Africa News

Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative Expands with Appointment of Sara Raza as Curator for the Middle East and North Africa

- Unprecedented Project of Residencies, Acquisitions, Exhibitions, and Education Programs Launches Its Third Phase

NEW YORK, Jan. 20, 2015 / PRNewswire — Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, today announced that London-based curator, writer, editor, and educator Sara Raza has been selected for the third curatorial residency of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. As the future Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa, Ms. Raza will join June Yap (South and Southeast Asia), Pablo León de la Barra (Latin America) and Guggenheim staff in realizing this multiyear program, which supports contemporary art, artists, education, and professional exchange in three of the world’s most diverse and dynamic regions.

Sara%20Raza.%20Photo Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative Expands with Appointment of Sara Raza as Curator for the Middle East and North Africa

Sara Raza. Photo: David Heald (C) Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.

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Building on MAP’s legacy, Sara Raza will work closely with the Guggenheim’s curatorial staff for a two year residency to research and acquire recent artworks by artists of Middle Eastern and North African origin that represent the most salient artistic and cultural practices of the region. Artworks chosen by Raza will enter the permanent collection and form the basis of an exhibition that will open at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 2016, before traveling to the region. She will also collaborate with education staff, as well as contribute to the project’s website.

Ms. Raza was nominated by a committee of esteemed experts on this region: Sam Bardaouil, independent curator, art historian, performance practitioner, and co-founder of Art Reoriented; Okwui Enwezor, Director, Haus der Kunst, Munich, and Director of the Visual Arts Sector for the 56th Venice Biennale; Reem Fadda, Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art, Abu Dhabi Project, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; Yael Reinharz, Executive Director, Artis; Nada M. Shabout, Professor and Director, Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute, University of North Texas; and Christine Tohme, independent curator and founding director of Ashkal Alwan – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Beirut.

About Sara Raza
Sara Raza holds a Masters in Art History and Theory (20th Century) from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Royal College of Art. She is the desk editor for West and Central Asia of ArtAsiaPacific magazine, and Head of Education and Public Programmes and Curator of the upcoming 2015 Public Art Festival, organized by Yarat Contemporary Art Space. Over the past ten years, Ms. Raza has organized numerous exhibitions at institutions including the Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah and Alaan Artspace in Riyadh. Ms. Raza co-curated Rhizoma, an exhibition of Saudi Arabian artists commissioned by Edge of Arabia at the 55th Venice Biennale (2014), along with several other international exhibitions at biennials and festivals. Ms. Raza has also served on several educational advisory boards and was a curator of public programs at Tate Modern (2006–08).

About Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative
The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative is a multiyear collaboration that charts contemporary art practice in three geographic regions—South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa—and encompasses curatorial residencies, international touring exhibitions, audience-driven education programming, and acquisitions for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s permanent collection. Launched in April 2012, the MAP initiative has brought more than ninety important artworks in all media into the museum’s collection under the auspices of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund, created new educational models with collaborators Asia Society Hong Kong Centre and NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, and reached hundreds of thousands of visitors through digital initiatives such as the interactive content aggregator MAP Navigator, the Currents educational archive, and online discussion forums. The initiative builds upon and reflects the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s distinguished history of internationalism, significantly increases the museum’s holdings of art from these dynamic communities, and makes contemporary art, practice, and education accessible on a global scale.

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