North African-born curator Abdellah Karroum to direct International Contemporary Art Prize


The Prince Pierre Foundation has brought on Moroccan-born curator Abdellah Karroum as an Artistic Director for their triennial International Contemporary Art Prize. Karroum has been an associate curator for several biennials, including Gwangju in 2008 and Marrakech in 2009.

Artistic Director for the forty-fifth International Contemporary Art Prize, Abdellah Karroum.

Recognition for art writing

According to the press release, the foundation brought on Abdellah Karroum to “review and reshape the format” of the triennial prize. Under Karroum’s direction, aimed at increasing recognition for art writing, especially that which actively contributes to contemporary artistic practice, the programme has already expanded to include two additional prizes, one for a text on the subject of art that advances the state of art history criticism and one to encourage lectures and the spread of knowledge.

North African art research 

Apart from his biennial curatorship, Karroum has been very active in the North African art scene, particularly in visual art research. In 2002, he founded L’appartement 22, the first independent, experimental art space in Rabat, Morocco. The location is still used for exhibitions and artist-in-residence programs. In conjunction with L’appartement 22, Karroum also founded “Art, Technology and Ecology”, a research laboratory that brings together artists and theorists in the visual arts.

Biography: Abdellah Karroum

Born in Morocco in 1970, Abdellah Karroum is an independent researcher and curator. He was an Associate Curator for several biennials, including DAK’ART in 2006, the Gwangju Biennial in 2008, and the Marrakech Biennial in 2009. He has also worked for the Venice Biennale, first acting as a Member of the Golden Lion Jury in 2007 and then curating the Moroccan Pavilion’s “Working for Change” project, which investigates the connection between artistic production and social context. In 2012, Karroum will be an Associate Curator for La Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, where he was enlisted to help develop a project to move away from the national model of exhibition to one that better reflects the more fluid and trans-national dynamics of artistic production today.

What is the International Contemporary Art Prize?

The International Contemporary Art Prize was first given in 1965, and has been administered by Monaco’s Prince Pierre Foundation since 1983. The EUR40,000 award is given to an artist nominated by a contemporary art expert for recent work. The foundation will select the winner of the prize’s 45th edition in spring 2012, and half of the winnings will go to the creation of a new piece set to exhibit in 2013 at an international event.


Related Topics: art prizes, art in Africa, curators

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