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The NYUAD Art Gallery’s TRACE: Archives and Reunions series launches the ninth digital archive, Slavs and Tatars: Mirrors for Princes: Both Sides of the Tongue, to reflect on their art and audiences

The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery will launch its ninth digital archive, Slavs and Tatars: Mirrors for Princes: Both Sides of the Tongue, on Monday, October 5, as part of its TRACE: Archives and Reunions series.

For this special reunion, The NYUAD Art Gallery’s Executive Director Maya Allison will reunite with the collective Slavs and Tatars and editor Anthony Downey to re-trace their 2015 book and exhibition. The event will take the form of an audience Zoom discussion, rather than a webinar.

The artwork of Slavs and Tatars centers on a geographic region, Eurasia, while the concepts in the work manifest unexpected connections across the globe, via languages and cultural registers. Anthony Downey has written, edited, and curated extensively with a focus on work from the Middle East, for English-language audiences. The conversation will examine the question of audience, accessibility, and mediation in the collective’s work. How do audiences read the work of Slavs and Tatars in Berlin or Texas or Abu Dhabi? How does that reading hinge on region, culture, and language?

Taking place on Monday, October 5 at 6:30pm GST, the organizers ask participants to engage with two readings prior, in order to create a shared foundation for the discussion. To register for the Zoom discussion, please click here.

First shown in February 2015, the Mirrors for Princes exhibition and book traced the contemporary obsession with self-help to a medieval genre of political science, “mirrors for princes,” with Machiavelli’s THE PRINCE being the most famous example.  The art collective Slavs and Tatars looked to these texts as a precedent of generosity and critique, and as a case study in the balance between faith and state, an issue that resonates across the Middle East, North America, and Europe today.

The digital release of the exhibition archive for Slavs and Tatars: Mirrors for Princes: Both Sides of The Tongue will include the exhibition’s accompanying book, as well as the brochure and installation views.

Previous digital exhibition archives can be accessed by the public on TRACE: Archives and Reunion’s page. For more information, please visit

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