Curators’ Tour: History Is Not Here

Sun., Sept. 15, 1 p.m.
Admission is free * RSVP requested
Minnesota Museum of American Art

Heba Y. Amin and Maymanah Farhat, curators of History Is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary, will give a tour of Mizna’s 20th-anniversary retrospective exhibition. This curator-led tour will feature special insights on the artists, artworks, and themes in the show. This event is free but space is limited; RSVPs are requested.

About the exhibition: History Is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary presents the work of artists who address what can be termed the “Arab imaginary” as a strategy for examining various social, cultural, and political positions. Best understood through a framework that recognizes the so-called Arab world and its diaspora as multiform, made up of 22 countries with distinct histories as well as diverse ethnicities, languages, and religions, this exhibition explores and scrutinizes the ways in which the region has been historicized. Through painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, book art, installation, and video, featured artists make connections between contemporary geopolitics and the histories that inform them. Their works draw attention to the challenges of representation, including misunderstandings and missteps, and the limiting and problematic terms that are often used to define the region. History Is Not Here rejects the idea of history as a fixed category and looks to alternative imagery and approaches from which new “imaginaries” can be generated.

On view: September 12, 2019 – January 5, 2020

About the Curators:

Curator and artist Heba Y. Amin

Egyptian artist and scholar Heba Y. Amin currently teaches at Bard College Berlin, is a doctorate fellow in art history at Freie Universität, and a current Field of Vision fellow in NYC. She is also the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, the curator of visual art for the MIZNA journal (US), and co-curator for the biennial residency program DEFAULT with Ramdom Association (IT).  Amin has had recent exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Bremen Böttcherstrasse Prize Exhibition, MAXXI Museum, 10th Berlin Biennale, 15th Istanbul Biennale, Kunsthalle Wien, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, 12th Dak’Art Biennale, Berlin Berlinale, and the IV Moscow International Biennale for Young Art. She also has an extensive repertoire in public speaking. Furthermore, Amin is also one of the artists behind the subversive graffiti action on the set of the television series “Homeland” which received worldwide media attention. Amin lives in Berlin.

Maymanah Farhat’s art historical research and curatorial work focuses on underrepresented artists and forgotten art scenes. Since 2005, she has written widely on twentieth and twenty-first century art, contributing essays and chapters to edited volumes, artist monographs, and museum and gallery catalogues. Farhat has also been invited to write for such publications as Art JournalJournal of Middle East Women’s StudiesCallalooA Journal of African Diaspora Arts and LettersVogue ArabiaHarper’s Bazaar ArabiaArt + Auction, and Apollo. She has presented her research at New York University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Law School, the University of Amsterdam, and Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy, among other institutions. Farhat has curated exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad, notably at the Center for Book Arts in Manhattan, Arab American National Museum, Virginia Commonwealth University Gallery in Doha, Qatar, Art Dubai, and Beirut Exhibition Center. In 2014, she was included among Foreign Policy’s annual list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers in recognition of her scholarship on Syrian art after the uprising.