Curator EVA 2014
Bassam El Baroni was the Curator of EVA International 2014 entitled “AGITATIONISM" that featured works by 56 Irish and international artists, selected from over 2000 proposals from 96 countries. Exhibitions took place from 12 April to 6 July 2014 across four main locations: Limerick City Gallery of Art, Kerry Group former Golden Vale Milk Plant, The Hunt Museum and Bourn Vincent Gallery. The twelve-week exhibition, which featured as part of Limerick City of Culture 2014 celebrations, was punctuated by live performances, special events, artist talks and educational workshops.
El Baroni is a curator and writer based in Alexandria, Egypt. After studying painting at Alexandria University and participating in solo and group shows as an artist, El Baroni began to make the shift to curating and writing in 2002. He co-founded Alexandria's first non-profit art space, Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF) in 2005 working with International and Egyptian Artists on a wide variety of projects until the space's closure in 2012.
El Baroni aims for his work to be reflective of a positioning that is neither an argument for art’s autonomy nor a demand for a socio-politically engaged art in the prevalent sense of the term, but rather a search for the maximisation of art's critical and political potentials. His recent writing has tackled various problems such as the divide between fine (beaux) and contemporary art; the relevance of art in a hyper-politicised environment; the possibilities (and limitations) of the exhibition as an ancient format that nonetheless continues to be a major way of addressing people; and the place of multiculturalism in contemporary practice.
El Baroni teaches theory at the Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem, the Netherlands and is a PhD candidate at the Curatorial/Knowledge programme, Goldsmiths, University of London. He was co-curator of Manifesta 8, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, 2010, Murcia, Spain, for which he curated (with Jeremy Beaudry, ACAF’s former associate curator) OVERSCORE, an exhibition project in three different venues. He co-curated (with Anne Szefer Karlsen and Eva González-Sancho) the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), Norway, 2013; and curated When it Stops Dripping from the Ceiling (An Exhibition That Thinks about Edification), 2012, at the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris.