Berit Schuck Opens up on Visual Arts Program

Berit Schuck

With D-CAF just around the corner, Visual Arts Curator Berit Schuck outlines her plans for the festivities…

 

Can you introduce this year’s D-CAF Visual Arts Program?

When the director of D-CAF, Ahmed El Attar, asked me to be the Curator of this year’s Visual Arts Program, I proposed to look at exhibitions differently, considering that the act of showing contemporary art in Egypt has become increasingly difficult over the past six years, specifically for artists and art institutions that work across disciplines, cultures, and media. To do research, create a new work, develop an exhibition format, and discuss it with various audiences has become a critical, performative, without even looking at the content of the works. So, I decided to show present manifestations of contemporary art that reflect on the current circumstances and to present them in the form of an imaginary museum.

Can you elaborate on the format of your exhibition?

The artists I have recently worked with produce on the spot, process-oriented and site-specific. The thread that binds them together is their interest in defining new spaces for research, production and discussions. For instance, Adelita Husni-Bey, an artist who was born in Italy and now lives in New York, creates learning spaces by using experimental pedagogy in her work. This inspired me to look at what the artists do more closely. I found out that in addition to Adelita’s spaces that I call learning spaces, other artists I am interested in work with the idea of the museum. It almost seemed natural to combine what they do and give it a title. So, the title of my exhibition, the Cairo Museum of Contemporary Art, originated from the artists’s proposals.

Does that mean the program will have a theme?

Yes, I have invited three artists who are all interested in the question what contemporary art does and more specifically what kind of social and political spaces it performs. Which means the CAMOCA is not an actual site, but rather an auctorial device. When you think about my programme as a programme of a museum, it all over the sudden open the possibility to talk about an imaginary institutional space that we don’t have here in Cairo, but which would allow to show art projects and exhibtiions by contempoaryr artists more regularly, speak about themes that are not addressed by the museums we have, and preserve what contemporary art practices make visible for the next generation.

Can you elaborate more on that concept of responsive, or site-specific work?

Let’s begin with Manuel Pelmus, a Romanian choreographer who has worked in the field of visual arts for the past couple of years. Manuel is known for the immaterial works that he has staged with the artist Maria Alexandria Pirici at the most renowned art institutions for contemporary art, for instance the Centre Pompidou and Tate Modern. In 2015, Manuel was asked to create a new performative action for the Kyiv Biennale, and he chose to work at the National Museum of Kyiv, which was super political since he invited only female performers to respond to the current exhibition of that museum called ‘Heroes’, an exhibition about significant male characters of the country throughout history. Last year, he worked with non-professional performers at SALT in Istanbul and asked them to re-enact, one of his earlier works called Public Collection of Modern Art. Here in Cairo he will work with local performers, dancers and writers and ask them to enact a museum of contemporary art for Cairo. His work fo rthe BVisual Arts Program will be exploring and reflecting on art museums. I am happy that Manuel decided to work with performers and artists who live and work in Cairo and are aware of where art museums and public collections stand here.

Which other artists have you invited to take part in the Visual Arts Program?

The second artist is Adelita Husni-Bey whom I have mentioned already. Adelita won’t be able to come to Cairo (Note: Adelita Husni-Bey has been invited to represent Italy at the Venice Biennale which opens in May), but has agreed to show two of her recent works with Arabic translation. So, I will show her film After the Finish Line and her book In the Cloud – two of her most recent works – for the first time in Cairo. Both have been realised for Movement Break, the artist’s first exhibition in the United States at the Kadist Foundation in San Francisco (2015). Both are based on constructive research using experimental pedagogy and reflect on the culture of competition embodied by American teenager athletes. There’ll be space for a discussion of the works and of questions like “where does the pressure to continuously perform really stem from”?  The third artist that I have invited is actually an artist duo, the British artists Noor Afshan Mirza & Brad Butler who have been working together for almost twenty years and have until now published their practice as part of the Museum of Non-Participation (2008-2016), a multi-layered project, that started when they saw a demonstration of Pakistani workers through the window of an art museum that featured an exhibition about inclusion and exclusion, but not the workers’ struggle. For the 6th edition of the D-CAF, Noor & Brad will now connect earlier works including two video works from 2012 and 2014 and The Ectoplasm of Neoliberalism, a series of digital prints on silks, with their current research project that looks into the state of the state of Turkey. Called Mother, loosen my tongue or adorn mw with a lighter burden, will be thus an exhibition-in-progress. The artists will animate their installation with private and public conversations as well as a production-oriented workshop on the collages and the political and social function it performs.

What are the spaces that you envision using for the Visual Arts Program?

We will use the Kodak Passageway to show Manuel’s work and host discussions. Adelita’s work will be in installed in the Kodak Gallery facing the street. Noor & Brad’s exhibition, the first exhibition of their practice in Egypt, will occupy a 12-room apartment on Hoda Shaarawi Street, which is great. Hoda Shaarawi was the first first female activist to organise a demonstration in Cairo. Three additional rooms on the same floor of the artists apartment will be used by writers who live and work in Cairo to cover the events that will complement the exhibtions and to produce various online publications over the duration of the Visual Arts Program.

 

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Joop Oank on the way to Cairo for the street performance. We can't wait to see the reactions of everyone in public. pic.twitter.com/kjhP…

D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival

Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) is Egypt’s first international multi-disciplinary contemporary arts festival. The 6th edition of D-CAF (#DCAF17) will take place over three weeks from the 17th of March to the 8th of April 2017 at multiple sites in Downtown Cairo. D-CAF will include local, regional and international music, theatre, dance, visual arts and film by cutting-edge artists from Egypt, the Arab world, and beyond. In addition to featuring established Downtown cultural spaces and theatres, D-CAF uses non-traditional sites such as historical buildings, storefronts, alleyways, and rooftops as sites for performances, events, and arts installations, with the aim of bringing audiences and performers to engage with the city in a new way. With its diverse and first-rate programming, D-CAF aspires to become one of the most important annual Arab art events by reaching out to a broad spectrum of Egyptian audiences, creating bridges between Arab artists, international curators and programmers, as well as capitalising on Downtown Cairo’s unique cultural, social and architectural heritage. Furthermore, the D-CAF team seeks not just to bring the best in international contemporary culture to Cairo, but also to deliver a highly professional and well-publicised international festival. Follow us on: Instagram: @dcafegypt Twitter: https://twitter.com/DCAFEgypt Press: www.dcafpress.com Blog: www.d-caf.org/blog
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalWednesday, March 29th, 2017 at 1:34am
Mother, loosen my tongue (UK) DCAF 17
From 23 March to 12 April
Open on Weekdays from 5 - 9 PM & on Weekends from 3 - 9 PM
Location: 29 Hoda Shaarawi - First Floor

Artists Noor Afshan Mirza & Brad Butler's exhibition Mother, loosen my tongue or adorn me with a lighter burden brings forth a con uence of occult and radical politics. It includes large scale collages drawn from their research in radical and psychic archives, alongside a recent video piece Everything for Everyone and Nothing for Us, where a protester-in-training uses movement to exorcise an internalized authoritative (Thatcher’s) voice, retraining the body to resist capitalism.
Séance in Real Fiction Dinner and Talk I D CAF17
The exhibition is followed by a Dinner & Talk with Noor Afshan Mirza & Brad Butler (Séance in Real Fiction) on 30 March at 7 pm untill late. You can easily register bys ending an email wiht the title in the subject to (workshops@orientprductions.org)

معرض الفنانان نور أفشان ميرزا وبراد بتلر "أمي، أطلقي لساني أو زينيني بحملٍ أخف" يظهر الالتقاء بين الغيبيات والسياسة الراديكالية. يتضمن العرض أعمال كولاج كبيرة مأخوذة عن بحثهم في الأراشيف الراديكالية والروحانية، جنباً إلى جنب مع مقطع فيديو حديث بعنوان "كل شيء لكل الناس ولا شيء لنا" والذي يصوّر شخصاً يتدرب على فعل الاحتجاج باستخدام الحركة ليخلّص الروح من صوت سلطوي مستبطن (صوت ثاتشر) بينما يعيد تدريب الجسد ليقاوم الرأسمالية.

الايام: من ٢٣ مارس حتى ١٢ أبريل
الوقت: أيام الاسبوع من ٥ الى ٩ / الجمعة و السبت من ٣ الى ٩
المكان: ٢٩ شارع هدى الشعراوي- الدور الأول

سيلي المعرض، مناقشة ليلية حول عرض امي، اطلقي لساني أو زينيني بحمل أخف، في شقة المشروع في شارع هدى شعراوي، وأمسية مخصصة للفكر النسوي الجديد وفلسفته . تتضمن تجارب حية و عشاء من تنظيم الفنانين.
اليوم: ٣٠ مارس
الوقت: ٧ مساءً حتى وقت متأخر
المكان: ٢٩ شارع هدى الشعراوي- الدور الأول
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalTuesday, March 28th, 2017 at 11:39pm
Museum of Contemporary Art I D CAF17
This art project is conceived byRomanian artist Manuel Pelmuş, with a series of ongoing actions, and a complementary programme of readings and lectures. Based on research, involving six performers from Cairo, as well as artists, art historians and curators, the MoCA seeks to look into museum displays, protocols and the social and political function they perform. The idea is to enact a potential museum of contemporary art through movements, bodies, speeches and voices.

Come and attend the ongoing actions in Kodak passageway on these days:

Thursday 30 March from 5 - 8 PM
Friday 31 March from 3 - 6 PM
Saturday 1 Apri from 3 - 6 PM
Friday 7 Apri from 3 - 6 PM
Saturday 8 April from 3 - 6 PM
Sunday 9 April from 5 - 8 PM
Wednesday 12 April from 5 - 8 PM

متحف الفن المعاصر هو مشروع فني يعود تأسيسه إلى الفنان الروماني مانيول بلموس، يتضمن سلسلة مستمرة من الأفعال والعروض الأدائية وبرنامجاً مكملاً من القراءات والمحاضرات وعروض الأفلام. يسعى متحف الفن المعاصر إلى تفكيك ونقد وكشف أعراف المتاحف وبروتوكولات العرض فيها والدور الاجتماعي والسياسي الذي تلعبه، وذلك بناء على أبحاث يشترك فيها ستة مؤدين من القاهرة بالإضافة إلى فنانين ومؤرخين فنيين ومنسقين. وتكمن الفكرة وراء المشروع في تجسيد مجموعة دائمة محتملة أو متحف محتمل للفنون المعاصرة من خلال الحركة والأجساد والأحاديث والأصوات.

نشوفكم في الأيام دي في ممر كوداك:
الخميس٣٠ مارس من ٥ - ٨ مساءً
الجمعة ٣١ مارس من ٣ - ٦ مساءً
السبت ١ أبريل من ٣ - ٦ مساءً
الجمعة ٧ أبريل من ٣ - ٦ مساءً
السبت ٨ أبريل من ٣ - ٦ مساءً
الأحد ٩ أبريل من ٥ - ٨ مساءً
الأربع ١٢ أبريل من ٥ - ٨ مساءً
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalMonday, March 27th, 2017 at 10:31pm
When we asked Marc Nammour where the name 99 came from, he explained, "The name “99” is derived from the fact that the French government places that number at the end of your identification card when you’re not born in France. So for me, this was just a great opportunity to talk about my identity and to just say to everybody that my identity isn’t just one, but multiple. It is not defined by country or borders. It’s much more than that."

Project 99 is coming to Cairo this Thursday at 9pm at The Greek Campus Black Box.

"إن اسم" 99 "مشتق من حقيقة أن الحكومة الفرنسية تضع هذا الرقم في نهاية بطاقة الهوية الخاصة بك عندما لا تولد في فرنسا، لذلك بالنسبة لي، كان هذا مجرد فرصة عظيمة للحديث عن هويتي و أن أقول للجميع إن هويتي ليست واحدة فقط، بل متعددة، فهي ليست محددة حسب البلد أو الحدود، بل هي أكثر من ذلك بكثير ". من حوارنا مع مارك نامور حول اسم ٩٩

العرض هيكون يوم الخميس الساعة ٩ مساءا في الجريك كامبس بلاك بوكس
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
"99" de Marc Nammour et Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch
Présentation de la nouvelle création de Marc Nammour, artiste en résidence à Royaumont, et Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch. Avec Rishab Prasanna, joueur de flûte bans...
youtube.com
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalMonday, March 27th, 2017 at 11:48am
الفيلم الكندي الأستاد لزهر رشُِح للؤسكار و حاز على ٢٩ جايزة عالمية في مهرجنات أفلام مختلفة . كٌتب و أٌخرِجَ بفيليب فلاردو و هو فيلم مقتبس من مسرحية كٌتبت بإفلين شينليير.
هيتم عرض الفيلم النهاردة الساعة ٩:٣٠ في سينما زاوية بوسط البلد بترجمة عربية و إنجليزية.
و يوم ٣ أبريل يلية نقاش مع كاتبة النص المسرحي الأساسي إيفلين شينليير

The Canadian movie Monsieur lazhar was nominated for Oscar and won 29 awards. Directed and written by Philippe Falardeau and based on a play by Evelyne de la Cheneliere.
The movie will be screened tonight at 9:30 PM in Zawya with English & Arabic subtitles.

Evelyne, the playwright of the movie, will come to zawya for a second screening and discussion on 3 April .
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalMonday, March 27th, 2017 at 5:06am
Monsieur Lazhar+Discussion (Canada) I D CAF17 فيلم الأستاذ لزهر
Will be screened tomorrow in Zawya at 9:30
Incendies Film (Canada) I D CAF17 -فيلم حرائق -كندا
will be screened tomorrow at 6:30 in Zawya
هيتعرض فيلم حرائق بكرة (الإثنين) الساعة ٦:٣٠ في سينما زاوية و يليه الأستاذ لزهر الساعة ٩:٣٠ بترجمة عربية و إنجليزية
مستنينكوا !

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