Published: Mar 5, 2010
Recipients of Abraaj Capital Art Prizes. Laurie Ann Farrell is second from the right.
ATLANTA—SCAD’s Executive Director of Exhibitions Laurie Ann Farrell and artist Kader Attia were awarded the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in September 2009. ACAP was established to raise awareness of the under-represented work being created by artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia and bestowed the honor to three winning teams of artists and curators for the 2010 prize. Their anticipated collaboration will be unveiled at Art Dubai, March 16.
Farrell and Attia met in Paris in 2005 and thus began their artistic partnership. In 2009, SCAD exhibited Attia’s solo exhibition, “Signs of Reappropriation,” that featured a site-specific installation of Attia’s 2007 Untitled (Skyline), a recent film and a newly commissioned body of photographs that Attia created during a brief residency at SCAD Atlanta.
Since being awarded the prize last September, Farrell and Attia have been hard at work to transform their ambitious proposal into a reality. Farrell said, “Attia’s commission for ACAP is one that draws heavily upon his personal history while simultaneously providing a poetic space for reflection. We believe the work will resonate with local and global audiences.”
The final artwork is called “History of a Myth: The Small Dome of the Rock” and plays a visual game with the viewer, evoking the shape of this historic monument.
“This prize is so vital, because it enables Attia to bring relevant new work into the world and share it with the many visitors to Art Dubai. On behalf of SCAD, I am deeply humbled and honored to work on this project and be a co-recipient of this esteemed prize,” Farrell said.
About the Abraaj Capital Art Prize
Announced in 2008, at US$ 1 million in disbursements, it is the world’s most generous art prize. Annually it rewards chosen artists from the MENASA region on the basis of a proposal rather than completed works of art. The winning artists then go on to create the works. It is aimed at curators and artists working together and not solely an artist. To date there have been six winners (three for 2009 and three for 2010), and for the 2011 edition there will be five winning artists, who will work with one curator to realize their projects. Once completed, works become part of the Abraaj Capital Art Collection and are shown in a variety of locations. To date the 2009 works have been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the Dubai International Financial Centre.
About Laurie Ann Farrell
Laurie Ann Farrell is executive director of exhibitions at the Savannah College of Art and Design, which operates galleries in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, Lacoste, France, and Hong Kong.
From 1999 -2007 Farrell was curator of contemporary art at the Museum for African Art in New York. Highlight exhibitions there include “Personal Affects: Power and Poetics in Contemporary South African Art” (2004), “Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora” (2003) and “Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa” (1999).
Her research for the past four years has focused on artistic dialogues and contemporary art practices in North Africa and the Middle East, in particular the impact of colonialism, immigration and cultural tradition on contemporary art. In 2006 she organized the American participation at the inaugural Trienal de Luanda.
Recent exhibitions of note at SCAD include “Afterglow” (2007), Doug Aitken (2009), Nick Cave (2008), Cao Fei + Map Office (2008, 2009), Kader Attia (2008, 2009), Yinka Shonibare, MBE (2008), Carrie Mae Weems (2008), Wangechi Mutu (2007), and Yeondoo Jung (2007).
Widely published in art journals, Farrell has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Angola, South Africa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Farrell earned a Master of Arts degree in art history and theory from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
About Kader Attia
Born in 1970, Kader Attia spent his childhood between France and Algeria, or between the Christian Occident and the Islamic Maghreb. The older he got, the more he felt was in between identities. His work explores the impact of Western cultural and political capitalism on the Middle East and North Africa, as well as how a residual struggle with and resistance to colonization impacts Arab youth, particularly in the suburbs of France where Attia lived. While each new series employs different materials, symbols and scale, Attia’s practice continually returns to a sustained look at the poetic dimensions and complexities of contemporary life. His first solo exhibition was in 1996 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then he has exhibited regularly in France, in institutions such as Palais de Tokyo in France, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Mass., in the United States, and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom. He has gained international recognition by participating in the Venice Biennale (2003), Art Basel Miami (2004) and the Lyon Biennale (2005). Attia was nominated for the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2005 and awarded the Prize of the Cairo Biennale in 2008. He is represented by Galerie Christian Nagel (Berlin and Cologne) and Galerie Krinzinger (Vienna).