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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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 FestivalMonday, May 21st, 2018 at 12:14am
A conceptual performance featuring a Documentary made in the year 2045, where the political conflicts have change the world to a degree where only memories and art remain... @Youness Atbane art revolves around a critical and burlesques relationship between art , actors and geopolitics.

النسخة‭ ‬الثانية‭: ‬‮٢٠٤٥‬‭ ‬هو‭ ‬عرض‭ ‬بصري‭ ‬توثيقي‭ ‬يدور‭ ‬حول‭ ‬بعض‭ ‬المفاهيم‭ ‬في‭ ‬العام‭ ‬2045،‭ ‬عندما‭ ‬تتغير‭ ‬ساحة‭ ‬الصراعات‭ ‬السياسية‭ ‬حول‭ ‬العالم،‭ ‬فلا‭ ‬يتبقى‭ ‬شيئًا‭ ‬للبشرية‭ ‬سوى‭ ‬ذكرى‭ ‬الفنون‭. ‬يحاول‭ ‬عتبان‭ ‬أن‭ ‬يستحضر‭ ‬تفاعلات‭ ‬الفن‭ ‬المغربي‭ ‬المعاصر‭ ‬وينتقل‭ ‬بالجمهور‭ ‬لمساحة‭ ‬رمادية‭ ‬بين‭ ‬الواقع‭ ‬والخيال‭. ‬رغم‭ ‬أن‭ ‬العرض‭ ‬غير‭ ‬مقيد‭ ‬بقواعد‭ ‬اللغة‭ ‬أو‭ ‬الحركة‭ ‬أو‭ ‬الصورة،‭ ‬إلا‭ ‬أنه‭ ‬قادر‭ ‬على‭ ‬تحقيق‭ ‬تبادل‭ ‬الأفكار،‭ ‬فهدف‭ ‬العمل‭ ‬هو‭ ‬خلق‭ ‬بيئة‭ ‬جديدة‭ ‬قابلة‭ ‬للتجريب‭ ‬والتعايش‭ ‬من‭ ‬خلال‭ ‬التفاعل‭ ‬مع‭ ‬الجمهور‭.‬

#DCAF18 D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalWednesday, May 16th, 2018 at 6:00am
ريم علام المديرة التنفيذية لمهرجان وسط البلد للفنون المعاصرة (دي-كاف) تمثله بفعاليات مهرجان برايتون بإنجلترا
هذوه الزيارة بدعم من British Council و Arts Council England !

Check out Reem Khalid Allam our Executive Director at the Brighton Festival attending as a professional/delegate the Caravan Showcase 2018 supported by the British Council and Arts Council England !
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalTuesday, May 15th, 2018 at 12:35am
#DCAF18 Fringe Programme
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
Medrar TV
عرض تاء ساكنة هو نتـاج ورشـة عمـل، أقامتها المخرجة المسرحية ندى ثابت، لمـدة عـام مـع ١٢ سـيدة مـن مقدمـات الرعايـة للأطفـال اللاتـي تـرددن علـى عيـادة الأطفـال بمستشـفى العباسـية للصحـة العقليـة. تتحدت ثابت في هذا الفيديو عن فكرة العرض وتطوير المشروع مع الممثلات الثلاث: عبير سليمان ومنى الشيمي ومنى سليمان. كما تتحدث الشيمي عن المنهجية التي اتبعتها مع فريق العمل لتحويل قصص الراعيات إلى عرض مسرحي https://youtu.be/rOl3guM5p_U D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival Medrar مدرار Noon Creative Enterprise نون للإبداع Nada Sabet Mohamed Allam Mohamed Samir Saad Mohammad Helmy Esraa Ismail Elfeky Asmaa Zayed Abeer Soliman Mona Soliman
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalMonday, May 14th, 2018 at 2:46am
This Year D-CAF was proud to introduce New Media Arts category to the festival!
Tell which was your favorite in the comments section :)
1. NoiseBox
2.Fault Line Mapping

السنادي اول سنة للفنون الميديا الحديث بدي-كاف

1. صندوق الضوضاء (المجر)+ ورشة: تركيب فيديو تفاعلي
2.خط خطأ (المملكة المتحدة)
ايه كان احسن واحد بنسبالكم؟!
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalFriday, May 11th, 2018 at 12:59am
Intense climatic and political changes manifest in everyday life...

Longing Fast Forward is a long-term sonic and visual examination of the speed of change and experience of time in Northern Greenland, summarizing the data and questions different forms of knowing and gaining knowledge about the environment.
Compressed into 11 hours of video.

تفرض‭ ‬التغيرات‭ ‬المناخية‭ ‬و‭ ‬السياسية‭ ‬نفسها‭ ‬على‭ ‬حياتنا‭ ‬بشكل‭ ‬كبير‭, ‬كما‭ ‬ينعكس‭ ‬النشاط‭ ‬البشري‭ ‬المتزايد‭ ‬على‭ ‬المساحات‭ ‬الطبيعية‭ ‬التي‭ ‬تحيط‭ ‬بقرية‭ ‬كولورساك‭ ‬الصغيرة‭ ‬الواقعة‭ ‬على‭ ‬حافة‭ ‬الجليد‭ ‬بالشمال‭ ‬الغربي‭ ‬لجرين‭ ‬لاند.
‬جُمعت‭ ‬لقطات‭ ‬لكل‭ ‬هذا‭ ‬على‭ ‬مدار‭ ‬سنة‭ ‬كاملة‭ ‬واختصرت‭ ‬في‭ ‬فيديو‭ ‬مدته‭ ‬11‭ ‬ساعة‭ ‬أُبرز‭ ‬خلاله‭ ‬الأنماط‭ ‬الدورية‭ ‬الطبيعية‭ ‬و‭ ‬التي‭ ‬تتغير‭ ‬بسرعة‭ ‬كبيرة‭.‬ لا‭ ‬يحتوي‭ ‬الفيلم‭ ‬على‭ ‬أي‭ ‬حوار‭, ‬و‭ ‬المنظر‭ ‬المسجل‭ ‬كان‭ ‬قد‭ ‬التقط‭ ‬من‭ ‬نافذة‭ ‬منزل‭ ‬كلاً‭ ‬من‭ ‬سفين‭ ‬نيلسين‭ ‬و‭ ‬إيمليا‭ ‬جونسن‭ ‬و‭ ‬اللتان‭ ‬أبقتا‭ ‬معدات‭ ‬التصوير‭ ‬بمنزلهم‭ ‬لمدة‭ ‬عام‭ ‬كامل

By Ole kristensen
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalWednesday, May 9th, 2018 at 6:00am
Roznama studio Programme Medrar in collaboration with D-CAF continues until September in its own space with a intensive program of workshops, events, and diverse sessions designed for the 10 chosen emerging artists

Photo from Rotoscope/animation workshop by the Egyptian painter, illustrator and animator Ahmed Sabry

برنامج االستوديوروزناما بالتعاون مع مهرجان دي-كاف و مدرار مستمر لغاية أغسطس 2018 من خلال ورش مخصصة لفنانين البرنامج

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