Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath have been named curators of the UAE’s National Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale.
A curator duo in great demand, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath are responsible for the fascinating Ways of Seeing show at NYUAD’s Art Gallery (on until 17 November).
They are the co-founders of Art Reoriented, a multidisciplinary curatorial platform based in Munich and New York. Since 2016, they have also co-chaired the Montblanc Cultural Foundation in Hamburg; they are also curators at large at the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin, have held teaching positions at universities including the London School of Economics and New York University, and are widely published authors with contributions to academic journals, books, newspapers and art magazines.
Most relevant, they have curated many critically acclaimed exhibitions around the world; this looks like two safe pairs of hands. Ways of Seeing, which brings together 41 works by 26 artists and collectives, is a reboot of an exhibition that has previously been shown at ARTER in Istanbul and the Boghossian Foundation in Brussels.
“Through their extensive professional experience in the region, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath have already contributed to the nuanced conversations defining the UAE’s contemporary art scene,” said Khulood Al Atiyat, Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, which commissions the National Pavilion UAE. “We look forward to sharing their unique perspective with the Biennale’s global audiences through an engaging, creative and insightful exhibition.”
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Bardaouil and Fellrath also feel that the UAE has a distinctive contemporary art scene. “Through our work in the region, we have met some remarkable artists who are responding in intriguing and creative ways to a rapidly evolving multicultural society,” said the duo.
“For this sixth edition of the [UAE] Pavilion, we will follow a new curatorial approach that will highlight some previously unexplored multidisciplinary strands within the UAE’s diverse cultural landscape.” Which isn’t giving too much away but does sound suitably promising …
The UAE’s will be one of more than 80 National Pavilions at the 58th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, taking place 11 May to 24 November 2019. The UAE has participated in the Venice Biennale since 2009 and maintains a permanent pavilion in the Arsenale.