Debates is a series of rigorous talks comprising of four panels that aim to shed light and instigate questions about specific topics that are pertinent to artistic practices within and beyond the Middle East. The first panel, PRESENTING ART: The Middle Eastern Art World - Models of Institutional Practices, aims at an open dialogue about the institutions, sites, and networks leading the art world in the Middle East. In contrast the second panel PRESENTING ARTISTS: Beyond The Guise of Cross-Cultural Dialogue questions the legitimacy of this dialogue and asks whether it has been reduced to an assumption of pluralism where identities and cultural codes are defined by difference.

The third panel, PRESENTING ART HISTORY: The Re-Centering of Modernity, considers the question of the authorship of modernity. It questions why artists, writers and intellects from the Middle East, despite their contributions to the spreading of so called “Western Modernism”, are not seen as equal partners in its ownership and benefits. Finally, the fourth panel PRESENTING ART INSTITUTIONS: The Gallery, The Fair and The Museum looks at the role that such institutions play in the promotion of artists and art form the Middle East region. It questions the curatorial approaches, art historical classifications and potential commercial conflicts that are at play within such modes of presentation. DEBATES brings to the art fair attendees a highly concentrated pool of professional art practitioners, academics, artists and curators with ample expertise in the Middle East and beyond.

DEBATES is curated by Art Reoriented, the curatorial platform founded in 2009 by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath. The program has been prepared in collaboration with art historian and critic Beth Citron.  Read More...


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