Flirting with Middle Eastern Modernity


“Flirting with Middle Eastern Modernity” charts an alternative understanding of the causes that lead to the reduction of modern and contemporary art from the regions to sites of resistance. Racha investigates why meagre debates are triggered around Middle Eastern Art instead of provoking the intended political discussion.  This perspective has situated modern and contemporary art practices within uncomplicated historical and cultural contexts and elided the complexity of the art from the region, positioning them as sites of resistance, or prove its deployment to Western cultural models. Hence, modernity is then engaged as a narrative of complicity with a hegemonic West, which suppresses, one way or another, Arab and Islamic Tradition.

Presenter’s biography:
Racha Itani is a Lebanese researcher/curator based in London completing her PhD in Curatorial Knowledge at Goldsmiths, University of London. Racha has a degree in Political science from AUB and a Masters in Art and Politics at Goldsmiths, which provided the ideal transition from political theory to contemporary art theory.
Racha explored in her PhD ‘the curatorial’ as differentiated from ‘curating’ to open up a space of theoretical reflection and speculation consistently missing within the activity of curating and its professionalization.
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