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  • 2020/22 Artists

    Deena Abdelwahed

    Dina Mimi

    Haig Aivazian

    Inas Halabi

    Joe Namy

    Lydia Ourahmane

    Maan Abu Taleb

    Makimakkuk

    Deena Abdelwahed

     

    Born in 1989, producer and Tunisian DJ, Deena Abdelwahed moved to France aged 26 after making her name on the Tunis stage and as part of the Arabstazy Collective. Her hybrid DJ sets at the forefront of subcultures, including her DJ set at Sonar in 2017, propelled the young Tunisian into the clubbing universe’s most demanding spheres (Boiler Room, Concrete, Room For Resistance, Säule/Berghain). As a producer, she was the creator of All Hail Mother Internet, an acclaimed performance at the CTM Berlin Festival. Her first EP Klabb, released in early 2017 on InFiné, was met with critical acclaim from the blogosphere and electronic media. That same year, she collaborated on the tracks “Plunge” and “An Itch” from Fever Ray’s second album. Abdelwahed’s first album Khonnar released in 2018 has shifted the epicentre of contemporary electronic music south. In January 2020, she released a new EP entitled Dhakar.

     

     

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    Portrait of Deena Abdelwahed. Photo credit: Judas Companion.
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    Portrait of Deena Abdelwahed. Courtesy of the artist.

    Selected proposal to be presented at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels and Kulturen der Welt in Berlin:

    The aim of this project is to create and release an original and unique approach to the form of a mixtape, in which Abdelwahed collaborates with popular artists from the 2010’s alternative music scene in the Arab world. Her aim is to create works that have a contemporary Club Music aesthetic which include elements that are relevant to the style and background of each collaborating artist. Khyam Allami, composer and founder of Nawa Recordings, will assist her with the musical research process, focusing on the re-appropriation of western music technology in order to render Arabic musical culture including: how to digitally express authentic Arabic grooves, how to render the subtleties of Arabic microtonal melodies, and how to create a music that will interact with the club goers on the dance floor without using the Western solutions of today’s conventional club music. The outcome will be the product of a research into the authenticity of Arabic dance music and its presentation in a futurist form.

    Dina Mimi

    Dina Mimi is a visual artist born in 1994 in Jerusalem where she lives and works. Her practice is multifaceted and uses video, sound, performance, and text. Dina has been researching issues and subjects regarding the body and death in the public sphere, and notions of visibility and invisibility in the relationship of archaeology to the object, and the museum to death. She has also been researching protest as a performance. Recently, for her MFA thesis, she examined the role of the body-force in public space in Palestine. Dina obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem in 2016, and her MFA degree in art in the public sphere from ECAV (École cantonal d’art du Valais) in Switzerland in 2018. During her studies, Dina participated in numerous exhibitions and events in cities around the world, including Jerusalem, Amman, Boston, Paris and Ramallah. 

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    Portrait of Dina Mimi. Courtesy of the artist.
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    2- Documentation of the performance and installation “Nobody’s died yet in this house”, 2018/19. Courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Ziad Tareq.
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    Documentation of the performance and installation “Nobody’s died yet in this house”, 2018/19. Courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Alessandro Sala.
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    2- Documentation of the performance and installation “Nobody’s died yet in this house”, 2018/19. Courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Ziad Tareq.

    Selected proposal to be presented at Alkantara Festival in Lisbon, Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, and Spielart Festival in Munich:

    Is This a Love Letter or a Will? navigates the life of the artist’s great grandfather; searching for the missing pieces of his story around a specific event that made him the main and unexpected protagonist. The artist’s great grandfather had the first successful open-heart surgery performed by Israeli doctors in the ’60s, aired live on TV. As the first patient to undergo a successful operation of this kind at Tel HaShomer Military Hospital, his body was used as Israeli propaganda. Normalisation and control of the body has been the core of colonialism. Judith Butler says that “the body is not a site on which a construction takes place; it is a destruction on the occasion of which a subject is formed”; therefore the use of the body, in this case, performed the power, to realise the destruction. How memory and trauma travels and transformers into a whole new body, a defeated body. 

    Haig Aivazian

    Haig Aivazian, born in 1980, lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon. Working across a range of media and modes of address, he delves into the ways in which power embeds, affects and moves people, objects, animals, landscape and architecture. Aivazian has explored apparatuses of control and sovereignty at work in sports, museums and music.

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    Portrait of Haig Aivazian. Courtesy of the artist.
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    “Hastayim Yasiyorum (Face,)” 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery.
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    “Hastayım Yaşıyorum (I Am Sick But I Am Alive),” 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery.
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    Documentation, “The Setting of Noon”, an exhibition in collaboration with Jumana Manna during Home Works 8: A Forum on Cultural Practices at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut in 2019. Courtesy of the artists.
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    Documentation, “The Setting of Noon”, an exhibition in collaboration with Jumana Manna during Home Works 8: A Forum on Cultural Practices at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut in 2019. Courtesy of the artists.

    Selected proposal to be presented at The Renaissance Society in Chicago and The Showroom in London:

    The sovereign is scared of the dark. In centuries past, his watchmen patrolled the streets, but could only punish the criminals they happened upon. Citizens out and about after dark were required to hold lanterns, the equivalent of carrying I.D today. Eventually the police would brighten the city to curb crime, and today, nobody refers to public lighting as police lights anymore. But if the sovereign giveth light, he can sure as hell withdraw it. He floods public space with luminary policing, but he legislates when it is time for his subjects to retreat into domesticity too. “Lights out!” he says to those under curfew, and in incarceration. All of the Lights is an associative genealogy of the administration of light and darkness. Aivazian’s new film does not seek to shed light so much as it speculates about what remains unseen during the very act of shedding light. 

    Inas Halabi

    Inas Halabi, born in 1988, is an artist and filmmaker from Jerusalem, Palestine. Her practice is concerned with how social and political forms of power are manifested and the impact that suppressed or overlooked histories have on contemporary life. She holds an MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London and recently completed a two-year residency program at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. In 2016, she was awarded first prize for the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year. Recent exhibitions and screenings include The Mosaic Rooms, London; TENT, Rotterdam; De Ateliers, Amsterdam; Silent Green Betonhalle, Berlin; Smith College Museum of Art, USA; Alte Fabrik, Rapperswil; al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem; OFF-Biennale Budapest, and the 13th Sharjah Biennial’s Offsite project, Shifting Ground. She lives and works between Palestine and the Netherlands.

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    Inas Halabi’s portrait by Marie Lebedeva
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    Installation view of the film “Once a Closely Guarded Secret,” at De Ateliers in Amsterdam in 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
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    Installation view of the film “Once a Closely Guarded Secret,” at De Ateliers in Amsterdam in 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
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    Film still from “We Have Always Known the Wind’s Direction,” 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
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    ​Film still from “We Have Always Known the Wind’s Direction,” 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
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    “Paul Sarasin resting in a tent​,” a photograph altered by the artist as part of the project “Letters to Fritz and Paul,” 2016/18. Courtesy of the artist.
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    ​Film still from “Mnemosyne,” 2016/17. Courtesy of the artist.
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    Exhibition view at Dar al Sa’ in Ramallah, during the 2016 Young Artist of the Year Award. Courtesy of the artist.

    Selected proposal to be presented at De Appel in Amsterdam and The Showroom in London:

    Halabi’s new film, We No Longer Prefer Mountains will take place in the Druze town of Dalyet el Carmel, in northern Palestine, pulling the viewer into a surreal world of geographic isolation, shrouded mysticism and a locale shaped by co-optation, coercion, and control. Weaving together intimate engagements with members of the community, in shared domestic spaces and outdoor environments, the film sets out to explore how the inner politics of the Druze have been controlled and reshaped by the powers of the state since 1948. The film is unscripted and opens up a space to deal with situations where cameras may also be directed by the protagonist. One possible protagonist is a retired soldier, subsequently a judge, and presently a sheikh; his story uncovers layers of the legal, the stately and the spiritual. Structurally inspired by Masao Adachi’s Fukeiron’s landscape theory, the film also surveys landscapes as clues for dominant political power and violence.

    Joe Namy

    Joe Namy, born in 1978 and based in Beirut and London, is an artist, educator, and composer, often working collaboratively and across mediums—in performance, sculpture, photography, text, video, and installation. His projects often focus on the social constructs of music and organized sound, such as the pageantry and geo-politics of opera, the noise laws and gender dynamics of bass, the colors and tones of militarization, the migration patterns of instruments and songs, and the complexities of translation in all this – from language to language, from score to sound, from drum to dance. Namy graduated with an M.F.A. from New York University, and has independently studied jazz, Arabic, and heavy metal drumming. He was a participant in the inaugural Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace independent study program, where he now teaches. His work has been exhibited, screened, and amplified at Art Night London, the Asia Culture Center in Gwangju, the Berlinale, the Brooklyn Museum, the Beirut Art Center, the Detroit Science Center, La Biennale de Montreal, Nottingham Contemporary, Sharjah Biennial 13, and other festivals, radio stations, and dance floors.

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    Joe Namy's portrait. Courtesy of the artist.
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    Installation view of “Libretto-o-o: a stained window reflecting the bright sunshine heavy with love” in the exhibition “32: The Rescore” at Sharjah Art Foundation in 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
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    Installation view of “Libretto-o-o: a stained window reflecting the bright sunshine heavy with love” in the exhibition “32: The Rescore” at Sharjah Art Foundation in 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
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    Installation view of “Libretto-o-o: a stained window reflecting the bright sunshine heavy with love” in the exhibition “32: The Rescore” at Sharjah Art Foundation in 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
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    Installation view of “Libretto-o-o: a stained window reflecting the bright sunshine heavy with love” in the exhibition “32: The Rescore” at Sharjah Art Foundation in 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

    Selected proposal to be presented at The Renaissance Society in Chicago and Potikus in Frankfurt:

    Disguised as a Dance Floor is an installation and performance based on the politics of bass and the subversive role of loud music and its effect on the body. Through an improvised and collaborative series of scores and sets, this project creates a space for new ways of listening with the body – situations for gestures, sounds, words to mingle in ways that haven’t been previously accessible in thinking about the history of art in relation to dance floors, and ways in which violence or solidarity have resonated on the dance floor; based on personal experiences and collective stories of empowerment, movement, and expression.

    With special thanks to BUDA Kunstencentrum in Kortrijk for hosting the artist and his collaborators for a development residency in January 2020.

    Lydia Ourahmane

    Lydia Ourahmane, born in 1992, is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Algiers.  Her research-driven practice explores major geopolitical issues of our time testing the permeability of boundaries and the state of being in-between. Her work in recent years has built on complex histories of colonialism, migration and abstraction in a poetic exploration of the present, the personal and the political. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2014 and has exhibited internationally. Recent exhibitions include: Homeless Souls, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Crude, Jameel Art Center, Dubai; Manifesta 12, Palermo; Jaou, Tunis; Droit du sang, Kunstverein München, Munich; 2018 New Museum Triennial: Songs for Sabotage, New Museum, New York; The You In Us, Chisenhale Gallery, London.

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    Lydia Ourahmane's portrait by Sang Woo Kim
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    “Land of the Sun,” 2014. Courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Gunnar Meier.
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    Video still from “Haraga – The Burning,” 2014. Courtesy of the artist.
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    “The Third Choir,” 2014. Courtesy of the artist.
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    “The Third Choir,” 2014 (detail). Courtesy of the artist.
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    “In the Absence of our Mothers,” 2015/18. Courtesy of the artist and Chisenhale Gallery.
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    “In the Absence of our Mothers,” 2015/18. Courtesy of the artist and Chisenhale Gallery.
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    A photograph from the series “notes on the wait,” 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Chisenhale Gallery.
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    “1 decade of hair,” 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Bodega Gallery.

    Selected proposal to be presented at De Appel in Amsterdam and Portikus in Frankfurt:

    Ourahmane’s new project City of Demons begins with a pilgrimage to Tassili N’ajjer, a vast desert plateau on the border of Algeria and Libya which houses over 15,000 ancient cave paintings and remains one of the last places on earth to refuse militarization, due to the hostility of its environment and difficulty to navigate. The journey will be led by a guide, Ahmed, whose family were among the last of the Tuareg tribe to be moved down from the plateau in 1985. Currently, collaborators include; Amine Ali Pacha, Sophia Al-Maria, Alana Mejia Gonzalez, Hiba Ismail and Nicolas Jaar.

    Maan Abu Taleb

    Maan Abu Taleb, born in 1981 in Amman, is a Palestinian novelist, essayist and cultural editor. He is the founding editor of Ma3azef, the Arab world’s leading online music magazine. Abu Taleb earned a master’s degree in philosophy and contemporary critical theory from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University, London. His dissertation, titled The Phenomenology of Time: A Confrontation between Hegel’s Dialectics and Heidegger’s Ontology, was supervised by Catherine Malabou, philosopher and author. His debut novel, All the Battles, was released to critical and popular praise in 2016. He lives and works in London.

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    Maan Abu Taleb’s portrait by Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad
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    English edition of Abu Taleb's novel “All The Battles” published by the American University in Cairo Press in 2017
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    Abu Taleb reading within an event organized by Ma3azef. Courtesy of the artist.

    Selected proposal to be presented at Alkantara Festival in Lisbon, Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, and Spielart Festival in Munich:

    Abu Taleb’s project is the writing and staged reading of a play titled 1932, which tells the story of the first and last Congress of Arab Music that took place in Cairo in 1932 and is to this day considered a landmark event in the history of Arabic music. The aim of the Congress was to modernize and standardize Arabic music and took place during a period that is now considered to be the highest achievement of Arabic music and is referred to as the music of the Arab Renaissance. Although it was considered a success, the congress which did not involve any musicologists from the Arab world never reconvened. A revisiting of this Congress presents an opportunity to tell a story of culture and identity in the Arab world, infused with the intrigues and tragedies of kings, set against the influence of colonialism.

    Makimakkuk

    Born in 1988, Makimakkuk is a singer, MC, DJ, music maker and artist. Makimakkuk’s sound is inspired by various musical genres such as hiphop, folk, experimental, drum and bass, footwork, as well as freestyle & improvisation with an abstract, serious and at the same time sarcastic lyrical approach to different personal, social and political issues. She has performed and participated in a number of events, including Re|Sound III as part of Ma3azef’s Symposium on Arabic Music in collaboration with Sharjah Art Foundation; Boiler Room Palestine (Ramallah); Joo theatre music play; SN8 (Berlin); Nicolas Jaar’s closing act (Ramallah). She has participated in Al Qattan Foundation’s & Ville de Paris art residency; Anna Lindth foundation & Centre culturel d’abbaye de neumunster art residency in 2014 where she released her first EP “Fada’” with Luxembourgish producer Sunglitters. She started writing original songs in 2007 and has been ever since active in the independent music scene of Ramallah, Palestine.

    Makimakkuk’s portrait by Monique Najjud

    Selected proposal to be presented at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels and Kulturen der Welt in Berlin:

    Alien Nation by Makimakkuk is a live music performance project that focuses on the concept of alienation and the complex relationship between individual and universe. When in conflict with reality, an individual’s consciousness, as well as whole societies, could become alienated from their environment leading to isolation from or dispute with their universal surroundings. Alien Nation is the continuation of Makimakkuk’s research in to supporting traumatized generations. At what point do they realize they still have a chance and bounce-back? Where do they find the desire, will and courage to be true to who they are while keeping their senses open to the universe? The performance includes original electronic compositions, singing, spoken-word, music samples and sonic objects each of which has a subject/topic that sonically triggers a memory or feeling from the performer.