Sara Raza

Born in London, 1979 and lives in New York

Sara Raza was selected by a committee of esteemed experts in the region as Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa. As a part of her two-year residency at the Guggenheim in New York, Raza is curating the third phase of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. Born in London in 1979, Raza earned a BA in English Literature and History of Art and an MA in Art History and Theory, both from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She also pursued studies towards her Ph.D. at the Royal College of Art. Raza has curated exhibitions and projects for several international biennials and festivals, including the Tashkent Biennial: Quotations from Daily Life, Art Gallery of Uzbekistan (2011); Rhizoma (generation in waiting), Collateral Event, Venice Biennale (2013); and Baku Public Art Festival: A Drop of Sky, Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan (2015). She also co-curated the Bishkek International: In the Shadow of Fallen Heroes at the Bishkek Historical Museum and Alto Square, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in 2005. In 2008, Raza curated the group exhibitions Cult of Personality and New Image Making, which featured projects by artists including Yael Bartana, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, and Erbossyn Meldibekov, for ShContemporary, Shanghai. She has organized a number of exhibitions for Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, including solo presentations of the work of Adel Abidin, Wafaa Bilal, and Mohamed Kazem, and the group exhibitions Migrasophia (migration + philosophy) (2012) and The Beginning of Thinking is Geometric (2013). She co-curated Shezad Dawood’s North American debut at the Plug In ICA, Winnipeg, Canada, in 2010, and organized Ergin Cavusoglu’s UAE debut at The Pavilion Downtown, Dubai, in 2011. Raza has lectured and participated in panels at Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Germany (2004); Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; San Jose State University; and Bishkek Historical Museum, Kyrgyzstan (all 2005); Queen Mary University and Westminster University (both London, 2006); Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates (2009); Intelligence Squared, United Kingdom, London (2010); the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan (both 2011); Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London (2011–13); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2012); Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, and American University of Sharjah (both 2013); Casa Árabe, Madrid (2014); Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Boston; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (both 2015). Formerly, Raza was the head of education at Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan, founding head of curatorial programs at Alaan Art Space, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and curator of public programs at Tate Modern, London (2006–8). She was an educational advisor to Edge of Arabia’s CULTURUNNERS US tour (2013–14) and a jury member for the 2014 Akbank Contemporary Artists Prize, for which she also curated the shortlist exhibition (2014). She was a nominator for the Jameel Prize of the Victoria and Albert Museum (2012 and 2015) and Future Generation Art Prize of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation (2014). She was the winner of the United Kingdom Arts Council’s Emerging Curator’s Award at the South London Gallery (2004), and a finalist for the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement (2015). Raza writes for numerous art publications and is the West and Central Asia desk editor of ArtAsiaPacific. She is the author of Punk Orientalism: Central Asia’s Contemporary Art Revolution, which will be published in 2018 by MacKenzie Art Gallery, Canada.

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