From Alexandria to Bandung and Back Again: Transregionalism in Arab Art After 1955
In her research project Clare Davies studies the influence of initiatives aimed at strengthening Afro-Asian and Mediterranean networks of affinity, respectively, on art practice in the Arab world. The Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia took place in April 1955 and the Alexandria Biennale in Egypt was inaugurated in July of the same year. Both events critically informed exhibitions, works of art, and publications identified with a concept “Arab art” (fann ‘arabi) promoted by Arab governments in the 1970s. Davies addresses the ways in which Arab art—a category, which would seem to deliberately exclude a consideration of other regions—engaged transregional frameworks developed in the 1950s and 60s as alternatives to a Eurocentric vision of international artistic modernism.