Urgency and Relevance: A Curatorial Perspective. The public program provides an insider's view of contemporary art through the eyes of international practitioners working at the edge of advocacy and establishment. A part of Asian Contemporary Art Week's critical Dialogues in Contemporary Art series, this year's installment scheduled for fall will be the ninth in a row.
Participants: Leeza Ahmady, Thomas J. Berghuis, Melissa Chiu, Reem Fadda, Pablo León de la Barra, moderated by Alexandra Munroe.
Presented as part of Asian Contemporary Art Week's critical Dialogues in Contemporary Art series, and as a prelude to its ninth installment scheduled for fall, "Urgency and Relevance: A Curatorial Perspective" provides an insider's view of contemporary art through the eyes of international practitioners working at the edge of advocacy and establishment. While representing current priorities in a landscape of new global initiatives, each curator will give voice to diverse practices within various museum models. As told through personal stories of discovery and illustrated by specific case studies, such dynamics as the formation of collections, engagement with living artists, representation of multiple communities, economics of cultural capital, and press of civic life are brought to light through curatorial work.
The program concludes with a reception in the Guggenheim rotunda.
Alexandra Munroe is Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. A pioneering authority on modern and contemporary Asian art and transnational art studies, she has led the Guggenheim’s Asian Art Program since its founding in 2006 while also working on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum and the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. She convenes the museum’s biannual Asian Art Council, a curatorial think tank, and heads The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation initiative in contemporary Chinese art. Munroe has organized the critically acclaimed Guggenheim exhibitions Gutai: Splendid Playground (2013, cocurated with Ming Tiampo); Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity (2011), The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989 (2009), and Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe (2008). Other exhibitions and publications include Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective (1989), The Art of Mu Xin (2002), Yes Yoko Ono (2000), Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture (2005), curated with Takashi Murakami.
Leeza Ahmady is an independent curator noted for her foundational work concerning art practices in Central Asia. She directs the educational platforms AhmadyArts and Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW), which partner with multiple institutions in New York and elsewhere to contextualize the works of artists from all regions of Asia, including the Middle East. She has presented numerous artists through public programs at notable venues such as the Venice Biennale, Istanbul Biannual, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Independent Curators International, Asia Society Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, among others. Ahmady was member of the Agents/Curatorial Team for dOCUMENTA (13) exhibitons and seminars in Kassel, Germany and Kabul, Afghanistan (2010–2012). Other past exhibitions include The Taste of Others at Apexart (2005); The Paradox of Polarity: Contemporary Art from Central Asia at Bose Pacia (2007); Parable of the Garden: New Media Art from Iran and Central Asia at The College of New Jersey Art Gallery (2008); I Dream of the Stans at Winkleman Gallery and MARTE Museo de Arte de El Salvador (2008); Tarjama/Translation at the Queens Museum of Art (2009) and Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University (2010); No-Mad-Ness in No Man's Land at Eslite Gallery Taipei, Taiwan (2013); and Arahmaiani: Fertility of the Mind at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York (2014).
Thomas J. Berghuis is The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Curator of Chinese Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. An eminent scholar and researcher of contemporary Chinese art, contemporary Asian performance art, and contemporary Indonesian art, Berghuis previously served as a Lecturer in Asian Art History at the University of Sydney, Deputy Director of the Australian Centre for Asian Art and Archeology, a committee member at China Studies Centre, and a member of the Sydney Southeast Asian Studies Centre. He has curated several exhibitions of contemporary Asian art, including most recently the international group exhibition Suspended Histories at Museum van Loon in Amsterdam (2013). He has held additional curatorial positions including Founding Cocurator for Edge of Elsewhere (2010–2012), Guest Curator for the third Israel Video Art Biennial in Tel Aviv (2006), Principal Cocurator for the first Dashanzi International Arts Festival at the 798 Art District in Beijing (2004), and Associate Curator for the sixth Sharjah International Biennale in the United Arab Emirates (2003).
Melissa Chiu is Museum Director and Senior Vice President, Global Arts and Cultural Programs at Asia Society. A leading authority on Asian contemporary art, she has initiated a number of major initiatives at the Asia Society Museum, including the launch in 2007 of a contemporary art collection to complement the museum's renowned collection of traditional Asian art. In her role as museum director she has also organized major international first-time loan shows with the governments of China, Vietnam, Pakistan, and India. She has curated over thirty exhibitions with artists from Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Thailand, and Japan, among others. Her exhibitions include One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now (2006) with Karin Higa and Susette S. Min; Zhang Huan: Altered States (2006); Art and China's Revolution (2008) with Zheng Shengtian; and Nobody’s Fool: Yoshitomo Nara (2010) with Miwako Tezuka.
Reem Fadda is Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art, for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project. From 2005 to 2007, Fadda was Director of the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art (PACA) and worked as Academic Director for the International Academy of Art Palestine, which she helped found in 2006. She has been involved in many international exhibitions, including Liminal Spaces, a four-year artistic and political project consisting of conferences, tours, art residencies, and exhibitions in Palestine, Israel, and Germany; Ramallah Syndrome, part of the Venice Biennale in 2009; and Tarjama/Translation, organized by ArteEast, which featured 30 artists from the Middle East and Central Asia at the Queens Museum of Art, New York, and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. In 2009, she curated the Riwaq Biennale, Ramallah, with Charles Esche and in 2013, she curated the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates at the Venice Biennale.
Pablo León de la Barra is the Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. He is currently curating the second exhibition in the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, focusing on contemporary art and artists from Latin America. León de la Barra has organized or co-organized more than a dozen exhibitions in the past decade at institutions including the David Roberts Art Foundation and the Architecture Foundation, London; Centre de Art Contemporaine, Geneva, and Kunsthalle Zürich; apexart and Art in General, New York; Casa Luis Barragán, Casa del Lago, and Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Museo La Ene, Buenos Aires; Museu Carmen Miranda, Rio de Janeiro; Beta Local, San Juan; Centro Cultural de España, Guatemala City; Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain; and Proyecto AMIL, Lima. In London, he was a founding member of 24-7, a collective of artists and curators (2002–05); artistic director of Blow de la Barra Gallery, London (2005–08); and founder and cocurator of the community art space White Cubicle Gallery, London (2005–12). He is also the founder of the Novo Museo Tropical, and was the curator of the first Bienal Tropical in San Juan (2011).
About Asian Contemporary Art Week
Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) returns to New York in the fall of 2014 (October 22–31) to highlight stellar artistic voices in Asian art today. Now in its ninth iteration, ACAW is a dynamic platform that brings together leading art institutions, museums, and galleries from New York and Asia in order to present the largest showcase of cutting-edge exhibitions, innovative projects, and provocative dialogues. ACAW 2014 introduces Field Meeting, a first-of-its-kind forum outside of Asia that aims to foster opportunities for artists and regional art professionals to network, share their concepts and expertise, and forge partnerships for future collaborations. ACAW 2014 will also present Keynote Works, a major online exhibition as a centerpiece, adding exciting new dimensions to this vibrant citywide event. For participation information, visit acaw.info.
About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Since its establishment in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has developed into an international constellation of museums—including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi currently under development—that fosters links among art, ideas, people, and cultures on a global scale and reflects an increasingly multilateral worldview that is at once interconnected and locally distinctive. Through collections and acquisitions that draw upon regional and international expertise, far-reaching and inclusive educational programs, and innovative collaborations like the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative, and BMW Guggenheim Lab, the Guggenheim Foundation enables a global and holistic engagement with the arts.
Tuesday March 11th at 6.30pm
The Solomon Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, New York
Admittance: $12, $10 members. Free student tickets are no longer available; students with valid ID may purchase tickets at a special price of $5.