Curators appointed for Higher Atlas El Badi Palace exhibition – Arts in Marrakech


Officially titled Arts in Marrakech (AiM) International Biennale, the event has finalised dates and highlights for 2012. It has chosen the title “Higher Atlas” for the Main Visual Arts Exhibition and has appointed two curators to the show.

Seamus Farrell, 'U.N. Circle', 2008-2009, Palais Bahia, Arts in Marrakech 2009. Image from

Seamus Farrell, 'U.N. Circle', 2008-2009, Palais Bahia, Arts in Marrakech 2009. Image from

Click here to read more about AiM and its 2012 schedule on event’s website.

According to a recent press release, the 4th edition of AiM will be held from 19 February to 4 March, with “Higher Atlas” continuing until 3 June. This year, the Main Visual Arts Exhibition will be held for the first time at the El Badi Palace and throughout the former Imperial city.

‘High’ connotes reverie and transcendence. “Higher Atlas” suggests a cartography of the beyond. The title also refers to the local geography – the Atlas Mountains, which are visible from the venue – and, more generally, the exhibition location. … The show will emphasise site-specific interventions by international contemporary artists and architects.

AiM curators Carson Chan and Nadim Samman. Image from

AiM curators Carson Chan and Nadim Samman. Image from

The curators of “Higher Atlas” are…

Nadim Samman (1983)

Samman is an independent curator and art historian based in London. He read Philosophy at University College London before undertaking a doctorate at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has written for publications including Third Text, The Art Newspaper, Art Review (Online), Contemporary, Asian Affairs, Art India, Erotic Review, Naked Punch and WestEast. He has also been an invited speaker at MoMA Warsaw, the 2009 Beijing Biennale, Christies and SoAs. His curatorial projects in London, Moscow, Berlin and Zurich have included presentations of leading Russian modern and contemporary artists, emerging international talent and, recently, a large-scale photography exhibition at Somerset House (London) under the patronage of HRH Prince William. In June 2011, Nadim co-curates One of A Thousand Ways to Defeat Entropy, an Official Collateral Project of the 54th Venice Biennale, held at the Arsenale Novissimo.

Carson Chan (1980)

Chan is an architecture writer and curator. Chan studied design, history and theory of architecture at both Cornell and Harvard University…. After working at Barkow Leibinger Architects and the Neue Nationalgalerie’s architecture exhibitions department in Berlin, with Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga, he founded PROGRAM in 2006, a non-commercial initiative for art and architecture collaborations. He has variously curated and overseen more than thirty international exhibitions of contemporary art and architecture. His writing on art, architecture and contemporary culture appears in books and periodicals worldwide, including Kaleidoscope and 032c (Berlin), where he is also a contributing editor. … Chan is an active advisor to several cultural institutions including DLD (Munich), Europan, and the Premio Furla…. He is currently working on a series of essays on exhibition making in both art and architecture.

Click here to read the biography in its entirety.

AiM website banner. Image from

AiM website banner. Image from

What do you think of the title and curator selection for AiM’s 2012 visual arts dedication? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

About AiM

AiM was founded in 2005 and, due to its North African location, the event is trilingual (Arabic, English and French). While there is a contemporary visual art section, represented by the Main Visual Arts Exhibition, the festival also focusses on literature and film. As the organisation states on its website, it “seeks to promote the status of the artist and contemporary culture in North Africa and to dynamise the regional creative scene, enabling discussions with and between artists.”


Related Topics: biennales, art curators, African venues

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