American University of Beirut

Amanda Abi Khalil

Amanda Abi Khalil is an independent curator currently based in Beirut.

At the Sorbonne, Paris, she studied art mediation, sociology, and anthropology of art, graduating with an MA in Curating Art for Public Spaces.

She has been focusing her curatorial projects on socially engaged practices, public spaces and the contextual ways of making art and curating in Lebanon. Concerned with a sociological reading of the art scene in Beirut and interested in cultural policy, she has been particularly devoted to commissioning local artists to explore the possibilities of engaging social, aesthetical or political dialogues in different contexts that are on the margin of the ‘’art world.

Her practice as an exhibition-maker in and outside Lebanon tackled various themes including narrative and non-narrative practices in the MENA region, the moving image, anachronisms in image making, the white cube ideology of the gallery space while always critically rethinking the exhibition format through the methods she employs and the scenography. She also curates public interventions and artworks that aim to challenge the commonalities of public art.

Her most recent collective exhibitions include Kurz/Dust at the Center for Contemporary Arts Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, an international exhibition including artists whose works enter into interaction with their surrounding environment. The project comprised an exhibition, a series of site-specific commissions, artist residencies, an archive-auditorium and also a series of commissioned performances, discussions and film screenings. This organic structure was intended to initiate reflection and the experiencing of everyday coexistence with matter in different geopolitical contexts.

White Cube Literally, on form and convention of display, is an exhibition that took Brian O’Doherty’s essay around the White Cube as an underlying conceptual premise to reunite works ranging from conceptual, post-conceptual, minimal and post-minimal works to contemporary practices, including newly commissioned works and iconic contributions from the mid-20th century.

When all seemingly stands still (Dubai) and Simple past, Perfect Futures (Paris) tackled image making through thematic touching in temporality and the moving image.

She has curated film screenings and took part in talks, panel discussions, residencies and fellowships at Art Basel, Basel, FIAC, Paris, Beirut Art Centre, Centre for Contemporary arts in Warsaw, Art Dubai, Kunsthall Bergen and Stavanger in Norway, AIR in Milan among others.

She is the founder of Temporary Art Platform, a curatorial platform that aims to shift artistic and curatorial discourse towards social and contextual concerns in Lebanon through residencies, research projects and commissions. Her most recent curatorial project with TAP was a series of twelve art interventions for four daily Lebanese newspapers that took place between April and June 2016.

Abi Khalil lectures in curating and sociology of arts at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) and at the Saint Joseph University (USJ) in Beirut and is an audience outreach consultant for the Association for the Promotion and the Exhibition of Arts in Lebanon.

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