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Iaspis Breakfast Lecture: Bassam El Baroni

A Brief Encounter with Fine Art, Universality, and Other Weathered Notions

Time: 10.30 am, Friday 15 February
Place: The Project Room, Iaspis, Konstnärsnämnden, Maria skolgata 83, Stockholm


Image: Alighiero Boetti, Mappa, 1989 – 1992, Courtesy Giordano Boetti collection


The vast majority of art produced in various contexts throughout the world never makes it into the international circuit of biennials and discursive art projects. And, perhaps there is a scarcity of serious theoretical attempts at finding out why. Beyond the usual arguments of inclusion and exclusion, many theorists, critics, curators and artists are familiar with, most peoples' notions of what art is can be tagged under the term 'fine art', art characterized by the academic application or manipulation of canonical art histories. The present day biennial and similar event structures favour 'contemporary art' over 'fine art’; the reasons given are unconvincing for most people.  What is really behind this phenomenon? The talk attempts to uncover some of the sophisticated root causes behind why some art practices are accepted into the realm of the international while others remain incompatible to it or outside of it.


Bassam El Baroni is a curator and art critic based in Alexandria (EG). In 2005 he co-founded the non-profit art space Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF), and was its director until its closure in December 2012. In 2010, he was co-curator of Manifesta 8, Murcia (ES). Other exhibitions and projects include: When it Stops Dripping from the Ceiling (An Exhibition That Thinks About Edification), Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2012); Trapped in Amber (with Helga-Marie Nordby), UKS, Oslo (2009); the online collaboration The ARPANET Dialogues (with Nav Haq and Jeremy Beaudry), (2010-Present); the publication Fifteen Ways to Leave Badiou published by ACAF (2011). He is currently co-curating the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), to open September 2013, Lofoten (NO). He has contributed texts to a variety of publications and has delivered papers at a wide range of conferences and symposia. El Baroni is also a PhD researcher in the Curatorial/Knowledge program at Goldsmiths, University of London.


Updated: 2013-02-01 Tell a friend


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