Artist Zineb Sedira selects curatorial team for French Pavilion at 59th Venice Biennale

Yasmina Reggad © Lola Reboud / Marthe Wéry, Venice, 1982-198 © Succession Marthe Wéry Zineb Sedira © Thierry Bal Sam Bardaouil et Till Fellrath © Dahahm Choi

The Institut français announced today that artist Zineb Sedira, who will represent France at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022, has chosen the curatorial team comprised of Yasmina Reggad, and Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath of artReoriented to curate her exhibition for the French Pavilion.

Zineb Sedira was officially invited by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Franck Riester, former Minister of Culture, based on the nomination by an international selection committee consisting of Charlotte Laubard (Art historian and Curator, Professor and Head of the Visual Arts Department at HEAD – Geneva School of Art and Design), Naomi Beckwith (Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago), Hélène Guenin (Director, Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice), Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel (Managing Director, Lafayette Anticipations, Paris), Morad Montazami (Independent Curator and Writer, Paris) and Yves Robert (Executive Director, Les Biennales de Lyon).

As a leading voice of her generation, Zineb Sedira who was born in France of Algerian descent, has been instrumental in expanding the discourse within contemporary artistic practices by exploring alternative histories of colonialism and contested historical narratives, as well as addressing in her work questions of collective memory and heritage. Since the beginning of her career, she has elaborated a polyphonic vocabulary that embraces autobiographical narration, fiction and documentary genres.

When asked about her choice of curators, Zineb Sedira said: “Yasmina, as well as Sam and Till each have a distinct curatorial approach, based on thorough research, an unwavering curiosity, and an uncompromising commitment to the artists they work with. Their respective experiences complement each other in an ideal way: Yasmina as a curator, writer and performance artist, Sam and Till as a multidisciplinary academic and curatorial duo. I have collaborated with them on many projects over the past years, and with their knowledge and intuition, I believe that we will create a project that is both meaningful and timely.”

Yasmina Reggad and Zineb Sedira co-funded aria (artist residency in algiers), a platform that has hosted international artists, curators and institutions in Algiers since 2012. They travelled together by plane and train the 1932 Imperial Airways commercial route that linked London to Karachi for the installation Air Affairs commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation in 2018. More recently, Yasmina Reggad accompanied the artist when she uncovered hidden sites and treasures in the archive of the Cinemathèque of Algiers in preparation of her solo exhibition A Brief Moment at Jeu de Paume in 2019.

About their long-term association, Yasmina Reggad said: “Zineb has always been a great supporter of younger generations of art practitioners. She encouraged me as I was growing as a curator, and later as a performance artist. It means a lot to me to be working alongside her in this key moment in her career as she represents our country, France, at the next edition of the Venice Biennale.”

Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath have collaborated with Zineb Sedira on several projects over the past decade, including the commission of the large scale two-channel video and sculptural installation The End of the Road for the opening of Mathaf: the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha in 2010, as well as an exhibition at the Gwangju Museum of Art in South Korea in 2014, and her first solo exhibition in New York at Taymour Grahne Gallery in 2015.

In commenting on their appointment, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath said: “We have a long-standing and close working relationship with Zineb, and we are thrilled to support her in developing the exhibition for the French Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. Zineb is not only an iconic and leading figure of the contemporary art scene in France, but throughout the world. Her multi-facetted artistic practice, rooted in her diverse cultural background, puts her in a unique position to address in her work the most pressing issues of our time.”

The French Pavilion is jointly commissioned by the Institut français, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, and the French Ministry of Culture. It is located inside the Giardini and was built in 1912 by the Italian architect Faust Finzi. The exhibition of Zineb Sedira will be on view from April 23 until November 27, 2022.

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