Diana Campbell Betancourt


Diana Campbell Betancourt is a Princeton educated American curator who has been working in South and Southeast Asia since 2010, primarily in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. She is committed to fostering a transnational art world, and her plural and long-range vision addresses the concerns of underrepresented regions and artists alongside the more established in manifold forums.

Since 2013, she has served as the Founding Artistic Director of Dhaka-based Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh and Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, leading the critically acclaimed 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 editions. Campbell Betancourt has developed the Dhaka Art Summit into a leading research and exhibitions platform for art from South Asia, bringing together artists, architects, curators, and writers from across South Asia through a largely commission based model where new work and exhibitions are born in Bangladesh, also adding a scholarly element to the platform with a think tank connecting modern art histories in and across Africa, South and Southeast Asia in collaboration with the Getty Foundation, Cornell University Center for Comparative Modernities, the Asia Art Archive, and the Samdani Art Foundation. In addition to her exhibitions making practice, Campbell Betancourt is responsible for developing the Samdani Art Foundation collection and drives its international collaborations ahead of opening the foundation’s permanent home, Srihatta, the Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park in Sylhet.

Concurrent to her work in Bangladesh from 2016-2018, Campbell Betancourt was also the Founding Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects in the Philippines, a non-profit international residency and exhibition programme with sites in Manila and Bataan, and curated Frieze Projects in London for the 2018 and 2019 editions of the fair. She chairs the board of the Mumbai Art Room and is an advisor to AFIELD, a global network of socially engaged artistic practices. Her writing has been published by Mousse, Frieze, Art in America, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) among others.

Seismic Movements

03.06.2021 l Anca Poterasu Gallery

Under the title Seismic Movements, inspired by the 2020 Dhaka Art Summit, curated by our guest speaker, Diana Campbell Betancourt, the 2nd Insomnia event offers a broader context of the curatorial in an ever-shifting society.

Starting from the Summit’s aim ”to think of new forms of togetherness’ and ‘write (art) history from new perspectives”, our key-note speaker will share her experience with working across borders, especially in the Global South.

Her curatorial work is dedicated to creating cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary artistic and research projects, aiming at creating new methodologies for exhibitions that respond to the environmental and social challenges nowadays.

During the same evening, we will screen Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s ‘Fog Dog’, courtesy of the artist and Diana Campbell Betancourt. Filmed at the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka designed by the pioneering Bangladeshi architect Muzharul Islam (1923 – 2012), the work undertakes the curious vantage point of a group of stray dogs that live in the school, documenting the daily and nightly interactions with other students, nightwatchmen amidst sounds of steps, car horns, bird calls and spiritual entities.

The film was produced for the Dhaka Art Summit 2020 and it relates to a continuous fluid, interconnected way of existing, amidst others in our shared subjectivities.

*Cover image: Still from Fog Dog by artist Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, 2019-2020, 2k video (color, stereo sound), Courtesy of Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Esther Schipper Gallery and Mendes Wood DM

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