Contemporary Art Platform

ON THE WEBSITE for “Recognise,” a groundbreaking exhibition of art from and about the Middle East on view in London this past summer, its title is cast in the imperative: “Challenge your preconceptions. Unpick your presumptions. Dismantle your delusions. RECOGNISE!” If this was intended as a provocative entreaty to the art world, curator Predrag Pajdic succeeded in more nuanced ways in the exhibition itself, which presented conceptually challenging art by some forty artists, almost all Middle Eastern. For although increasing attention is paid to art from this region on the international level—with biennials in Istanbul and Sharjah, Catherine David’s ongoing project “Contemporary Arab Representations,” and the visibility of the Middle Eastern art-and-culture magazine Bidoun—there is still a paucity of such exhibitions in London. (Among the few prominent UK shows focusing on the Middle East

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