Sara Raza has been writing on contemporary art and ideas since 2002, and has served as the long-standing West and Central Asia desk editor for ArtAsiaPacific magazine since 2004. She has published long form essays, features and profiles for international art journals, artist monographs, and books, and her exhibitions are always accompanied by scholarly bi-lingual art historical catalogues. Her writing has been translated in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.
2022: Forthcoming Punk Orientalism: The Art of Rebellion explores the spaces and places associated with the former Soviet Union, focusing on artists and ideas hailing from Central Asia and its borders which were long perceived as an extension or ‘client’ states of the USSR. The theme of non-conformity—the “punk” rejection of state authority is a continuous thread throughout the book, highlighting changing and divided societies and their evolving norms in the post-Soviet period. Inspired by the titular concepts: “punk” and “orientalism”, the text functions as a form of bricolage, uniting punk movements and strategies, which can be traced in popular visual culture from the 1970s onwards. The idea of punk is coupled with a critical study of orientalism and its historical association with imperialist assumptions of knowledge. Punk Orientalism expands its association with the territory of the Near East, to look at the USSR’s complex relationship with the Arab world, Iran and Turkey during and after the Cold War period. Pre-order: https://www.amazon.com/Punk-Orientalism-Rebellion-Sara-Raza/dp/1912165392
2021: Lakum ‘Ahmed Mater Prognosis’ (catalogue), ArtAsiaPacific‘For Freedoms/ AAPI,’ (review), Steven Holl Architects ‘Cosmologies’ (essay), Silverlens Philippines ‘James Clar: Capitalist Time Vs Cosmological Time,’ (essay), Hawaii Contemporary Triennial ‘Pacific Century’ (catalogue contributor).
2019/2020: Mathaf Modern Arab Museum, “Fateh Al Moudarres: Colour Extensity & Sense (catalogue), Rubin Museum of Art, Spiral Magazine “Clapping with Stones: Art & Acts of Resistance,” (essay), ArtAsiaPacific Institute of Islamic & Arab Art (profile), Rossi & Rossi/ British Library “Erbossyn Meldibekov: Seasons,” (editor catalogue).
2017/18: Istanbul Modern Museum, “Inci Eviner: Retrospective Who’s Inside of Me?” (monograph), Kunstmuseum Bonn, “Nadia Kaabi-Linke: Versiegelte Zeit (Sealed Time),” (monograph). Denver Art Museum, “Jeffery Gibson: Retrospective,” (monograph), ArtAsiaPacifc Bard Hessel Museum, “No to the Invasion” (review), Public Movement 10th Anniversary (essay) ‘For the Mutual Love of Conceptual Contraband,’ (essay).
2016: Guggenheim Museum UBS MAP, “But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise” (book), Tufts University: Shahzia Sikander (monograph). Institut du Monde Arabe Magazine Qantara 100th special issue (essay) (Sept), Harper’s Bazaar Art Osman Yousefzadeh (profile) (Sept) Asad Faulwell (monograph) (Jun). NYUAD Art Gallery/ Skira: Diana Al-Hadid (monograph essay) (Mar). Guggenheim UBS MAP Blog: Social Studios (Jan),
2015: Maac Ville de Bruxelles: Younes Baba Ali (monograph essay) (Nov), Barjeel Art Foundation (Nov), YARAT: The Union of Fire & Water 56th Venice Biennale (catalogue) (May), Reza Aramesh (book), (May), Canvas Magazine, Art Dubai special issue (Mar), Maraya Art Centre: Hamza 5 Years of Maraya (editor of book) (Mar), Tribe Photography & New Media from the Arab World: Wafaa Bilal The Hierarchy of Being, ArtAsiaPacific Almanac2015: Central Asia (Jan).
2014: ArtAsiaPacific: Reza Aramesh “Whistle of the Souls,” Dubai (Jul/Aug),The Eternal Spring Saudi Arabia’s Rising Stars (profile) (May/Jun), The Third Line Gallery: Babak Golkar (catalogue), Harper’s Bazaar Art: Zineb Sedira (profile) (May/Jun), Lida Abdul (profile) (Mar) & Art Dubai Marker Central Asia (Mar) Maraya Art Centre: Mohammed Kazem: Raw Data (catalogue editor/curator) (Feb), ArtAsiaPacific Almanac2014 : Azerbaijan & Uzbekistan year in art reviews (Jan).
2013: Canvas Magazine (cover): Wafaa Bilal: After the Dust Settles (Sept ), Harper’s Bazaar Art: Ala Ebtekar: Future Perfect, Past Tense (Sept), Maraya Art Centre The Beginning of Thinking is Geometric (catalogue editor/curator) (Jul), ArtAsiaPacific: Sarah AbuAbdallah & Ahmed Mater, Issue 83 Canvas Daily Art Dubai Special: One on One with artist Wafaa Bilal (Mar), Contemporary Arts Society: Shezad Dawood A Mystery play (text for commissioned artwork) (Mar), Queensland Art Gallery Asia Pacific Triennial 7 Artlines: New Geographies and New Routes on 0-Now Traversing West Asia (Mar), Harper’s Bazaar Art: Erbossyn Meldibekov profile (Mar), Maraya Art Centre Adel Abdin: Blueprint (catalogue editor/curator) (Mar), Maraya Art Centre Wafaa Bilal: The Hierarchy of Being (catalogue editor/curator) (Mar). Sotheby’s Auction House, London, At the Crossroads: Central Asia’s Contemporary Stage (catalogue essay) (Feb).
2012: Rose Issa Projects: Farhad Ahrarnia Epic of the Eye (catalogue) ArtAsiaPacific: Saraab Mathaf Doha (Issue 77), ArtAsiaPacific: Tashkent Dispatch (Issue 77), Maraya Art Centre: Migrasophia (catalogue in English/Arabic), Ibraaz 002: Unthinking Systems: Shezad Dawood in conversation with Sara Raza, Ibraaz 003: Nostalgia for the Future: Ala Ebtekar in conversation with Sara Raza. LawrieShabibi Gallery: Nadia Kaabe Linke The Visible is the New Invisible (catalogue). Harper’s Bazaar Art Cover, #03 Shezad Dawood (cover story), Harper’s Bazaar Art 04 Wafaa Bilal feature. SoftPower (catalogue English/Arabic). #Ye Hongxing (catalogue English/Chinese). #COMETOGETHER Farhad Ahrarnia interview (catalogue).
2011: ArtAsiaPacific: 2011 Almanac (Caucasus) (January), ArtAsiaPacific: Mathaf Launch (Issue 73 ), ArtAsiaPacific: The Point “Arabist,” (Issue 73), ArtAsiaPacific: Ayman Yossri Daydban : Ayman Yossri Daydban (issue 73 review), ArtAsiaPacific: Contemporary Art from Sri Lanka (Asia House) (issue 72 review), ArtAsiaPacific: Tamara Kvesitadze: When Everything Is In Flux (issue 73 profile) Ibraaz: Building Iran: Modernism, Architecture, and National Heritage (book review) Platform 01, Ibraaz: Performing Histories: Wafaa Bilal (in-conversation) platform 01, Ibraaz: New Vocabularies for New Challenges: Newsha Tavakolian in conversation with Sara Raza, Art Hong Kong/ Rossi & Rossi: Lost Paradise Nostalgia: Erbossyn Meldibekov (curatorial essay), Rossi & Rossi/ British Library: Re-constructing Otherness: Shapeshifters and Aliens (catalogue), Rampa Gallery Istanbul: Ergin Cavusoglu Alterity (catalogue).
2010: ArtAsiaPacific: 2010 Almanac (Caucasus), ArtAsiaPacific: Umida Akhmedova (news) (#67), ArtAsiaPacific: Leyla Akundzadeh (obituary) (#68), ArtAsiaPacific: Bharti Kher (review) (#69)
2009: ArtAsiaPacific: 2009 Almanac, ArtAsiaPacific: The UAE: A Region Transformed (#62), ArtAsiaPacific: Bosporus Heads for the Block: Turkish Contemporary Round Table (#62) Artkrush: Unveiled: Saatchi Gallery, Artkrush: Sharjah Biennial, Casa Asia: Modern and Contemporary Afghan Art Essay, Sotheby’s Turkish Contemporary Catalogue: Interview with Hale Tenger, Rossi & Rossi/ British Library: The (Dis)Order of Things: Erbossyn Meldibekov (catalogue), ArtAsiaPacific: Fereydoun Ave Profile (#65), ArtAsiaPacific: Sara Rahbar Review (#65)
2008: Plug In ICA/ Black Dog: Informal Architectures, Lida Abdul An Informal Architect, ArtAsiaPacific: Almanac 2008, ArtAsiaPacific: MUSEUMstan: Central Asia’s Cultural Revolution (#57), ArtAsiaPacific: Steve McQueen at Imperial War Museum (#59), ArtAsiaPacific: Cult of Personality: Central Asia at ShContemporary (#59), ArtAsiaPacific: Lina Saneh at Modern Art Oxford Review, (#60), ArtAsiaPacific: Babi Badalov (#60), ArtAsiaPacific: Serpentine Gallery Indian Highway Preview (#61), ArtAsiaPacific: Middle Eastern book picks (#61), Artkrush: Catherine Yass at Alison Jacques Review (#77), Artkrush: One to Watch: Goshka Macuga Profile (#87 Installation Art), ShContemporary 08 Catalogue: Central & Western Asia essays (English/Chinese).
2007: ArtAsiaPacific: Roxane Zand: Sotheby’s New Category Old Hand Profile (#56), ArtAsiaPacific: Persepolis: Marjane Satrapi at Cannes Film Review (#56), ArtAsiaPacific: Central Asia at 52nd Venice Biennale Preview (#53), Artkrush: Dan Graham interview on Art & Architecture (#67), Artkrush: Art & Politics interview with editor of Bidoun Lisa Farjam (#52), Fonds Regional D’Art Contemporain De Lorraine: Lida Abdul: On the Subject of Endurance (catalogue French/English), A-N (online): Grace Ndirutu Artist Profile, CTRL+P: Travelling Light (reprinted from N:Paradoxa Documenta 12 Edition), Trauma Interrupted Journal on Contemporary Art: Travelling Light (reprinted from N:Paradoxa Documenta 12).
2006: ArtAsiaPacific: Out of Beirut at Oxford MOMA (#51), ArtAsiaPacific: Anish Kapoor My Red Homeland at Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga (#50), ArtAsiaPacific: Reza Aramesh Changing of the Guard at ICA (#49), ArtAsiaPacific: Runa Islam Room Service at Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga (#49), Artkrush: Lida Abdul at São Paulo Biennial (#44), Contemporary: Vanessa Beecroft at Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga (#82), N.Paradoxa/ Documenta 12 Magazine special edition: Traveling Light (#17), Edition5: Staging a Walkout (German/English), Performance, Process & Strategy ed Adelaide Bannerman: Adrian Piper & the Infiltration of Public Space.
2005: 51st Venice Biennale: Lida Abdul (catalogue) ArtAsiaPacific: Museum of Media Art Kabul (MOMAK) (#46) ArtAsiaPacific: West & Center 51st Venice Biennale (#45), ArtAsiaPacific: Mitra Memarzia: Dear Axis of Evil (#45), ArtAsiaPacific: Mitra Tabrizian: Beyond the Limits (#44), ArtAsiaPacific: Shezad Dawood: I Know What You Want Let Me Give It To You Double, ArteEast: Calling into the Void: at San Jose State, Helsinki Photography Festival: To be Continued: Nooshin Farhid, Central Asian Biennale: In The Shadow of “Fallen” Heroes, the 2nd International Bishkek Contemporary Art (Russian/English), Haus der Kulturen der Welt: Spaces and Shadows – Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia, Sweeney Gallery, University of California Riverside: A Question of Defense (catalogue) Defense: Body and Nobody in Self-Protection curated by Lauren Hartman, KISSS: The Kinship International Strategy on Surveillance & Suppression, Art In-security & Security-In Art.
2004-02: ArtAsiaPacific: Lida Abdul: By Invitation Only (#43), ArtAsiaPacific: Near Far Distant Iranian Positions at Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt (#43), ArtAsiaPacific: Reza Aramesh Mimicry & Men (#41), Bidoun: We Have Met the Enemy & He is Us, ArteEast: Nooshin Farhid The Impossibility of Communication, Tavoos Iran: Reza Aramesh at Lawrence O’Hana Gallery (Persian/English) ArtReview: Kirsten Glass: Pusher, ArtReview: Fig 1 Jay Joplin.