In 1997, Zaatari co-founded the Arab Image Foundation (AIF) partly to contain this activity of collecting, but also to organise it within an institutional framework and give it form through an expanding collection, which itself is a result of multiple modes of acquisition. Less of a repository of documents, the strength and originality of the AIF lies in the critical intersection of two archival practices, institutional and artistic. Over the past 20 years, the AIF was the medium through which many of Zaatari’s projects and interests were developed.
This exhibition traces Zaatari’s various contributions to expanding our understanding of photography through a reflection on the evolution of the AIF and its collection. It can be seen as the outcome of an excavation that addresses the institution as a whole, extending to specific collections and photographic objects that might carry traces of wear and sometimes violence.
Curated by Hiuwai Chu and Bartomeu Marí.
Akram Zaatari. Against Photography. An Annotated History of the Arab Image Foundation.
With an introduction by Hiuwai Chu and Bartomeu Marí, an essay by Mark Westmoreland, a conversation between Chad Elias and Akram Zaatari, and an illustrated selection of collections entries from the AIF by Ian B. Larson and Akram Zaatari. The book will also include new works by the artist. Co-edited between the MACBA and MMCA. English, Spanish and Korean editions. Date of publication: July 2017