Mandy Merzaban


(b. 1987 Canada) is a London-based artist, researcher and writer with a practice at the intersection of interdisciplinary art making and empathic listening. Through intersectional feminist thinking, she considers the power dynamics that shape the interpretation of artists and arts labour within dominant art institutions of the Global North, often with a focus on practitioners of the S.W.A.N.A region. She is currently the Brooks International Fellow in Tate’s Research and Interpretation departments and a resident at Delfina Foundation. Using ethnography, poetry and artistic intervention, her current research at Tate inspects the institutional conditions and forces that confront and shape the nature of anti-racist activities, statements and mandates within museums.


contact: mandysmerzaban@gmail.com


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Education


+ 2021


SMArchS Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art, Department of Architecture Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Adviser: Renée Green
Readers: Jesal Thakkar Kapadia, Lara Baladi

+ 2015


MA Cultural Translation
American University of Paris (AUP)
Adviser: Kate Briggs, Peit Zwart Institute
Reader: Geoff Gilbert

+ 2008


BFA Fine Arts and Anthropology
University of British Columbia (UBC)



Curatorial Projects



+ 2018


Founding Curator (2009 - 2018)
Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah UAE

Co-curator | A Century in Flux: Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation Sharjah Art Museum, UAE

Curatorial advisor | Paul Guiragossian: Testimonies of Existence Maraya Art Centre, UAE

+ 2017


Co-curator | Contemporary Narratives
Google Arts and Culture

Co-curator | The night was paper and we were ink
Maraya Art Centre, UAE


Curatorial advisor | No to the invasion: Breakdowns and Side Effects Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS), Bard College, USA

Co-curator | Modern art from the Middle East Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University, USA

Co-organiser | Chefs-D’œuvre de L’art Moderne et Contemporain Arabe Institut du monde arabe, Paris, France

Curator | Beloved Bodies II
Maraya Art Centre, UAE


+ 2016


Curator | Beloved Bodies I
Maraya Art Centre, UAE


Co-organiser | Hurufiyyah: Art and Identity
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt

Curatorial advisor | The Sea Suspended
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran

+ 2015


Curator | Aide-memoire: footnotes
Maraya Art Centre, UAE

+ 2014


Curator | Tariqah
Maraya Art Centre, UAE

+ 2013


Guest curator | Terms and Conditions
Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

Curator | Re: Orient Investigating modernism in the Arab world 1950s - 70s
Maraya Art Centre, UAE

+ 2012


Curator | Alienation
Maraya Art Centre, UAE

Curator | Caravan
Maraya Art Centre, UAE

+ 2011


Curator | Strike Oppose
Maraya Art Centre, UAE

Curator | Residua
Maraya Art Centre, UAE

+ 2010


Curator | Peripheral Vision
Maraya Art Centre, UAE



Texts & Publications (selected)


“Walid Raad aka Suha Traboulsi: On Feminist Metholdogies and the discourse of Modern Arab Art.” Imprint, MIT Architecture Vol. 01 Issue 01, 2020


Ceren Ozpinar and Mary Kelly.“Foreword.” Under the Skin: Feminist Art and Art Histories from the Middle East and North Africa Today, Oxford University Press, 2020

“Rustling the Archive: Etel Adnan's Three Questions for Paul Guiragossian.” Jadaliyya, 5 Feb. 2018.

“In Chronological Disorder: Revisiting Histories of Invasion.” No to the Invasion: Breakdowns and Side Effects, edited by Fawz Kabra and Annie Godfrey Larmon, CCS Bard, 2017, pp. 63–66.  

“Foreword.” Modern Art from the Middle East, Yale University Art Gallery, 2017, pp. 1-3.  

“An Unknown Lover's Discourse.” Ibraaz, 29 Jan. 2016, www.ibraaz.org/essays/141.  
Kholeif, Omar, et al. “Artist Biographies.” Imperfect Chronology Arab Art from the Modern to the Contemporary: Works from the Barjeel Art Foundation, Prestel, 2015, pp. 256–264.  

An Unknown Lover's Discourse: Reading Letter from an Unknown Woman. American University of Paris, 2015.

Terms and Conditions. Singapore Art Museum, 2013.    

Re: Orient investigating modernism in the Arab World 1950s - 70s. Barjeel Art Foundation, 2013.    

Alienation. Barjeel Art Foundation, 2012.


University seminars & lectures



Guest speaker for “HA6025 Online Fieldwork” in “MA in Global Gallery Studies” Professor Mary Kelly, Ph.D, University College Cork, Ireland (22 Feb 2021)

Guest speaker for “Unit 5. Museums and Social Responsibility” in “Introduction to Museum Studies” Professor Beth Derderian, Ph.D, The College of Wooster, Ohio, USA (19 Nov 2020)



Public talks & panels



Performer An Unknown Lover’s Discourse: Performance (23 July 2018)
Alserkal Project Space, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE


Panelist Barjeel Art Foundation: Reflection and Retrospective (13 Jan 2018)
Nadi Al Quoz, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE


Panelist Gallery Talk: Between two rounds of fire, the exile of the sea (9 Sept 2017)
American University, Katzen Art Center, Washington, DC, USA

Discussant Art and History panel in Writing/Curating the Middle East (31 Mar 2017)
Yale University, New Haven, USA


Discussant Suspended Histories (17 Mar 2017)
Nadi Al Quoz, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE


Moderator Artist Talk | Gateway to Memories: Sadik Alfraji in conversation with Mandy Merzaban (4 Mar 2017)
Maraya Art Centre, UAE

Panelist Panic of the Audible with Karim Sultan (20 Sept 2016)
Nadi Al Quoz, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE

Panelist Cultural Hubs, Incubators & Alternative Arts Spaces in Dubai (28 Sept 2013)
Intsitut du monde arabe, Paris, France

Guest Speaker Campus Art Dubai 1.0 (2013)
Via Traffic, Dubai, UAE

Guest Speaker Appreciating Art Lecture Series: Art in the Arab world and the rise of the Gulf (5 Apr 2013)
Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

Panelist Art Week Seminar: The non-profit sector (4 Mar 2013)
The Pavilion Dubai, Dubai, UAE

Panelist Gulf Art Guide launch with Mondrian Foundation (22 Nov 2012)
Cobra Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands



Artist Residencies


YARAT Artist Residency (2019)
Baku, Azerbaijan

Alserkal Residency (2018)
Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE








Mark