Myriam Ben Salah Announced as Curator for the 10th Abraaj Group Art Prize
By Je-Seung Lee
On June 1, 2017, Dubai’s Abraaj Group announced that Tunisian-born, Paris-based writer and curator Myriam Ben Salah will be the curator for the 10th edition of the Abraaj Group Art Prize. Ben Salah was chosen from a pool of applicants representing 41 nations.
Ben Salah has coordinated public programs for Palais de Tokyo in Paris since 2009, and is the editor in chief of Kaleidoscope magazine’s international edition.
In response to her appointment, Ben Salah remarked that she admires how "Abraaj has been consistently supporting artists by offering them a platform for production and the opportunity to realize ambitious projects.” Furthermore, she emphasized the vital nature of such a commission by stating, “Having the resources to produce is the cornerstone to a relevant art scene.”
Each year, Abraaj Group Art Prize chairperson Dana Farouki—along with Fayeeza Naqvi, founding trustee of the Aman Foundation, and Frederic Sicre, managing director of the Abraaj Group, who are permanent jury members—choose one curator to oversee the Abraaj Group Art Prize. This year, the Group welcomed four new jury members: Zeina Arida, director of the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum of Beirut; Myrna Ayad, director of Art Dubai; Stuart Comer, chief curator of media and performance art at New York’s MoMA; and Rashid Rana, artist and curator of the Lahore Biennale. In addition to the four new jury members, Omar Berrada, guest curator of the Prize’s 2016 iteration, will sit on the jury for one year.
The Abraaj Group Art Prize was first established in 2008 to support under-represented contemporary artists by providing economic resources. Each year, after the jury selects the shortlisted artists and prizewinner, the guest curator—in the case of the 10th edition, that position will be filled by Myriam Ben Salah—will work with them to stage a group exhibition. The Prize awards USD 100,000 to the winner and USD 10,000 each to the remaining three shortlisted artists. The winner’s work is then unveiled at Art Dubai, where all shortlisted candidates are given the opportunity to display their work.
Je-Seung Lee is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.
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