domenica 8 maggio 2011

The Future of a Promise

2 June - 20 November 2011 Tu-Su 11am - 6pm Closed on Mondays. Admission free.

The Future of a Promise will be the Venice Biennale's largest Pan-Arab exhibition of contemporary art. From Tunisia all the way to Saudi Arabia, this landmark exhibition brings together more than twenty-five recent works and commissions by some of the foremost artists from the Arab world.

Presenting important works that range from installation, performance and photography, to video, sculpture and painting, The Future of a Promise includes the following artists: Ziad Abillama (Lebanon), Manal Al-Dowayan (Saudi Arabia), Ahmed Alsoudani (Iraq), Ziad Antar (Lebanon), Ayman Baalbaki (Lebanon), Lara Baladi (Egypt/Lebanon), Fayçal Baghriche (Algeria), Yto Barrada (Morocco), Taysir Batniji (Palestine), Abdelkader Benchamma (France/Algeria), Ayman Yossri Daydban (Palestine/Jordan), Mounir Fatmi (Morocco), Abdulnasser Gharem (Saudi Arabia), Mona Hatoum (Lebanon), Raafat Ishak (Egypt), Emily Jacir (Palestine), Yazan Khalili (Palestine), Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabia), and Driss Ouadahi (Algeria), as well as three Abraaj Capital Art Prize Winners, Jananne Al-Ani (Iraq), Kader Attia (Algeria), and Nadia Kaabi-Linke (Tunisia).

The exhibition is being curated by Lina Lazaar, produced by Edge of Arabia and supported by Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives and Abraaj Capital, three newly partnered organisations whose commitment to contemporary art practice in the Middle East is at the heart of a current artistic renaissance in the region.

The Future of a Promise examines the way in which an idea is made incarnate in a formal, visual context and how a promise opens up a horizon of future possibilities, be they aesthetic, political, historical, social or critical. With the events currently unfolding in the Middle East, the question of the future and the promise inherent within culture has assumed an even more acute degree of pertinence. It is with this in mind that the exhibition enquires into the promise of visual culture in an age that has become increasingly disaffected with politics as a means of social engagement. Whilst the artists included in The Future of a Promise are not representative of a movement as such, they do seek to engage with a singular issue in the Middle East today: who gets to represent the present-day realities and the horizons to which they aspire?

"Through the artworks selected, I wanted to investigate how artists from this diverse, fragmented region have responded to the often contradictory promises that have defined our history," says curator Lina Lazaar. "I am incredibly proud and honoured to be putting together this exhibition in 2011, at such critical times for the Arab world, and I very much hope to create the rightful platform for these voices to be heard."


Ziad Abillama
* 1969 Lebanon. Lives in Lebanon.
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Jananne Al-Ani
* 1966 Kirkuk, Iraq. Lives in London, United Kingdom.
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Manal Al-Dowayan
* 1973 Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; lives there.
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Ahmed Alsoudani
* 1975 Baghdad, Iraq. Lives in Berlin, Germany.
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Ziad Antar
* 1978 Saida, Lebanon. Lives there and in Paris, France.
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Kader Attia
* 1970 Dugny, France (Algerian origin). Lives in Berlin, Germany.
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Ayman Baalbaki
* 1975 Odeissé, Lebanon. Lives in Beirut, Lebanon.
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Lara Baladi
* 1969 Beirut, Lebanon. Lives in Cairo, Egypt.
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Fayçal Baghriche
* 1972 Skikda, Algeria. Lives in Paris, France.
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Yto Barrada
* 1971 Paris, France. Lives there and in Tangier, Morocco.
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Taysir Batniji
* 1966 Gaza, Palestine. Lives in Paris, France.
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Abdelkader Benchamma
* 1975 Mazamet, France (Algerian origin). Lives in Paris, France.
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Mounir Fatmi
* 1970 Tangier, Morocco. Lives in Paris, France, and Tangier.
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Abdulnasser Gharem
* 1973 Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia; lives there.
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Mona Hatoum
* 1952 Beirut, Lebanon (Palestinian origin). Lives in London, United Kingdom, and in Berlin, Germany.
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Raafat Ishak
* 1967 Cairo, Egypt. Lives in Melbourne, Australia.
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Emily Jacir
* 1970 Bethlehem, Palestine. Lives in Ramallah, Palestine, and New York, USA.
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Nadia Kaabi-Linke
* 1978 Tunis, Tunisia. Lives in Berlin, Germany
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Yazan Khalili
* 1981 Syria (Palestinian origin). Lives in London, United Kingdom.
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Ahmed Mater
* 1979 Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. Lives in Abha, Saudi Arabia.
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Driss Ouadahi
* 1959 Casablanca, Morocco. Lives in Düsseldorf, Germany.
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Ayman Yossri Daydban
* 1966 Palestinian with Jordanian nationality. Lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
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Curator: Lina Lazaar
Lina Lazaar has an M.A. in Statistics and M.A in Art History and is a specialist at Sotheby's London in Post War and Contemporary Art. Her passion for Arab and Iranian Contemporary Art led Sotheby's to hold their first European auctions in this category in 2006. Since then she has curated these sales annually and significantly increased the international exposure and discussion of Middle Eastern contemporary art. Lina is the associate editor of the publishing forum Ibraaz and member of the Middle East North Africa Acquisitions Committee of the Tate in London.

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