Venice Biennale To Host Conference On Arab Art

BY Katrina Kufer / Oct 19 2017 / 12:33 PM

Venice will host a two-day conference starting 19 October investigating the relationship between the biennale and the future of the Arab art scene

Venice Biennale To Host Conference On Arab Art
Sara Choudhery. Lost At Sea. 2015

Looking to the increasing dynamism of the Arab art world over the last few decades, the Venice Biennale has become progressively more involved and engaged in promoting cultural production from the region. This two-day conference, organised by by the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, is taking a look at what it describes as Biennale’s “providing a fertile ground for the growth of new theories and practices and the establishment of cultural exchanges,” despite the somewhat limited or inconsistent presence of Middle Eastern national pavilions due to political or economic crises. Speakers will include Rose Issa, Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Samia Halaby, Maymanah Farhat and Alexandre Kazerouni, among several others.

It will consider where the cultural scene of the Middle East and Arab world is going and what effect Venice and its biennale has had on it. Referencing the pavilions and artworks that have been showcased from the region over the last 50-plus years of the biennale, the conference strives to create an intellectual platform for the academics, artists and industry professionals related to the field of modern and contemporary Arab art. Topics will include collecting, critical analysis of artists and collectives, artistic movements, modern art, art and politics, Arab women, artistic production in neighbouring countries such as Iran or Turkey, and the future of Arab art at the biennale and on the wider global spectrum.  

The conference runs 19-20 October from 9am to 6pm at Aula Baratto, Ca’ Foscari, Venice. For more information visit