10 November 2016

Negar Azimi to deliver tenth annual AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture

Negar Azimi. Photo: Oliver Chanarin

Negar Azimi delivers the tenth annual AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture, presented in a partnership between AICA-USA and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School. It will take place on Monday, November 28, 6:30 to 8:00 PM, in the auditorium at 66 West 12th Street in New York City.

Entitled "Nice One: The Wages of Tokenism," the talk by Bidoun editor Azimi walks through several vignettes hovering in and around the vexed question of token gestures: How do critics make sense of cultural difference? How to grapple with variance in language, experience, form, and format? What role does taste play? What of political histories hovering in the background? Finally, Azimi asks about the cost of arts criticism that "makes nice."

Negar Azimi is a writer and Senior Editor of Bidoun, an award-winning publishing and curatorial initiative with a focus on the Middle East and its diasporas. She is a member of the team of advisors helping curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks shape the 2017 Whitney Biennial. She studied International Relations and Biology at Stanford, Politics at Harvard, and Anthropology at Columbia.

Azimi's writing has appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and The Wall Street Journal Magazine among other publications. Azimi was a 2014-2015 Fellow at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers and is a past winner of the Andy Warhol Foundation's Arts Writers Grant. She sits on the boards of Artists Space in New York and Orhan Pamuk's Museum of Innocence in Istanbul. As a member of the Beirut-based Arab Image Foundation, she is at work on a long-term exhibition project around the late Armenian-Egyptian photographer Van Leo. She is also writing a book about Iran in the 1960s and 70s.

Negar Azimi is delivering the tenth AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School. Previous lecturers have been Michael Brenson, Linda Nochlin, Roberta Smith, Holland Cotter, Peter Schjeldahl, Michelle Kuo, Lucy Lippard, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and Naomi Beckwith.

The AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School is an annual celebration of an exemplary writer whose lecture addresses seminal issues in contemporary art criticism. The lecture is organized by the U.S. chapter of the International Association of Art Critics in partnership with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. The collaboration fuses AICA-USA's dedication to art criticism as a rigorous discipline with the Vera List Center's commitment to discourse around the significance of art in responding to some of the most pressing social and political issues of our time. The organizations' robust partnership is amplified through the Vera List New School Art Collection Writing Awards, an educational program that supports the creative and critical thinking of New School students, inviting them to write about any of the 2,000 works in the University's art collection with the editorial oversight of a member of the AICA community.

Sponsored by AICA-USA and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

Headquartered in New York, AICA-USA's membership comprises over 400 critics, curators, scholars, and art historians working throughout the United States.

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