Edward McDonald-Toone

University College London, UK. 

Edward McDonald-Toone is a Ph.D candidate for History of Art at University College London, UK.

His research is focused on the role of exhibitions in the reception of modern and contemporary art from the Arab world since the late 1990s. Artists and scholars have begun to ask searching questions about the historiography of modern and contemporary art from the Arab world; meanwhile a focus on the history of exhibitions has given a new impetus to art historical understandings of how institutions mediate art. His research sits at the intersection of these two movements, focused on the critical examination of recent exhibitions which have taken the Arab world as curatorial leitmotifs. The project he develops at Darat al Funun will trace the wider historical and intellectual background to this ‘curating of the Middle East’. Taking into account debates about representation, identity and globalisation which have profoundly marked recent production of art and discourse from the region, it will draw on Darat al Funun’s history as an intellectual hub which has evolved around the needs of its local and regional contexts. He plans to produce a necessarily selective reading of the articulation of the Arab world and the Middle East in various cultural forms, as a way in to asking what exhibitions are doing when they aim to represent, define or contest notions of place.

- Edward McDonald-Toone, 2014