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The fall of the Berlin Wall arguably remains one of the most salient symbols of twentieth-century utopianism. Yet, countless divisions persist today. Published in conjunction with the exhibition Walking Through Walls at Gropius Bau in Berlin, which marks the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this book provides a timely reflection on the emotional, psychological, and physical impact of living with tangible and metaphorical walls. Through illustrated interviews with twenty-eight artists and artist estates from twenty- one countries across the globe, this extensive publication captures their state of mind as they each evoke cultural, economic, gender, and other divides that permeate the politically charged landscape of our times. An essay by award-winning authors Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath furthers the conceptual framework of these conversations. Weaving together key philosophical theories by such seminal figures as Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, and Giorgio Agamben, with those of Edward Saïd, Benedict Anderson and Zygmunt Bauman, the authors assess what they see as a “lyrical formal shift” in contemporary practices that grapple with divisive power structures. Along with one hundred fifty reproductions of artworks and installation views, this book serves as a primary document, offering a panorama of artistic responses to realities of exclusion and separation and the challenges to overcome them.
English edition – Walking through Walls, edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Silvana Editoriale, Milan, Italy, 2019, 264 pages, 150 illustrations,
German Edition – Durch Mauern Gehen, edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Silvana Editoriale, Milan, Italy, 2019, 264 pages, 150 illustrations,
Published on the occasion of the participation of the United Arab Emirates at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, this book contextualizes Nujoom Alghanem’s eponymous film that was specifically commissioned for the National Pavilion UAE. It includes a selection of her poetry, a wide array of production stills from the film, an in-depth interview with the artist, a curatorial essay by the editors, as well as a selection of installation images of the pavilion in Venice.
English Edition – Nujoom Alghanem: Passage, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, with poetry by Nujoom Alghanem, Silvana Editoriale, 2019, 140 pages, ISBN 978-8-83664-348-6
Arabic Edition –نجوم الغانم: عبور, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, with poetry by Nujoom Alghanem, Silvana Editoriale, 2019, 140 pages, ISBN 978-8-83664-349-3
Witness to a Golden Age is an online database and mapping project that provides access to more than 1,000 archival documents related to hundreds of art exhibitions at more than 50 art spaces that were operational in Beirut from 1955 to 1975. It features an interactive map of Beirut coupled with a searchable timeline where visitors can examine and download, for the first time, this significant body of archival materials. It is an ongoing research initiative that will continue to expand in scope and content. Further materials and papers will be made available on the respective website.
Witness to a Golden Age is the most comprehensive mapping project to date of what is arguably one of Beirut’s most dynamic periods of artistic activity. It serves as an open-ended, non-didactic research platform for artists, curators, and scholars with an interest in the study of Beirut’s modernist artistic networks and multi-polar strands of artistic production and criticism. Through making accessible a wide plethora of primary documents ranging from exhibition catalogues, posters and invitation cards, to photographs and film footage of openings and art events, along with personal correspondence, artist/gallery contracts, newspaper reviews and articles, it provides a research framework that allows for an In Situ consideration of a significant chapter in the history of modernism in Beirut and beyond.
Witness to A Golden Age is the inaugural edition of Perspective, the Beirut-based Saradar Collection’s annual research program, where a curator is invited to critically engage with a theme derived from the collection. Launched in November 2018, this first edition was initiated through a preliminary consideration of 25 artworks ranging from 1960 to 1970 by six modernist artists from the sollection: Shafic Abboud, Rafic Charaf, Laure Ghorayeb, Halim Jurdak, Seta Manoukian, and Aref El Rayess. It then expanded to cover a diverse selection of other artists, along with a sizeable number of artworks, art spaces and exhibitions from the period at hand.
Conceived and edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath.
Saradar Collection Online Publications, Beirut, 2018, Mapping Project with 1000 archival documents
Paul Guiragossian (1926–1993) is one of the most influential artists to emerge from the Arab World in the 20th century. Born to Armenian parents, survivors of the Armenian Genocide, he experienced the consequences of exile, first as a child, and later as a young refugee from Jerusalem arriving in Beirut in the late 1940s. Guiragossian’s personal experience of displacement led him to craft a formal style and critical stance that were at the forefront of modernism’s search for a language that could aptly express the complexities of the human condition. From the monumental to the minute, the figurative to the abstract, Guiragossian’s work is equally marked by a constant negotiation of a wide range of art-historical styles as well as a profound rootedness within the complexity of his immediate cultural and sociopolitical context.
This timely and comprehensive monograph addresses Guiragossian’s five-decade prolific career, shedding light on diverse aspects of the artist’s oeuvre, ranging from his paintings and drawings to his illustrations and theater designs. It consists of more than 600 color reproductions of artworks and archival documents, and a select anthology of scholarly articles and newspaper reviews translated for the first time into English from Arabic and French. Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, and Manuella Guiragossian, it provides a new reading of Guiragossian, situating his work within the cultural heterogeneity of the cities in which he lived, studied and worked, and revealing his impact on both his peers and the generations that followed. Drawing on a sweeping range of primary documents from the Paul Guiragossian Foundation archives, and building on recent scholarship on Arab modernism, this monograph is the most extensive publication to date on the life and work of the artist.
English Edition – Paul Guiragossian: Displacing Modernity, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, and Manuella Guiragossian, Silvana Editoriale, Milan, 2018, 400 pages, ISBN 978-8-83663-907-6
Surrealism in Egypt is the first comprehensive analysis of the Surrealist Art and Liberty Group (Art et Liberté – jama’at al-fann wal hurriyyah). Born with the publication of their Manifesto Long Live Degenerate Art on December 22nd, 1938, Art et Liberté were pioneering new art forms and mounting subversive exhibitions that sent shockwaves across local artistic circles. Internationally informed, they aligned themselves with a complex, global and evolving Surrealist movement spanning cities such as Paris, London, Mexico City, New York, Beirut and Tokyo. In the thick of WWII, they created a distinct reworking of Surrealism, which provided a generation of disillusioned Egyptian and non-Egyptian artists and writers, men and women alike, with a platform for cultural reform and anti-Fascist protest. By addressing the group’s long-lost and often misconstrued legacy, and drawing on a substantial body of previously unpublished primary documents and more than 200 field interviews, the author charts Art et Liberté ‘s significant contribution towards Surrealism. Moving beyond the polarizing dichotomies of Saïdian Orientalism and post-colonial discourse, this book rewrites the history of Surrealism itself – advocating for a new definition of the movement that reflects an inclusive vision of art history.
Winner of the 2017 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize.
English Edition – Surrealism in Egypt: Modernism and the Art and Liberty Group, by Sam Bardaouil, I.B. Tauris, London, 2016, 354 pages, 104 illustrations, ISBN 978-1-78453-651-0
Taking its title from the 1951 manifesto of the Baghdad Group for Modern Art, this exhibition catalogue offers a glimpse into five artist groups and schools in five Arab cities, each exemplifying their distinct vision, negotiation, and application of what modernism meant, and the possibilities of how it could be manifested. Ever since the polemics of Orientalism and post-colonial studies have been set, there have been several corrective interventions that have sought to re-insert the achievements of the so-called “Other” into the mainstream canon, often perceived as exclusively written by the so-called “West.” Despite the fundamental differences within their constructs, what many of these notions have in common is a depiction of modernism in the Arab world as a monolithic phenomenon.
In highlighting the distinct stylistic traits of five different clusters, schools, and groups of artists across five Arab cities, each within their respective intellectual and geo-cultural context, this exhibition catalogue seeks to challenge the notion of an “ism,” that levels the specificities of the incarnations of various modernisms across numerous cities in the Arab world. It advocates a “Transcultural” paradigm that is able to position these artists as a unique link within a multi-latticed chain of international nodes each making its distinct contributions and formulating its unique response to a global discourse on modernist thought and practice.
English / Arabic Edition – That Feverish Leap into the Fierceness of Life: A look at five artist groups in five Arab cities across five decades, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, with contributions by Salah Hassan Abdallah, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Eiman Elgibreen, Holiday Powers and Nada Shabout, Art Dubai, 2018, 134 pages
Published in 5 separate editions, and a total of 5 languages, this is the first exhibition catalogue dedicated to the Surrealist movement in Egypt. The book provides an immersive incursion into the visual universe and artistic legacy of the Surrealist Art and Liberty group (Art et Liberté – jama’at al-fann wal hurriyyah) through more than 200 full-color illustrations of artworks and archival documents, most of which have not been exhibited before. Beyond their interest in a reconfiguration of Surrealist aesthetics, Art et Liberté were equally motivated by a true revolutionary impulse marked by a refusal to conform with the conservative bourgeois tastes of the time. This catalogue plunges the reader into the turbulent artistic scene of Egypt of the 1939s and 1940s providing a comprehensive take on one of Surrealism’s most exciting yet little-known chapters.
English Edition – Art et Liberté: Rupture, War and Surrealism in Egypt (1938 – 1948), Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, with a contribution by James Gifford, Skira Editore Milan, 2016, 224 pages, ISBN 978-2-37074-031-1
Arabic Edition – جماعة الفن و الحرية: الإنشقاق و الحرب و السريالية في مصر (١٩٣٨ – ١٩٤٨) : Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Skira Editore Milan, Italy, 2016, 256 pages, ISBN 978-2-37074-050-2
French Edition – Art et Liberté: Rupture, Guerre et Surréalisme en Égypte (1938 – 1948), Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Skira Editore Milan, Italy, 2016, 256 pages, ISBN 978-2-37074-030-4
German Edition – Art et Liberté: Umbruch, Krieg und Surrealismus in Ägypten (1938 – 1948), Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, with a contribution by Doris Krystof, Skira Editore Milan, 2016, 224 pages, ISBN 978-2-37074-048-9
Spanish Edition – Art et Liberté: Ruptura, Guerra y Surrealismo en Egipto (1938 – 1948), Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Skira Editore Milan, 2016, 224 pages, ISBN 978-2-37074-049-6
Published in conjunction with the traveling exhibition under the same title at ARTER – Space of Art, Istanbul, and the Villa Empain, Boghossian Foundation in Brussels, this catalogue features a comprehensive academic essay by the curators providing in-depth analysis of the main curatorial strands within the exhibition. In addition, it features two scholarly contributions by Dr. Mary Acton, author of the best-selling How to Look at Paintings, and Dr. Stephanie Moser, Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Southampton and author of Wondrous Curiosities. Further to the exhibition, the catalogue provides a thorough investigation into the act of looking within various art-historical and museological contexts.
English / Turkish Edition
Görme Biçimleri / Ways of Seeing
Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, and Süreyya Evren, with contributions by Mary Acton, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, and Stephanie Moser
ARTER Publications, 2017, 150 pages, ISBN: 978-6059606066
English / French / Flemish Edition
Ways of Seeing
Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath with contributions by Mary Acton, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, and Stephanie Moser
Boghossian Foundation Publications, 2017, 170 pages, ISBN: 978-2960191462
English / Arabic Edition
Ways of Seeing / طرق الإبصار
Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, with Alaa Edriss, with contributions by Maya Allison, Mary Acton and Stephanie Moser
Akkadia Press, 2018, ISBN 978-1-99992-675-5
Published in conjunction with the exhibition under the same title, which took place in three venues across the city of Jeddah, this catalogue features a comprehensive curatorial text by providing the reader with a tour across the various curatorial threads of the exhibition. It also features an interview with six emerging Saudi artists, along with images of 16 new commissions that were specifically created for the respective exhibition.
English / Arabic – Safar, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Jeddah Art Council, Jeddah, 2016, 144 pages
This fully illustrated catalogue is published in conjunction with the first comprehensive exhibition in Belgium of a generation of loosely affiliated Korean artists whose negotiation of abstraction has become known as Dansaekhwa. It features seminal paintings and works on paper ranging from the 1960s until the 1980s by some of Danseakhwa’s leading figures such as Chung Chang-Sup (1927–2011), Chung Sang-Hwa (b. 1932), Ha Chong-Hyun (b. 1935), Kim Whanki (1913–1974), Kwon Young-Woo (1926–2013), Lee Ufan (b. 1936), and Park Seo-Bo (b. 1931). A comprehensive art-historical text by the exhibition curators along with a detailed and illustrated timeline, make this publication a must-go-to for anyone interested in the history of Danseakhwa and Korean Modern art at large.
French / Flemish / English Edition – When Process Becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean Abstraction, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Boghossian Foundation, Brussels, 2016, 144 pages
Published in conjunction with the exhibition under the same title at the Busan Museum of Art, this catalogue explores how over the past two decades video artists have been subverting the technical and formal characteristics of video art and expanding the viewer’s experience of form, time and space. Through a comprehensive curatorial text, and installation shots from the exhibition’s 12 video installations by some of today’s leading video artists, the catalogue sheds light on the multiplicity of approaches through which artists have been reconsidering the relation between space and image in conceiving film as installation art.
Korean / English Edition – Staging Film: The Relation of Space and Image in Video Art, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Busan Museum of Art, Busan, 2016, 144 pages
I Spy with My Little Eye: A New Generation of Beirut Artists introduces a generation of artists, connected to Beirut, who are in their late twenties to early thirties. It outlines the formal and thematic interests that they bring to their work, which differentiate them from the preceding generation’s focus on archives and documentary in response to the aftermath of the Lebanese Civil War (1975–2000).
English / Spanish Edition – I Spy with My Little Eye: A New Generation of Beirut Artists, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Mosiac Rooms, London, 2015, 64 pages
In-depth moderated conversations that shed light on the diverse lives of 10 well-established midcareer artists (Manal Aldowayan, Ghada Amer, Lara Baladi, Wafaa Bilal, Mouir Fatmi, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Khalil Rabah, Zineb Sedira, Hassan Sharif, Akram Zaatari).
English Edition – Summer, Autumn, Winter, and … Spring: Conversations with Artists form the Arab World, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, SKIRA, Milan, 2015, 144 pages, ISBN: 978-8857214849
A comprehensive publication accompanying the exhibition under the same title at Mathaf, Doha, Qatar in 2014, that illustrates and discusses over 70 of Mona Hatoum’s works spanning a period of three decades.
English / Arabic Edition – Mona Hatoum: Turbulence, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Silvana Editoriale, Milan and Mathaf, Doha, 2014, 200 pages, ISBN: 978-8836628117
A comprehensive publication accompanying the exhibition under the same title at Mathaf, Doha, Qatar in 2014, that illustrates and discusses over 70 of Mona Hatoum’s works spanning a period of three decades.
English / Korean Edition – Songs of Loss and Songs of Love: Oum Kulthoum and Lee Nan-young, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju, 2014, 200 pages
An illustrated catalogue accompanying the exhibition under the same title with an extended essay on the local and international ramifications and art-historical negotiations of this movement.
English edition: Alexander Gray Associates, New York, USA, 2014,60 pages
An in-depth illustrated inquiry into the life and work of artist, philosopher, writer and educator Paul Guiragossian (1925–1993) accompanying the exhibition under the same title and marking the 20thanniversary of his death.
English edition, Paul Guiragossian Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon, 2013, 127 pages, ISBN: 978-0615917689
Published in 4 editions, and a total of 6 languages, the book contains new field research on Egyptian modernism, as well as the curatorial contributions accompanying the international touring exhibition. A particular emphasis lies on the exploration of the creation of cultural images of Egypt through the arts over the past 2000 years, and it’s pivotal moment at the onset of colonialism and the creation of Egyptian museums in Europe. The German / English edition published in 2014 by Skira contains an additional chapter in the form of a conversation moderated by Tate Modern director Chris Dercon.
German / English Edition – Nofretete – Tête-à-Tête: Wie Kunst gemacht wird – Künstler, Museum und Publikum, Edited b Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Skira Editore Milan, Italy,2014, 250 pages, ISBN: 978-8857224329
Spanish / Valencian Edition – Té con Nefertit: la creación de la obra de arte por el artista, el museo y el público,Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, IVAM, Valencia, 2013, 170pages, Online publication
French / Arabic Edition – Le Théorème de Nefertiti: Itinéraire de l’oeuvre d’art : la création des icônes, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Skira Editore Milan, Italy, Paris,2012, 250 pages, ISBN: 978-8857216294
English / Arabic Edition – Tea with Nefertiti: The Making of the Artwork by the Artist, the Museum and the Public, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Bloomsbury, London, 2012, 250 pages, ISBN: 978-9992195642
Published in conjunction with the exhibition bearing the same title, this book features the process leading up to 23 works specially commissioned by Mathaf from artists with roots in the Arab world. The curators’ texts highlight a diversity of cultural and aesthetic references resulting from a process of constant migration across geographical and cultural boundaries, giving rise to a new art-theory notion of “transmodernity.”
English / Arabic Edition – Told Untold Retold: 23 Stories of Journeys through Time and Space, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, SKIRA, Milan and Mathaf, Doha, 2010, 260 pages, ISBN: 978-8857208190
This publication features 35 artists living and working in Iran alongside 21 others living in the Diaspora. The result is a multifarious portrait of 56 contemporary Iranian artists challenging the conventional perceptions of Iran and Iranian art. In addition to a curatorial introduction and comprehnsive artist statements, the book includes a chapter by Sotheby’s Institute’s Dr. Anthony Downey on the de-centralization of artistic centres.
English edition, Farjam Collection, Dubai, UAE, 2010, 120 pages
English Edition – Iran Inside Out: Influences of Homeland and Diaspora on the Artistic Language of 56 Contemporary Iranian Artist, Edited by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, 2009, 160 pages, ISBN: 978-0982397718
This fully-illustrated book features more than 100 artworks by mid-twentieth century Italian and Middle Eastern artists, revealing the multilayered nature of exchange that both cultures historically had on each other. It Includes an additional section on manuscripts, textiles, musical instruments, and cartographic documents spanning an entire millennium of Italian, Ottoman, Safavid and Qajar cultural traditions, creating a historical frame of reference for the visual and thematic convergences of the twentieth century.
Museum Global: Micro-histories of an Ex–centric Modernism, edited by Susanne Gaensheimer, Kathrin Beßen, Doris Krystof, Isabella Malz, and Maria Müller-Schareck.
Weinand, 2018, pp. 200–211, ISBN 978-3-86832-486-0
A Plurality of Tongues: Giving Direction to the Museum, edited by Daniel Birnbaum and Ann-Sofi Noring.
Walther Koenig Book, Berlin, 2018, ISBN 978-3-96098-470-2
Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents (MoMA Primary Documents), edited by Anneka Lenssen, Sarah Rogers, and Nada Shabout.
Duke University Press, 2018, ISBN 978-1-63345-038-7
An academic paper exploring the implications of the nationalist and colonial contexts surrounding two seminal modern artists living and working between Cairo and Paris during the early decades of the 20th century.
Dirty Dark Loud and Hysteric: The London and Paris Surrealist Exhibitions of the 1930s and the Exhibition Practices of the Art and Liberty Group in Cairo
Building on first-to-be-published archival materials and primary documents, this academic paper illustrates how the Art and Liberty Group negotiated and adapted non-conformist exhibition design and display methods from their Surrealist counterparts in Paris and London, to instigate a rupture within their immediate cultural and political landscape.
Edge of Arabia: Collecting Art from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, edited by Edward Booth–Clibborn, Stephen Stapleton, Abdullah Al–Turki.
English edition, Booth–Clibborn, London, 2012, pp. 120–123, ISBN: 978-1861543233
Canvas, March/April 2012