The New Social Environment#761

Director’s Series: Sumayya Vally and Aya Al-Bakree

Featuring Vally, Al-Bakree, Joachim Pissarro, and Jennifer Stockman, with Precious Okoyomon


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Architect Sumayya Vally and Thunaiyat Ad-Diriyah Foundation CEO Aya Al-Bakree join Guggenheim President Emeritus Jennifer Stockman and Rail Consulting Editor Joachim Pissarro for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Precious Okoyomon.

In this talk

More on the Islamic Arts Biennale →

Sumayya Vally

Photo of Sumayya Vally
© Marilyn Clark
Sumayya Vally is Principal of the award-winning architecture and research, Counterspace. Vally’s design, research and pedagogical practice is searching for expression for hybrid identities and territory, particularly for African and Islamic conditions—both rooted and diasporic. Her process is often forensic and draws on the oral, aural, sound, ritual, supernatural, and the overlooked as generative places of history and work. In 2022, Vally was selected by the World Economic Forum to be one of its Young Global Leaders, and, as a TIME100 Next list honoree, has been identified as someone who will shape the future of architectural practice and canon. In April 2022, Vally was appointed to the curatorial team for the first Islamic Arts Biennale.

Aya Al-Bakree

Photo of Aya Albakree
Aya Al-Bakree is a contemporary culture specialist with over 10 years of experience in the arts in Europe and Saudi Arabia. She is CEO of the new Thunaiyat Ad-Diriyah Foundation, chaired by Saudi Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, which held its first biennale of contemporary art in 2021. Al-Bakree holds a bachelor’s degree in global communications from the American University of Paris.

Jennifer Stockman

Black and white photo of Jennifer Stockman
Jennifer Blei Stockman produces feature length documentary films on artists and the art world. Her current film Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV premiered at Sundance in January 2023. Stockman is President Emeritus of the GUGGENHEIM and was its President for 15 years. She is a Founder of DMINTI which brings digital and web3 fluency to the more traditional art world. Stockman is a partner of Global Museum Strategy Group. Priorly, she worked as an executive for decades in business (IBM, Sears World Trade and running her own firm, SAI) and was actively involved for years as an activist for women’s rights. She has been an avid collector of contemporary art, including NFTs, since the 90s.

Joachim Pissarro

Joachim Pissarro
Art historian, theoretician, curator, and educator Joachim Pissarro is director of the Hunter College Galleries and Bershad Professor of Art History at Hunter College. He has held positions at the Dallas Museum of Art, Kimbell Art Museum, MoMa, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Royal Academy of London, and the Yale University Art Gallery. Notable exhibitions Pissarro curated include Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865–1885 (2005) and Out of Time: A Contemporary View (2006, with Eva Respini), which have toured internationally. Pissarro has served as the Editorial Director of Wildenstein Publications and is the author of numerous books, most recently, Wild Art, with art critic David Carrier and published by Phaidon Press. Pisarro is Consulting Editor of the Rail.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Precious Okoyomon reading.

Precious Okoyomon

Photo of Precious Okoyomon
Precious Okoyomon (b. 1993, UK) - poet, artist, and chef – stages sculptural topographies composed of living, growing, decaying, and dying materials, including rock, water, wildflowers, snails, and vines. For Okoyomon, nature is inseparable from the historical marks of colonisation and enslavement. Numerous key galleries and museums such as Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, Venice Biennale, and Aspen Art Museum, have featured Precious Okoyomon ’s work in solo and group exhibitions. Okoyomon has been featured in articles for The Art Newspaper, ARTnews, HYPEBEAST, The New York Times, and W Magazine, among others. They are the author of But Did You Die (Wonder, 2022).

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.