Paris, 13 September 2012. Art Media Agency (AMA).
In less than ten years, Nadour became one of the most important collections of contemporary art in the Arab world and Iran in Europe. The founder of this collection is Rüdiger K. Weng and his curator Diana Wiegersma. Nadour spreads a true philosophy for which promotion of artists is as important as buying works of art. From the beginning of their collaboration, Mr. Weng and Mrs. Wiegersma have together defined the purpose of the collection: discover an artist and help him to be known by a wider audience. The collector is often the one who discovers a new talent, well before a museum or even a gallery. This shared view has allowed them to fully cooperate and discover promising young artists, as Iranian Leila Pazooki.
Founded ten years ago, the Nadour collection now includes nearly 250 works by about 60 artists from Iran and the Arab world, and long before what we might call “awakening of the region.” A strictly non-commercial platform was made by Mr. Weng, a lover of the arts, during a trip to North Africa and the Middle East where he discovered the beauty of the landscapes and the potential of some emerging artists. Diana Wiegersma, after graduating in History of Art and Architecture at the Sorbonne in Paris, quickly joined Rüdiger K. Weng in his adventure. In different countries they met artists. You should know that “Nadour” is an Arabic word of a Palestinian dialect meaning “binocular”: it has the meaning of “observation point”. The collection is so an observant of what is happening in these parts of the world while trying to convey a message to make you think.
Nadour held its first exhibition in Vienna on 10 September, entitled “Come Invest in Us. You’ll strike Gold”, referring to the speech by the President of Algeria in 1999 to attract foreign investors in his country. The exhibition got this name as his masterpiece, designed by Djarnel Kokene, directly echoes the words of Bouteflika. Indeed, his work criticizes the purely economic interest of foreign powers in the region. Similarly other artists address geopolitical issues. Oil, gas, weapons, luxury goods, construction is what really interested Western companies in the Middle East. This is also the reason for the financial dependence of the local people.
It should also be noticed that a rather unique link binds the European artistic creation and contemporary North Africa. Indeed, many artists originating from the Maghreb have decided to live in Europe. This mix of cultures is reflected in their works. Faycal Baghriche is a typical example. Born in Algeria but living in Paris, he made a video in 2010 called The Message Project in which he has combined the Arabic and American versions of the movie The Message dealing with the history of Islam (1977).
Nadour goal is to share its findings with a wide audience. It consists in “participating to the evolution of an artist by purchasing a work that I find relevant” then reveal him to the largest audience. The collection has always exhibited a wide variety of artistic creations, reflecting not only the polyvalent and multifaceted nature of contemporary art, but also the complex relationship that exists between East and West. In addition, the specificity of Nadour is that the collection allows museums and other institutions to borrow his works. That’s why Nadour has never invested in a showroom. The new acquisitions from the collection are shown on its site. The latter, available in several languages, provides information on the collection and the represented artists.
Finally, Rüdiger K. Weng constantly remembers that the main purpose of Nadour, its motivation, is the permanent support that it provides to its artists. Thus, Nadour can be a gateway to fame for these emerging artists.