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Q&A with NFT Residency Curator Myriam Ben Salah

NFT Residency

In this interview, writer and curator Myriam Ben Salah tells us about her role as a Curator in the Voice NFT Residency and how she sees NFTs challenging the traditional art world.

A Tunisian-French curator who currently serves as the director and chief curator of the Renaissance Society in Chicago, Myriam was recently the co-curator of Made in L.A. 2020: a version, the biennial of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Alongside curatorial roles, Myriam’s writings have appeared in numerous international art publications and catalogues including Artforum, Mousse, and Numéro.

Voice: What first made you interested in NFTs? Where do you see the most potential?

Myriam: There is a big gap between the actual value of contemporary art and the image it formed of itself, and I think the different actors (inside and outside the market; galleries, institutions, curators) got too comfortable replicating the status quo of how art is produced, circulated, shown and distributed. 

I was intrigued by the NFTs because for once, something was creating a shift, and shaking things up. Whether it’s shaking them in the right direction, I don’t know, it’s hard to say. But I know it is better to experiment and figure it out, rather than replicate previous models indefinitely. I think smart contracts for example, which are part of NFTs but also expandables to other realities, can be extremely generative in terms of reaching a better equity within the art world.

Voice: What has been your biggest challenge in navigating the art world? How do you foresee that changing for future generations?

Myriam: I think the biggest challenge was truly this disconnect that I just mentioned between an environment that encourages progressive thinking (artists!) while maintaining a conservative type of economy. An environment that encourages ecological awareness while having a huge carbon footprint. And I can go on with the contradictions. 

My hope is that future generations are more focused on accountability.

Voice: Why were you interested in being a part of the Voice NFT Residency?

Myriam: I was really excited by the prospect of exploring the format of NFTs – and the possibilities offered by the blockchain in general – with artists that I could choose. Many artists I am in dialogue with are very interested in these new possibilities, and having the opportunity to offer them ressources and to be in dialogue around an actual project was truly enticing.

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