„Our experience and careers have allowed us to act for an extensive period as art agents between different cultures and nations. We understand our role as cultural diplomats, who engage on the exchange of ideas, information, art and other aspects of culture among nations and their peoples in order to foster mutual understanding.“ (Negar Hakim and Christine Bruckbauer, founders of philomena+)
Negar Hakim, born in Isfahan (Iran), is an architecture critic based in Vienna. She studied art history at the University of Vienna. She is chief-editor of MEMAR Magazine and has been working as co-editor of several other art and architecture magazines in the Middle East. She has been lecturing on Modern Islamic Architecture at different universities (The University of Vienna, KU Linz, Isfahan University of Art, TU Vienna). Her articles on architecture and regional issues are published in a wide range of regional professional journals. Hakim does intercultural consulting in art and architecture between Europe and Iran. She organises transregional workshops, seminars and study trips. Now she is guest professor at the Vienna University of Technology.
Christine Bruckbauer is an independent art writer, curator and lecturer. She has been focusing on socially engaged art practices, public spaces in South Asia, Middle East and North Africa. Concerned with a sociological reading of art and interested in cultural policy, she has been particularly devoted to commissioning artists to explore the possibilities of engaging social, aesthetical or political dialogues in different contexts. She writes regularly for international art magazines and contributes to publications accompanying relevant art projects. She holds a PhD in Art History from University Vienna in Austria and worked as an organizer of contemporary art exhibitions at the Secession Vienna, Austria. From 2001 – 2014 she has lived and worked in Islamabad (Pakistan), London (UK) and Tunis (Tunisia). She lectured at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, UK and taught comparative art history at the Faculté des Lettres, des Arts et des Humanités at La Manouba University in Tunis. She is living in Vienna, Austria at present where she recently curated the show THE TURN المنعرج – Art Practices in Post-Spring Societies at the Kunstraum Niederoesterreich and taught at the Art History Department of Vienna University.