Regard sur les artistes modernes et contemporains arabes

Conversation between Brahim Alaoui & Meryem Sebti

Wednesday 28 December 2022
5pm GMT+1
At MACAAL & Facebook live

“Regard sur les artistes modernes et contemporains arabes” (A look at modern and contemporary Arab artists) retraces the encounters of Brahim Alaoui, art historian and director of the museum of the Arab World Institute between 1987 and 2007, with a generation of Arab artists nourished by a reflection on identity anchored in its time and freed from traditional modes of representation. On the occasion of its publication, MACAAL organised a discussion with the author on the notion of “modernity” in the context of intercultural globalisation. Moderated by Meryem Sebti, editor-in-chief of Diptyk magazine, this meeting was followed by a book signing.

About the book

After more than three decades devoted to intercultural mediation, Brahim Alaoui looks back on his encounters with Arab artists, in their homes or in exile. He thus provides a field knowledge and a sensitive look at the work of a generation of modern artists, often trained in post-war Europe, who, once back in their country, begin to reflect on their identity and elaborate their postcolonial modernity.
It then presents a selection of contemporary artists who, at the turn of the twenty-first century, have broken free from the classical paths of representation, explore new mediums and make an original contribution to the global dynamic of international artistic connection and interaction. Through fifty portraits, the history of art and the debates of ideas that cross the Arab world from the Nahda (renaissance) to the present day intersect, with its utopias, tragedies, resiliencies and hopes.

About Brahim Alaoui

Initially a researcher at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Brahim Alaoui was then director of the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris where, between 1987 and 2007, he organised several exhibitions that helped build his reputation. He is the author of numerous books and catalogues, notably on contemporary Arab artists. He has been a member of several juries, notably those of the Venice Biennale in 1999 (UNESCO prize) and the Shanghai Biennale in 2001 (UNESCO prize). He was also a member of the UNESCO Advisory Committee for Works of Art until 2007, a member of ICOM (International Council of Museums) and a member of AICA-France (International Association of Art Critics). Today he divides his time between his activities as a consultant in cultural engineering and publishing and as an exhibition curator.

About Meryem Sebti

Meryem Sebti is a Moroccan journalist, co-founder, publishing director and editor-in-chief of the contemporary art magazine Diptyk. She began her career as a journalist at La Vie Eco and Le Journal hebdomadaire. After having created a firm of editorial content for companies and produced the magazines of many Moroccan companies, she turned to the art press. In 2008, she moved to Casablanca and began working on the project of an art magazine with Yasmina Bouzid, independent curator. The first French-speaking magazine dedicated to contemporary art from the Arab world and Africa, the first issue of Diptyk came out in June 2009.