Canvas presents the last in a series of three panel discussions tackling gender, wars and chadors, this session is an artist-led talk. With the recent global surge in interest in Middle Eastern art from institutions and collectors alike, key questions arise: Where will the next generation of artists be educated? How can artists tackle censorship, when subjects such as nudity are out of bounds in parts of the region? Join Canvas at Art Basel Miami Beach for a conversation on the controversy over some dominant themes in Contemporary Middle Eastern art. The transcripts of the three panels will be published in a limited edition book published by Mixed Media Publishing.

Date: Thursday 3 December 2009
Time: 3:00-3:45pm
Place: Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Salon, Miami Beach Convention Centre

This event is open to the public. For more information contact Alia Fattouh on or +971 505578983

Born in Cairo in 1963, Ghada Amer moved with her parents to France in 1974, where she began her artistic training 10 years later at Villa Arson, Nice. Amer takes traditional notions of cultural identity, abstraction, and religious fundamentalism and turns them on their heads. In her well-known erotic embroideries, she at once rejects and repudiates first-wave feminist theory that the body must be denied, to prevent victimisation. By depicting explicit sexual acts with the delicacy of needle and thread, their significance assumes a tenderness that simple objectification ignores. Amer currently lives and works in New York and has exhibited at, among others, the Venice Biennale and the Brooklyn Museum.


Kader Attia was born in 1970 into an Algerian family in Paris. He studied at the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, spending a year at Barcelona's Escola de Artes Applicades. He held his first solo exhibition in 1996 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and since then has exhibited regularly throughout the world. Using his own identity as a starting point, Attia tackles the increasingly difficult relationship between Europe and immigrants, particularly those of Islamic faith. Attia gained international recognition at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) and is one of the winners of the 2009 Abraaj Capital Art Prize. In 2010, Attia will take part in the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship Programme.


Akram Zaatari lives and works in Beirut. His work shows commitment to researching, collecting and studying documents that communicate complex political situations or geographic phenomena within the larger context of Lebanon and the Middle East. It is particularly focused on the relocation of borders after military incursions and withdrawals, and on the role of surveillance and fear in imposing borders and subsequently creating states of closure. Zaatari has exhibited extensively and through his interest in the notion of collecting as an art practice, co-founded the Arab Image Foundation in 1997 (AIF), which among other things, focuses on studying and archiving the photographic work of the photographer Hashem El-Madani (1928-).

Hans Ulrich Obrist | Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery

Hans Ulrich Obrist joined Julia Peyton-Jones, the Serpentine Gallery Director, in 2006 as Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects. Prior to this, he was Curator of the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris for six years. Obrist has curated and co-curated over 200 solo and group exhibitions and biennales internationally since 1991 including, among others, the First Berlin Biennale, 1998 and the First and Second Moscow Biennales, 2005 and 2007. In 2007, Obrist co-curated Il Tempo del Postino with Philippe Parreno for the Manchester International Festival, also presented at Art Basel, 2009. In the same year, the Van Alen Institute awarded him the New York Prize Senior Fellowship for 2007-8. In 2009, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Spaces are limited! Please ensure you arrive at the venue at least 15 minutes before the start of the panel.