the curators

Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath co-founded Art Reoriented, a multi-disciplinary curatorial platform operating from Munich and New York in 2009. Their past and ongoing exhibition, research and publication projects include several museums and cultural institutions including MoMA in New York, Mathaf in Doha, INHA in Paris, IVAM in Valencia, Casa Arabe in Madrid, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Gwangju, Tashkeel in Dubai, the China Art Museum in Beijing and BOZAR in Brussles. They are members of several art prize and residency committees such as Dar Al-Ma’mun in Marrakesh and the Boghossian Foundation in Brussels. Sam and Till have held teaching positions at several universities such as the London School of Economics and the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
They have published in a number of academic journals such as DadaSur: The International Journal on Surrealism, Qantara and The International Journal of Humanities. They contribute regularly to a number of publications such as Flash Art, Art Info and the Huffington Post. Integral to Sam and Till's practice is the ongoing critique of museological practices and institutionalized exhibition structures. Through their curatorial approach they seek to interrogate the appropriation of art into the creation of reductionist narratives through politicized modes of presentation. They believe in the significance of excavating art-historical accounts that can be positioned as a dynamic framework for the reconsideration of the contemporary moment of artistic production.
Curator’s Word
“The material and physical delineations of a pavilion embody a desire to encapsulate an imagined “essence” within a carefully constructed shell. A pavilion looks like an interruption, where continuities in geography and time all of a sudden break in favor of that finality. When addressing this problematic of representation, curating a “national pavilion” can become an act of a revisionist nature, introducing a work that refuses to be ‘a terminal point of the creative process, but rather, a site of navigation, a portal and a generator of thought.’
"I am continuously haunted by the different subjects, characters and figures that I have dealt with in my work in the past. They often reappear in my life and manage to find a way into later works like the one that I will be presenting in Venice.”
This is one of the ways by which Akram Zaatari describes the new multimedia installation that he will be creating for the Lebanese Pavilion at this year’s 2013 Venice Biennial. Conceived as a theater of limitless possibilities, the work entitled “Letter to a Refusing Pilot” will act as a space of encounter where strangers from different worlds find themselves on stage face-to-face. While rooted in a local incident, and despite its specificity, the work transcends regional boundaries and touches upon issues that are universal in their reach and implications.
“Letter to a Refusing Pilot” is a film and video installation that reflects on the many complexities, ambiguities and consequences of refusal as a decisive and generative act.
“Most fascinating about the project is how it oscillates between reality and myth, weaving elements of autobiography and collective memory, of rumor and historical fact.” Taking as its title a nod to Albert Camus’ “Letter to a German Friend,” the work not only extends Zaatari’s interest in excavated narratives and the circulation of images in times of war, it also raises crucial questions about national representation and perpetual crisis by reviving Camus’s plea, “I should like to be able to love my country, and still love justice.” In doing so, the work operates along an axis of interrogation that sits within the same vein of criticality that we had in mind for the pavilion itself.
“There are accidents in life that allow you to put your hands on something so precious,” Zaatari said upon the announcement of his selection last October, “a story that’s so informative of the time, of boundaries, of history, national identities and borders.” Up until the inauguration of this year’s biennial, artist, commissioner and us alike have decided to keep that story under wraps. The pavilion, lying at the heart of the Arsenale awaits the unraveling of a much-anticipated story.

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