March 3, 2014 - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - "Urgency and Relevance: A Curatorial Perspective" presented with Asian Contemporary Art Week
March 3, 2014

"Urgency and Relevance: A Curatorial Perspective" presented with Asian Contemporary Art Week

The Otolith Group, Communists Like Us (still), 2006–10. Black-and-white video, with sound, 23:05 minutes, edition 2/5. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund 2012.163. © The Otolith Group.

“Urgency and Relevance: A Curatorial Perspective”

Public Program

Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 6:30pm

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
5th Ave at 89th St
New York City

Participants: Leeza Ahmady, Thomas J. Berghuis, Melissa Chiu, Reem Fadda, Pablo León de la Barra, moderated by Alexandra Munroe

Presented as part of Asian Contemporary Art Week’s critical Dialogues in Contemporary Art series, and as a prelude to its ninth installment scheduled for fall, “Urgency and Relevance: A Curatorial Perspective” provides an insider’s view of contemporary art through the eyes of international practitioners working at the edge of advocacy and establishment. While representing current priorities in a landscape of new global initiatives, each curator will give voice to diverse practices within various museum models. As told through personal stories of discovery and illustrated by specific case studies, such dynamics as the formation of collections, engagement with living artists, representation of multiple communities, economics of cultural capital, and press of civic life are brought to light through curatorial work. 

The program concludes with a reception in the Guggenheim rotunda. 

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

Leeza Ahmady, independent curator and Director of Asian Contemporary Art Week, on “Historical Apertures: Contemporary Art as the Beginning of an ‘Art That Is of the World, for the World.’”

Thomas J. Berghuis, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, reflects “On the Trauma of History.” 

Melissa Chiu, Museum Director and Senior Vice President, Global Arts and Cultural Programs, Asia Society, on “Politics and Urgency for Exhibitions of Art from Pakistan.”

Reem Fadda, Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, on contemporary art from the United Arab Emirates.

Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, on Bananas Is My Business.

Information and tickets
Visit or call the box office at T +1 212 423 3587. A limited number of free student tickets are available with advance RSVP and valid ID.

About Asian Contemporary Art Week
Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) returns to New York in the fall of 2014 (October 22–31) to highlight stellar artistic voices in Asian art today. Now in its ninth iteration, ACAW is a dynamic platform that brings together leading art institutions, museums, and galleries from New York and Asia in order to present the largest showcase of cutting-edge exhibitions, innovative projects, and provocative dialogues. ACAW 2014 introduces Field Meeting, a first-of-its-kind forum outside of Asia that aims to foster opportunities for artists and regional art professionals to network, share their concepts and expertise, and forge partnerships for future collaborations. ACAW 2014 will also present Keynote Works, a major online exhibition as a centerpiece, adding exciting new dimensions to this vibrant citywide event. For participation information, visit

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Since its establishment in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has developed into an international constellation of museums—including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi currently under development—that fosters links among art, ideas, people, and cultures on a global scale and reflects an increasingly multilateral worldview that is at once interconnected and locally distinctive. Through collections and acquisitions that draw upon regional and international expertise, far-reaching and inclusive educational programs, and innovative collaborations like the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative, and BMW Guggenheim Lab, the Guggenheim Foundation enables a global and holistic engagement with the arts.


Guggenheim Museum and Asian Contemporary Art Week present "Urgency and Relevance: A Curatorial Perspective"
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
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