press release

FotoFest announces the names of the 48 leading contemporary Arab artists featured in the principal exhibitions of their 2014 biennial—VIEW FROM INSIDE. The fifteenth edition of the international biennial in Houston, Texas takes place March 15 to April 27, 2014. These presentations of contemporary photo and media-related art from the Middle East and North Africa will be the largest program of its kind in the United States in more than a decade.

VIEW FROM INSIDE features artists living and working in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen. Some of the artists will be exhibiting their work in the United States for the first time. Seventeen of the artists are women.

FotoFest 2014 Biennial Arab artists (alphabetized by last name with countries of origin) Ebtisam AbdulAziz (UAE), Khalil Abdul Wahid (UAE), Ammar al Beik (Syria), Manal Al Dowayan (Saudi Arabia), Shadia Alem (Saudi Arabia), Reem al Faisal (Saudi Arabia), Sadik Alfraji (Iraq), Tarek Al-Ghossein (Palestine/Kuwait), Boushra Almutawakel (Yemen), Khalifa Al Obaidly (Qatar), Jowhara AlSaud (Saudi Arabia), Sama Alshaibi (Iraq), Karima Al Shomely (UAE), Sami al-Turki (Saudi Arabia), Tammam Azzam (Syria), Lara Baladi (Egypt), Hicham Benohoud (Morocco), Ayman Yossri Daydban (Saudi Arabia), Shady El-Noshokaty (Egypt), Ayman el Semary (Egypt), Lalla Essaydi (Morocco), Mounir Fatmi (Morocco), Lamya Gargash (UAE), Abdulnasser Gharem (Saudi Arabia), Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (Lebanon), Khaled Hafez (Egypt), Hassan Hajjaj (Morocco), Rula Halawani (Palestine), Nermine Hammam (Egypt), Hazem Harb (Palestine), Hazem Taha Hussein (Egypt), George Fikry Ibrahim (Egypt), Noel Jabbour (Palestine), Ahmed Jadallah (Palestine), Mohamed Kanoo (Bahrain), Mohammed Kazem (UAE), Huda Lutfi (Egypt), Maha Malluh (Saudi Arabia), Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabia), Hassan Meer (Oman), Samer Mohdad (Lebanon), Youssef Nabil (Egypt), Ayman Ramadan (Egypt), Steve Sabella (Palestine), Faisal Samra (Saudi Arabia), Wael Shawky (Egypt), Camille Zakharia (Lebanon)

FotoFest has commissioned German curator Karin Adrian von Roques as the Biennial Lead Curator. Ms. von Roques is known for her work, over the past 20 years, bringing contemporary Arab art to international museums and galleries throughout the world. She is working with FotoFest Co-Founder and Senior Curator Wendy Watriss to organize the 2014 Arab exhibitions.

"The exhibitions are not about the curator's voice," says Ms. von Roques. "They are about the artists and what is important to them. These are themes that are not unfamiliar in the West or the rest of the world. What differentiates this work is the particular ways in which individual Arab artists are addressing the concerns and issues of their own cultures."

The Arab artists in the FotoFest 2014 Biennial address issues ranging from the regionally specific to the global. The themes are multi-layered, addressing fundamental issues from an inside perspective; from Arab artists who live and work in the region. The issues addressed include identities and change in the region; relationships to land and homeland; diaspora; memory; questions of gender; religion; historical heritage; the legacy of colonialism; and political upheaval.

"Our focus on Arab art was not motivated by opportunism related to the Arab world's current prominence in the media, but rather by a genuine conviction that the U.S. and Western audiences should have the opportunity to hear from more voices in the region and see the Arab world in more nuanced ways," says Ms. Watriss.

only in german

FotoFest 2014 Biennial
Contemporary Arab Video, Photography and Mixed Media Art

Ebtisam AbdulAziz, Khalil Abdul Wahid, Ammar al Beik, Manal Al Dowayan, Shadia Alem, Reem Al Faisal, Sadik Alfraji, Tarek Al-Ghossein, Boushra Almutawakel, Khalifa Al Obaidly, Jowhara AlSaud, Sama Alshaibi, Karima Al Shomely, Sami Al-Turki, Tammam Azzam, Lara Baladi, Hicham Benohoud, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Shady El-Noshokaty, Ayman el Semary, Lalla Essaydi, Mounir Fatmi, Lamya Gargash, Abdulnasser Gharem, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Khaled Hafez, Hassan Hajjaj, Rula Halawani, Nermine Hammam, Hazem Harb, Hazem Taha Hussein, George Fikry Ibrahim, Noel Jabbour, Ahmed Jadallah, Mohamed Kanoo, Mohammed Kazem, Huda Lutfi, Maha Malluh, Ahmed Mater, Hassan Meer, Samer Mohdad, Youssef Nabil, Ayman Ramadan, Steve Sabella, Faisal Samra, Wael Shawky, Camille Zakharia.

Karin Adrian von Roques, Wendy Watriss