Curated and edited in its second iteration by Osman Can Yerebakan for ArteEast, Asia Contemporary Art Week’s online journal Field Review 2017 spotlights the Middle East and North Africa with essays on seven case studies about current manifold creative threads woven in the MENA region. Exploration of goings on in the area bears myriad contemporary formations including inaugural museum exhibitions, satellite biennials, design fairs, and emerging collectives. Prevalent subjects encountered en route include malleable, yet inquisitive approaches to fluidity of history; struggle and resistance infuse into each microcosm at times when socio-political tumult affects the region and the globe. Mining the trajectories creative thinkers have pursued and aim to facilitate, one unearths decades long artistic fortitude that helped determine current trends.
Maymanah Farhat focuses on the 13th Sharjah Biennial’s final offsite project, Upon a Shifting Plate, kicking off in Beirut as a two-day installment on October 14th and the biennial’s conclusive iteration Act II. Chayma Drira’s essay discusses Kader Attia’s multipurpose art and community hub La Colonie through the lens of Attia’s artistic practice and colonial history shared between France and Algeria. Edwin Nasr and Bassem Saad analyze Stvdio El Sham, a Beirut-based photography collective comprised of Tarek Moukaddem and Omarivs Ioseph Filivs Dinæ, through the legacy of studio photography and performance of identity. Yasaman Alipour’s association with the contemporary art scene in Tehran as a New York-based Iranian artist results in a piece about Parkingallery with a focus on its more recent formation, New Media Society. Ruba Katrib introduces the inaugural exhibition, Jerusalem Lives, at The Palestinian Museum, which remained open without an exhibition until the opening of this group exhibition in September. feminist architecture, a three-woman architectural research enterprise, examines the sociopolitical impact of the second installment of Amman Design Week for the burgeoning capital and the region. Osman Can Yerebakan presents a survey of Who Carries the Water, a research-oriented artistic project helmed by Istanbul-based artists İz Öztat and Fatma Belkıs and exhibited at the 14th Istanbul Biennial and the 13th Sharjah Biennial.
Osman Can Yerebakan
Editor of Field Review, 2017