FotoFest 2014 Biennial




















The Fifteenth International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art

March 15 - April 27, 2014, Houston, Texas U.S.A.

Tarek Al-Ghoussein, (In) Beautification, 1333, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line


The FotoFest 2014 Biennial, the 15th International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art, is March 15 - April 27, 2014. FotoFest's own exhibitions for the 2014 Biennial will focus on Contemporary Arab Video, Photography and Multi Media art. The Biennial will showcase 48 contemporary Arab artists using photography and related visual media to address a broad range of aesthetic and cultural values impacting Arab culture.

“The FotoFest 2014 Biennial will present a focused selection of the best contemporary photography, video and photo-based installation art being done by Arab artists in the Middle East and North Africa,” says FotoFest Senior Curator and Artistic Director Wendy Watriss. “The Biennial will emphasize ideas and subjects important to contemporary Arab artists working with these media.”

Ahmed Mater, Magnetism IV, 2012. Courtesy of the artist and Athr Gallery


VIEW FROM INSIDE Arab Exhibitions
March 15 - April 27, 2014

Abdulnasser Gharem, Men At Work (detail), 2012
Courtesy of the artist and Ayyman Gallery

To realize the Biennial’s Arab exhibitions and programs, FotoFest has commissioned one of the world’s leading experts on contemporary Arab art, Karin Adrian von Roques, as the principal curator. Ms. von Roques has worked for over 20 years in the Middle East with exhibitions and publications on contemporary Arab art. She is one of the first curators in Europe to have initiated a series of exhibitions strategically aimed at bringing the work of Arab artists to the attention of a broader, international public.

“The FotoFest 2014 Biennial will be the first presentation of contemporary photo-based and video art from the Arab countries to be done in the United States in recent years,” says Ms. von Roques. “We are looking at the work of the most important artists from several Arab countries.”

FotoFest's VIEW FROM INSIDE Arab Exhibitions are on display in four venues:

Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring Street, Houston, TX 77007
Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter Street, Houston, TX 77007
Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards Street, Houston, TX 77007
Williams Tower, 2800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056


Discoveries of the Meeting Place
The Contemporary Arab Art exhibitions will be accompanied by the non-thematic, biennial Discoveries of the Meeting Place exhibition of works by 11 artists selected by multiple curators from the FotoFest 2012 portfolio review.



Over 100 Participating Spaces - museums, art galleries, non-profit art centers and corporate spaces will participate in the FotoFest 2014 Biennial.

In addition, there will be accompanying lectures, forums, special tours and a four-color Biennial catalogue and hardcover book on the Arab exhibitions.


Youssef Nabil, Self-portrait with Roots, Los Angeles 2008
Courtesy of the artist and Nathalie Obadia Gallery, Paris/ Brussels

Arab Book and
Biennial Catalogue

With the Arab exhibitions, FotoFest is publishing a hard-bound book on contemporary Arab art, featuring over 200 color reproductions of Arab artworks, a DVD of video works and four essays by prominent scholars on Arab art: Biennial Curator Karin Adrian von Roques; Arab artist Samer Mohdad, Founder of the Fondation Arabe pour l’Image (Arab Images Foundation); Dr. Claude W. Sui, Chief Curator of the International Forum of Photography at the Reiss-Englehorn Museum, Mannheim, Germany; and Mona Khazindar, Director General of the Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) in Paris. FotoFest Senior Curator Wendy Watriss is writing the introduction. The book, co-published with Schilt Publishing in Amsterdam, and designed by HvAD Design, New York, will be available during the Biennial, in March 2014.

FotoFest will publish a seperate Biennial Catalogue, the document of record for the event, including: descriptions of FotoFest’s
exhibitions; information on the independent participating exhibitions presented across the city during the Biennial; FotoFest’s 2012-2013 Inter-biennial Exhibitions; and FotoFest’s Literacy Through Photography education program. The
Catalogue will be available in March 2014.

Manal Al Dowayan, Landscapes of The Mind VI, 2009
Courtesy of the artist and Cuadro Gallery
Lalla Essaydi, Harem Revisited # 36, 2012
Courtesy of the artist and Edwynn Houk Gallery
Hicham Benohoud, Untitled, 2010.
Courtesy of the artist and Atelier 21
Samer Mohdad, Untitled, 1994. From the series Mes Arabies. Courtesy of the artist
Remains of the Sun Temple of the Sabaen kingdom, Marib, Yemen, 1994



In addition to the Arab exhibitions, FotoFest is organizing a series of other Arab Programs including a Day-long Symposium on Contemporary Arab Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; a seperate Seminar on "Arabophobia" organized with Rice University; Exhibit Tours with Arab artists and curators; Music, Poetry and Food events.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The FotoFest Fine Print Auction (left) and Auctioneer Denise Bethel, Senior Vice President, Sotheby’s New York (right)

FotoFest’s International Fine Print Auction is scheduled for Monday, March 24, 2014, with special programs for collectors. Among the 60 international contemporary artists in the auction will be 10 Arab artists from the 2014 exhibitions.

The International Fine Print Auction, FotoFest's principal fundraiser, takes place every two years as part of the FotoFest Biennial. It is designed to make some of the best national and international contemporary photographic art available to collectors.

The FotoFest Fine Print Auction is considered an exceptional benefit auction for the quality and breadth of its donating artists and their art work. It is one of the main events of the FotoFest Biennial and provides a rare opportunity to collect high quality contemporary fine art photography from Russia, Western Europe, Asia, Latin America, Canada and the United States.

Works featured in the FotoFest Auction are hand-picked by FotoFest’s founders in collaboration with selected artists. Donating artists and galleries donate all revenues from print sales to FotoFest. All the artists have had significant commissions and exhibits sponsored and curated by FotoFest itself or by important art institutions that have participated in FotoFest Biennial programs. The Auction is designed to honor these artists and their works as well as stimulate new interest in art collecting.


The International Meeting Place

March 15 - April 2, 2014

The 2014 edition of FotoFest’s renowned Meeting Place, a 16-day international portfolio review, takes place March 15–April 2, 2014. The purpose of the Meeting Place is to open opportunities for artists to meet and show work to influential curators, publishers, editors and collectors. FotoFest invites 180 of the most important people in the field of photography – to meet with artists on a one-to-one basis and review their work.

FotoFest’s Meeting Place was created in 1986 as an international portfolio review for artists working with photography and photo-related art. The FotoFest portfolio review is a hallmark of the FotoFest Biennial and it continues to be the model for portfolio review programs throughout the world. With over two weeks of portfolio reviews for artists, FotoFest’s program is still the largest and most international portfolio review program in the world.



During each 4-day session of the Meeting Place, one night is reserved for Evenings with the Artists - Open Portfolio Nights, attended by over 700 people. The events provide participating artists with the opportunity to sell their prints and books directly to collectors. Evenings with the Artists provide a positive and dynamic environment for dialogue between photographers and attendees. Started in 2008, Evenings with the Artists has grown in popularity and has become one of the most popular and well attended events of the Meeting Place.


FotoFest provides education opportunities to artists, arts professionals and the general public to further professional careers and stimulate appreciation for the art of photography. Previous issues that have been presented and discussed in FotoFest Biennial Workshops include: the workings of the art market, new trends in publishing, and new curatorial and artistic visions. FotoFest offers original workshops presented by some of the most respected arts and media professionals in the field today. Media and Marketing Experts, Publishers, Artists, Curators, and Editors bring their experience and expertise of art, the internet, social media networks, multi-media platforms, and curating in the contemporary art world, to FotoFest Workshops


The best way to receive news and information on the FotoFest 2014 Biennial, the 2014 Meeting Place and Inter-Biennial exhibitions is by joining the FotoFest Email List.