Paper proposed to 45th AICA Congress in Zurich, entitled “Salatit al Istifzaz” or “The Salad of Provocation”. Sponsored by Prohelvetia Swiss Arts Council, Zurich CH.
Art critics are considerably powerful cultural historians. The criticism, as much as it is instigated by the questioning of the type of arts being practiced today, is also very much applied on the way curators operate in the contemporary art scene all over the world with the ability to compare and study the reasons why artists come up with [or fail to come up with] their visual capacities over their surrounding environments. As much as I would like to restrict my thoughts to a regional or geographical dilemma, the question of art criticism has served over the past centuries a crucial restructuring to the definitive role artists play in their environments – whether environments associated to cognition, society, or socio-political impacts – Art criticism hence serves the ability to provoke and identify original and groundbreaking approaches to pre-existing ideals – something which exists in our local, national, and regional atmospheres. Egyptian cultures carry the nature to criticize themselves and their surroundings to great heights, which explains why Egypt carries a very powerful implication towards the written word, however there is a great question as to whether actions are applied in order to improve, develop or even counteract their performances at a greater hiatus.
This point has been broken thanks to the entrance of regional criticism, which has brought the microscope closer to a comparative culture. A culture that enforces the notions of a forced diversity and includes words like ‘diaspora,’ ‘bicultural,’ ‘multicultural,’ and ‘intercultural’ impartialities. The nature of migration has demanded a salad of cultures to redefine their identities according to their methods of work from what sort of practitioner’s history, as opposed to an inherited lineage. The accents have changed, grown and divulged into a sea of differences – and now the critics are demanded to give shape to those changes. Demanded to document and write history as it happens: Who are You? How and When did you get here? Why are you here and What did you bring? Are the questions always in the centre of the cultural podium.
What you have to offer contemporary history and why should we record this crucial dynamic is what has taken charge – And our writers are needed to identify and record the nuances of change. The plague of provocation has hit the MENASA region over the past two decades making the art of writing an important light to be strewn throughout the globe.
– Aïda Eltorie, July 2012.