Touria El Glaoui is the Founding Director of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, a leading transnational platform for artists, galleries, curators, independent art centres and institutions dedicated to promoting African and Africa related art practices and projects. Selected exhibitors hail from global territories including Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, France, Italy, Germany, UK and USA. Established in 2013, 1:54 takes place annually in October at Somerset House in London. She has initiated and co-curated several exhibitions with her father, the Moroccan artist Hassan El Glaoui, including Meetings in Marrakech: Paintings of Hassan El Glaoui and Winston Churchill at Leighton House in London in 2011, which further travelled to Morocco, as part of the 5th Marrakech Biennale in 2014.
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which would it be and why?
I'd like to have my portrait taken by the wonderful Malian photographer Malick Sidibé, who is one of my favourite photographers. He still works today, but on a much smaller scale, from his home studio in Bamako.
Who inspires you and why? An artist, a family member, someone current or historical?
The artist Not Vital for his nomadic mode of working. He works across Niger, Patagonia, China and Switzerland, among other locations, often engaging with local communities to construct unique and thoughtful communal buildings and studios.
What are your cultural aspirations? What do you still want to see, do and achieve?
I want to continue to strive for cultural, ethic and gender diversity in the visual arts. To see more artists working and living in Africa having sustained artistic and cultural practices and being able to operate on an international basis.
What are your favourite cultural cities in the world and why?
London is my current home; it has a great feeling and supports the ecology of its dynamic, and possibly unrivalled art scene. New York is totally exuberant and has some of my favourite museums and galleries, too.
What are you up to at the moment and where can we find it?
I'm developing the second edition of 1:54 Contemporary African Art fair, which is expanding this year with the addition of a new exhibition wing at Somerset House. It’s very exciting. We’re working hard to produce something exceptional. 1:54 takes place 16-19 October 2014: www.1-54.com July 2014.