Snapshots of the Arab Image Foundation
On Difference #1 / Lokale Kontexte - Hybride Räume
Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany
21 May - 31 July 2005

Curator's Statement

One of the main challenges facing the Arab Image Foundation, custodians of the newly gathered, visually rich cultural heritage, has been intellectual rather than technical or administrative.

The founders treated the collections in classical fashion through thematic publications and exhibits. But as the young organization began to grow with members from diverse corners of the contemporary art world, the established norms of representation and presentation were challenged and supplanted with innovative concepts and methods.

“What is” became “What if.” A photograph or series of photographs were no longer simply objects that manifested the intent of their creator or the evidence in their content, but rather as a palette of basic elements, which in aggregate form, supported whole new treatments, and in the hands of the member artists, told new stories that each alone could not.

In Snapshots of the AIF for On Difference One, I sought to showcase two types of approach. Some of the featured work utilizes materials from the archives of the AIF in innovative fashion and in new media; and the rest was selected from personal oeuvre which reflects the bi-directional influences of the classic notion of an archive and the more contemporary conceptual approach of appropriating existing content.



Participating Artists:

Negar Azimi
Lara Baladi
Yto Barrada
Fouad El Khoury
Walid Raad
Lucien Samaha
Akram Zaatari

Curated by Lucien Samaha

  Photographs from the Opening