Perspectives on Artistic Communities in Central Asia
Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art
Wednesday, 24 September, 2014, 5pm

In this talk, curator Leeza Ahmady offered an analysis of arts and cultural practices in Central Asia that take into account recent and historical developments in contemporary art. After fifty years of total isolation and two decades of independence since the fall of the Soviet Union, Central Asian countries are re-connecting with the world through their vast energy reserves of oil, natural gases and minerals. They are also renegotiating relationships with each other through small but vibrant artistic communities, as they share many cultural, linguistic, religious, and ethnic ties beyond geographic lines. Addressing the lack of artistic dialogue between Central Asia and other countries of Asia and the Middle East, Ahmady made a case for the importance of further institutional engagement.

This talk continued Ahmady's ongoing curatorial, educational, and archival initiative, The Taste of Others, launched in 2005 to connect artists and art practitioners of Central Asia to those in other parts of the world.

Ahmady also lead a series of workshops at Mathaf, "Do Peripheries Become Center?" on developing curatorial tools for working in rapidly expanding art contexts, and "Translation as Significance," about ways to read art works in relationship to their own significance.

This talk marked the first event in a series programmed for Project Space 4: Doha Art Map, providing insight into a neighboring developing art infrastructure, a useful lens through which to reflect on the art scene in Doha.