How does art bridge cultural divides?

 Photography: © Nasser Kalaji 2010

Sunny Art Fair, 2009-2010

A curated program of exhibitions, lectures and activities, contributing to the discourse and awareness of art culture in Jordan within thematics of dialogue and conversation

Art shapes culture, and to engage with the cultural production of art is to provoke an awareness of the inherent cultural potential and vision within its society. The five day long program was envisaged not only as an event to facilitate the buying and selling of art, but as a catalyst and cultural shift towards the promotion of art culture in Jordan. Posing the question ‘What is art in Jordan?’ became a question of authenticity in the context of diasporic influence, and an urgency to engage in a vernacular voice not borrowed from other contexts. By devising a collaborative model and cognition- whereby artists and curators are interactively engaged in dialogue- the program became a means by which to examine the context of art culture in Jordan, and not only to promote it.

How does dialogue promote a more engaged cultural viewer in Jordan?

The program centered around three exhibitions featuring selected independent artists, local galleries and private collections. These were further complemented by a series of educational activities, moderated conversations and artists talks aimed to encourage public engagement and increase awareness of art as an essential cultural facet of Jordan’s contemporary identity.  

My work as fair director within this collaborative project is part of my conscious engagement with cultural production as a means with which to explore a society and its ever-evolving culture and identity. The curation of such programs and events in Jordan creates spaces of learning, both physical and virtual, and which encourage inclusive cultural progression and social interaction. They are opportunities to understand the potentials and narratives of a culture built on personal and collective memories, which at times is caught in diasporic dislocation, but that has always somehow been true to itself.