Christie’s Present The Bidoun Auction in London on October 11 During Frieze Art Fair Week

On October 11, during Frieze Art Fair week, the award-winning not-for-profit Bidoun Projects will hold its debut fundraising benefit in London at Christie’s auction house. The auction brings together works by 32 leading contemporary artists. The evening will be kicked off by a conversation between the Serpentine Gallery’s Hans Ulrich Obrist and artist Etel Adnan. All proceeds will go to Bidoun’s publishing, educational, and curatorial initiatives promoting art and culture from the Middle East and its diaspora.

Walid Raad, “BIDNOBIDNOBIDNO,” Executed in 2011. Color inkjet photographs, in three parts, 17 x 22 inches each.

Highlights of the auction include a unique work made for Bidoun by Walid Raad, a cloth piece made in the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution by Susan Hefuna, a wall piece inspired by the war in Iraq by Jeremy Deller, a silkscreen sunset by Andro Wekua, and a unique photo print by Trisha Donnelly, as well as a work in Arabic and English by conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner. The founding work of the auction is a dazzling four-panel painting by Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri entitled “Scream,” based on the Edvard Munch work of the same name. Moshiri’s “Scream” represents a pop take on a familiar motif.

Since 2004, Bidoun has filled a void in the arts and culture coverage of the Middle East, pioneering a distinctive voice that is intelligent, critical, and original. To date, Bidoun’s activities fall in three primary areas: publishing, educational, and curatorial. In the publishing realm, Bidoun magazine nurtures an idiosyncratic readership, spanning from Detroit to Doha, Beirut to Berlin, Toronto to Tehran. Bidoun has won some of the most sought-after honors in the magazine world, including a nomination for a National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2009, and four UTNE Independent Press Awards for social and cultural coverage, design, and art writing.

In the educational realm, Bidoun runs writing and curatorial workshops that foster critical debate, while Bidoun’s Middle East Modernities Project seeks to unearth, document, and interpret the lost histories of modern and contemporary art in and around the region.

In the curatorial realm, Bidoun has organized unique exhibitions, screenings, and lectures in Beirut, Cairo, Dubai, London, New York City, Bangalore, and more.

In a media environment that tends to see the Middle East region in one-dimensional terms—either as a land of radicalism and dysfunction, or as a shiny, happy emerging art market—Bidoun provides an indispensable window onto the cultural and artistic life of the contemporary Middle East.

The auction comes on the heels of Bidoun #25, made in Egypt, as well as its successful programming of The Bidoun Library Project at the Serpentine Gallery this summer, featured on CNN, written about in The London Review of Books and The New Yorker, among many other venues.

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