Letter from Documenta Curators to Institutions in the UAE

July 2, 2015

TO:
HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

CC:
Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York, NY, USA.
William Mack, Chairman, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, NY, USA.
John Sexton, President, New York University, New York, NY, USA.
Al Bloom, Vice Chancellor, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Carol Brandt, Associate Vice Chancellor, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Manuel Rabaté, Directeur Général, Agence France-Muséums, Paris, France.
Jean-François Charnier, Directeur Scientifique, Agence France-Muséums, Paris, France.
Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France.
Neil MacGregor, Director, British Museum, London, UK.
Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi, President, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE

We write to you today as the current and former Artistic Directors of Documenta, the most widely visited and respected periodic exhibition of contemporary art, held since the end of World War II in the German City of Kassel. Documenta has marked the most significant moments in the history of Modern and Contemporary Art since the mid twentieth century, and prides itself for its research-oriented approach and for having a particular focus on the relations between art and society at large. It has contributed to processes of civil society building and democratization around the world through its presentation of great and concerned works of art. Continue reading

AMCA issues statement in support of barred artists

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The Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran and Turkey (AMCA) has expressed solidarity with the artists and academics denied entry into the United Arab Emirates. AMCA is an international organization whose aim is to advance the study of modern and contemporary art in the Arab World, Iran and Turkey.

Their statement in full:

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L’Internationale issues statement in solidarity with barred artists

L_Internationale statement

L’Internationale, a European confederation of six modern and contemporary art institutions, has issued a statement in support of Andrew Ross, Ashok Sukumaran and Walid Raad, who have been denied entry into the United Arab Emirates. The confederation works to create a space for art that connects museum collections, archives, technology and artistic research.

L’Internationale’s statement:

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CIMAM supports barred artists, asks involved museums to respond

The International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) has issued a statement in support of Walid Raad, Andrew Ross and Ashok Sukumaran, who were all denied entry to the UAE. CIMAM is an organisation of over 400 museum representatives from 63 countries, and is the author of among other guidelines, a code of ethics for museums.  

Their statement in full:

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Gulf Labor Statement on Two More of its Members Being Denied Entry to the UAE

To:

Guggenheim, New York and Abu Dhabi
Louvre, Paris and Abu Dhabi
New York University (NYU), New York and Abu Dhabi
Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), Abu Dhabi
Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF), Sharjah
Art Dubai, Dubai
Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, Abu Dhabi

This week artists Ashok Sukumaran and Walid Raad were denied entry to the UAE on grounds of “security”. This comes after NYU professor Andrew Ross was similarly barred from flying to Abu Dhabi in March. Given Sukumaran and Raad’s history of vital and sustained engagement with the country and region, invited or celebrated by many of you addressed in this letter, the only possible reason to suddenly have three such integral parts of our art and academic community denied entry, must be their involvement with the Gulf Labor Coalition.

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