Urgency and Relevance: A Curatorial Perspective

March 10, 2014 - filed under Uncategorized   

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 6:30 pm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

A Prelude to Asian Contemporary Art Week’s ninth edition coming this fall 2014!

Presented as part of Asian Contemporary Art Week’s critical “Dialogues in Contemporary Art” series, select curators give voice to diverse identities within a landscape of new global initiatives. As told through individual stories of discovery and illustrated by specific case studies, such dynamics as the formation of collections, an engagement with living artists, the representation of multiple communities, the economics of cultural capital and the press of civic life are brought to light across curatorial practice. This program presents an insider’s view of contemporary art through the eyes of practitioners at the edge of advocacy and establishment.

Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, introduces the program and moderates a group conversation.

Presenters include:
 Leeza Ahmady, independent curator and Director of Asian Contemporary Art Week
 // Thomas Berghuis, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, Guggenheim Museum
 // Melissa Chiu, Director, Asia Society Museum and Vice President, Global Arts Programming, Asia Society /
/ Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America // 
Reem Fadda, Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art, Abu Dhabi Project, Guggenheim Museum

Above: The Otolith Group, Communists Like Us, 2006–10. Black-and-white video, with sound, 23 min., 5 sec., edition 2/5. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund 2012.163 © The Otolith Group.

Interviews, Projects and Articles

August 30, 2012 - filed under Uncategorized   





Do Peripheries Become Center? An Interview with Leeza Ahmady

Art: 21 Inside the Artist’s Studio

Artist & writer Georgia Kotretsos interviewed Leeza Ahmady as part of the monthly Art: 21 Blog, Inside the Artist’s Studio, (published in two part April and August 2012) about her curatorial work spanning over a decade of exhibitions, research, and public programs that are collaborative by design, and centered on creating educational experiences for the public around the practices of diverse artists and arts organizations in the US and abroad. In addition to subjects such as studio visits as forms of exhibition, art, history, and illusions about peripheries and centers, the interview includes reflections on triumphs and woes of dOCUMENTA (13) Kabul Seminars and Exhibition, in retrospect to Ahmady’s recent role, as member of dOCUMENTA (13) Agents team.

Part I April, 2012

Part II August, 2012
Art in A Bordered Up City: Kabul, Afghanistan
ICI Dispatch

Septembert 24th thru November 24th

As part of Independent Curators International (ICI) online journal, Dispatch, Ahmady will download her  insights, reflections, predictions, and lingering inquiries as experienced during two comprehensive trips to Kabul in 2012 (Feb. & June). Bearing witness to the full gamut of cultural production, Ahmady caught sight of both current realities and possible futures for visual and performing arts, film, music, and historic preservation.  Through contributions of texts, anecdotes, images, audio and video clips, this Dispatch will present readers a poetic glimpse into the many exciting artists and initiatives happening on the ground in Afghanistan, with the aim of inspiring further, deeper engagement and research endeavors by others.


Dialogues in Contemporary Art: John Menick and Yusuf Misdaq

Take 3 @

ICI, Tuesday October 16th, 7-8:30 pm

401 Broadway, Suite 1620 New York, NY 10013

In what promises to be yet another invigorating discussion, Ahmady, brings together John Menick and Yusuf Misdaq. Two brilliant artists with very different backgrounds whose individual perspectives on artistic activity allow for the making of heartfelt works that are simultaneously process based, conceptually vigorous, and seamlessly span across mediums: writing, sound, film, and more.


Dialogues in Contemporary Art: Murtaza Vali

Take 4 @

ICI, Tuesday December 4th, 7-8:30 pm

401 Broadway, Suite 1620 New York, NY 10013

 Murtaza Vali speaks about the multiplicity of his practice as he persistently blurs the lines between writer, critic and curator.  An Indian citizen having never lived in India, Vali’s position based between the UAE and US informs his work and may catalyze his role as guest curator for the 2013 Abraaj Capital Art Prize, the only art prize dedicated to artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.


In Residence

Cambodia: Artist Residencies April through May 2013

Co-curated as part of Season of Cambodia – a multi-disciplinary arts festival in NYC. New perspectives on history and contemporaneity through a dynamic map of artists’ residencies most critically involved in shaping Cambodia’s unique contemporary art scene. Nine select artists and one curator, both male and female, local and diaspora, will spend two months in residencies throughout NYC (Bose Pacia, LMCC, Residency Unlimited, and more). Working across a range of practices and born between 1970 and 1987, during the US military bombing campaign, the Khmer Rouge era and Vietnamese occupation, the artists interpret their common legacy of survival from personal and historical angles, while addressing cultural changes and the effects of urban development. Complementing the interactive scope of the residency program will be a series of open studio events, installations, screenings, public conversations, and performances.


Listen to:

 Dialogues in Contemporary Art, Past Takes

Leeza Ahmady And Mariam Ghani on their dOCUMENTA (13) Notebooks-Vyacheslav Akhunov and Afghanistan: A Lexicon

Hitomi Iwasaki Asia & Herb Tam: Asia & The Caribbean