Maghrib in Past & Present | Podcasts

Curating Modern Art from North Africa and West Asia: Methodological Conundrums and Contentions of Language

June 17, 2021

Episode 125: Curating Modern Art from North Africa and West Asia: Methodological Conundrums and Contentions of Language

In this podcast, Suheyla Takesh addresses the methodological challenges in studying modernism in the non-West and the question of language and terminology for discussing developments that conceptually preside outside established art-historical frameworks. Focusing on two exhibitions as case studies: Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s (Grey Art Gallery, 2020) and Lasting Impressions: Baya Mahieddine (Sharjah Art Museum, 2021), Takesh considers curatorial strategies, pitfalls, and questions in studying the multiple and manifold histories of global modernism in the arts.

Suheyla Takesh is Curator at the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, where she works on research, curatorial development of exhibitions, and oversees the production of publications. She is the co-curator of Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University, and co-editor of the eponymous volume of essays (Hirmer Publishers, 2020). Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Rutgers Art Review (Department of Art History, Rutgers University) and Thresholds (Department of Architecture, MIT).

This episode is part of the Modern Art in the Maghrib series, and was recorded on May 6, 2021, via zoom.  This is part of a larger Council of American Overseas Research Centers program organized by the Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) and financed by the Andrew Mellon Foundation that seeks to collaborate with local institutions for a greater awareness of art historical research in north Africa.

Posted by: Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).

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