Northwestern Events Calendar


Visual Vanguard: Abdellah Karroum - Generation 00: Artists As Citizens

When: Thursday, February 23, 2017
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Central

Where: Block Museum of Art, Mary and Leigh, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Lindsay Bosch   (847) 467-4602

Group: Block Museum of Art

Co-Sponsor: Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities
Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Category: Academic


Today, we find ourselves in the midst of a very important turn where we are both witnessing and participating in the reformulation of the role of cultural practices in the world, especially in relation to the museum and its tentacles. The idea is not new, but the real rupture is that this is happening both inside and outside the so-called “art world.” -Abdellah Karroum, Art21 Magazine

The Block Museum’s “Visual Vanguard” series presents conversations with innovative arts leaders working internationally who are transforming the way we experience and think about art today. The museum is proud to welcome Abdellah Karroum who will speak to his work as the director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar and as the founder and artistic director of L’appartement 22, an experimental collaborative space for exhibitions and artists’ residencies in Rabat, Morocco.

The museum director will also discuss his recent research examining artistic production during the decade preceding the uprisings in Tunisia and the Arab World. Karroum will expand on the idea of a “generation 00” of artists working as citizens who produced works opposing and critically reading the political and social situations of the early 21st Century. Karroum’s research focuses on the years between 1999 and 2011, highlighting a long decade of disruptive artistic initiatives that preceded the so-called “revolutions” and political actions of the Arab Spring. Karroum suggests this “Generation 00, including artists Amal Kenawy (Egypt) and Manal Al Dowayan (Saudi Arabia), Ismail Bahri (Tunisia), and Mustapha Akrim (Morocco), intertwined politics with curatorial and editorial projects, offering new paths for change and citizen-led action.

Karroum’s presentation will be followed by a conversation with S. Hollis Clayson, Professor of Art History and Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities, and Brian Edwards, Crown Professor in Middle East Studies.

Presented in partnership with the Department of Art History, the Program in Middle East and North African Studies and with the support of Buffett Institute for Global Studies and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.


About Abdellah Karroum:

Abdellah Karroum is the director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar, which explores and celebrates art by Arab artists and offers an Arab perspective on international modern and contemporary art. He is also the founder and artistic director of L’appartement 22, an experimental collaborative space for exhibitions and artists’ residencies in Rabat, Morocco.

Born in Morocco, Abdellah Karroum has more than 20 years of experience in the art sector organizing and curating numerous international exhibitions and programs for various institutions in different countries. Most recently, he was Associate Curator of the 2012 Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and Curator of the 2012 Benin Biennial. In 2012, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco’s International Prize for Contemporary Art.

Between 1993 and 1996, he served as the Assistant Curator at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary art in Bordeaux, France. He has been Associate Curator for various international art biennials, including Dakar 2006, Gwangju 2008, and Associate Director of the Marrakech Biennial in 2007 as well as the Artistic Director ot the Marrakech Biennial in 2009. He also launched R22 radio in 2007, an experimental online radio and a platform for hosting projects.

In 2000, Karroum initiated Le Bout du Monde art expeditions with artists and researchers in several continents. He was also the creator of Curatorial Delegation, a methodology for collective artistic projects. He founded the research laboratory Art, Technologie et Ecologie at ESAV (Film School in Marrakech) and other art places in Morocco and remains its director.

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