MARRAKESH — In the vaults adjacent to the city’s Koutoubia Mosque, a video by the Copenhagen-based artists’ group Superflex tells the story of migrants and refugees eager to reach Europe.
MARRAKESH — Set outside the institutional white cube, in restored ancient sites and the ruins of a 16th-century palace, the sixth edition of the Marrakech Biennale, Not New Now, arrives like a breath of fresh air.
“Without its special language, would art need to submit to the scrutiny of broader audiences and local ones? Would it hold up?” So asks online art publication Triple Canopy’s widely circulated essay “International Art English,” in which the authors catalogued the death of meaning in the language of contemporary art. It’s a perceptive study, though after offering a half-alternative (“the elite … will opt for something like conventional highbrow English”). the article ends in media res with a sarcastic shrug: an evocative morsel of IAE — a press release — reformatted into a prose poem.
By so abstracting their position into parody, the authors misread the most significant consequence of this new language, loosed upon a world in which prisoners of conscience languish in the jails of the world’s emerging contemporary art superpowers. The unsurprising reality is that a specialized language fraught with euphemism and obfuscation is better known as propaganda.
Contemporary art is a resolutely global affair, but it can be difficult to learn about international art scenes without a big travel budget. On Tuesday, February 26, at 6:30 pm, Reem Fadda, Associate Curator of Middle Eastern Art at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, will explore the contemporary history of the United Arab Emirates art scene in a lecture at the museum, “The Contemporary History of the UAE Art Scene.”