator of SACS, a Regional Agency for Contemporary Art in Sicily. She has published two survey books on the Italian art scene of the 1990s.
Nazgol Ansarinia (b. 1979, Tehran) with Curator Leyla Fakhr
Zoulikha Bouabdellah (b. 1977, Moscow) with Curator Carol Solomon
Bouabdellah was born in Moscow in 1977 while her parents were graduate students in documentary film and art history. She soon moved back to her native Algiers where she was frequently in the company of artists, spending time at the Musee National des Beaux-Arts d'Alger, where her mother was curator for ten years and director until 1994 when they were forced to flee to Paris. Bouabdellah shows with Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde, Dubai.
Art historian and curator, Carol Solomon is Visiting Associate Professor at Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on postcolonial and transcultural identity in contemporary art with emphasis on North Africa and the North African diaspora. She is the recipient of Fulbright Fellowships in 2015-16 for research in Morocco and in 2012-13 for research in Morocco and Tunisia. She teaches courses on contemporary art of the Arab world, Iran and Turkey. Also a specialist in nineteenth-century French art, she has published on a range of topics in this area, from Napoleon to Cezanne. She has also taught in Canada at McGill University, and in the United States at Amherst College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. From 2002 to 2008, she was Curator of European Art at the Mead Art Museum, Amherst College. Exhibitions she has organized relating to her current research include The Third Space (2008, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College); Mapping Identity (2010, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College); and Memory, Place, Desire: Contemporary Art of the Maghreb and the Maghrebi Diaspora (2014, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College). Her essay “Graffiti, Street Art, and the Tunisian Revolution,” is included in the 2015 edited volume entitled The Birth of the Arab Citizen and the Changing of the Middle East.