Sumac Space

Dialogues Exhibitions About Artists' rooms


The idea of Sumac Space emerged in 2020 as a non-profit platform presenting contemporary art from the Middle East* through digital programs, critical writing and research. Devoted to the Middle East and its thriving contemporary art, we work with artists and curators, who address contemporary urgencies in the context of the challenging social and political circumstances of the region. Seeking new ways of experiencing art through digital modalities, Sumac Space experiments with rethinking the existing forms of art presentation and looks for meaningful uses of digital communication to meet, to relate, to be together.

Alongside exploring our programs, such as digital Exhibitions, Sumac Space invites viewers to explore Artists’ Rooms and Dialogues. Artists’ Rooms are digital architectures curated entirely by artists themselves that are here to allow for connecting with the artists’ thinking process and research, beyond actual artworks. We believe that art practice is so much more than final works and therefore our aim is to disclose what is formative and proliferates artists’ practice on different levels. If Artists’ Rooms is primarily a space for viewing and contemplating relations between different artifacts and subjects, Dialogues is a place for being vocal. Here, authors and artists get together in conversations, interviews, essays and experimental forms of writing. We aim to create a space of exchange, where the published results are often the most visible manifestations of relations, friendships and collaborations built around Sumac Space.

We believe in the irreplaceable role of artists in re-imagining and shaping our pasts, presents and futures and that they must have a public place for their research and diverse forms of expression. Therefore, gradually building a community of artists, curators, researchers and writers, we invite diverse voices to actively participate in forming Sumac Space through curating exhibitions, writing texts, presenting work in progress and conveying conversations with each other.

Collaboration and collective study are qualities we are proposing, not as themes and theoretical concepts but as unconditional ways of working. Contact us to share ideas and proposals on how to work together and improve our ever-transforming programs.

* The geographical term Middle East is not neutral; rather, it is a Eurocentric word with colonial origins.

Sumac Space e.V., represented by the executive board:
Davood Madadpoor
Katharina Ehrl (until Nov. 2022)

District Court Freiburg im Breisgau, VR 703339
Tax number 0670/08333

Davood Madadpoor, b. 1981, Tehran Iran.

Davood was born and raised in Tehran, where he worked at the War Library as co-researcher on methods of archiving. His interests in the arts led him to pursue degrees in photography at the Iranian Photographers’ House and the Tehran University of Applied Sciences and Technology.

He furthered his studies in Florence, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in visual arts and a master’s degree in curatorial studies from the Accademia di Belle Arti. Here, he cultivated and explored his curatorial interests in the relationship between art practices and the material reality of day-to-day life, graduating with a thesis focused on local context as an impetus and inspiration for the art practices of artists-in-residence.

Till December 2022, he was a curatorial assistant at Villa Romana in Florence. In this capacity, he recently co-curated projects entitled Echoes, a nine-month educational program for young adults in Berlin, as well as MANIFESTIAMO—a three month conference proposing institutional work as a collaborative process in Florence. He also co-curated The Tellers in Florence and Seeds for Future Memories: Voicing the Two Ends of Migration, in cooperation with ifa-Galerie, ACUD MACHT NEU, and FREIRAUM in der Box, in Berlin. In Addition, Davood was co-editor on a digital project entitled The Broken Archive—Artistic Practices Bridging the Mediterranean, which was the product of a collaboration between HKW in Berlin and Villa Romana. 

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Now, he is working in European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture as Cultural Outreach Project Manager.

The rest of his time is devoted to developing his research, aligned with Sumac Space, which revolves around interrogating and recasting everyday objects and events against the contemporaneous backdrop of a sociopolitical landscape in flux. As a curator, Davood seeks to explore this tension in his projects through narration, storytelling, and fiction that reconstruct the contemporary day-to-day as a mixture of origin, transition, and an unknowable future.


Sumac Space is a venue for raising questions and conversations. It is updated every Thursday with a new, fresh dialogue/text. Subscribe to the newsletter to be kept up to date.
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