Ibraaz Platform 007

13 May 2014

Ibraaz Platform 007

Monira Al Qadiri, Ibraaz Platform 007 project: Myth Busters, 2014. Bahrain National Theater. Museum of the Built Environment, Saudi Arabia. Courtesy of the artist.

Ibraaz announces the launch of Platform 007, which will offer a comprehensive analysis of the following question from a variety of perspectives:

What is the future of arts infrastructures and audiences across North Africa and the Middle East?

Over the next six months, from May until November 2014, Platform 007 will enquire into the role played by artists and audiences in negotiating and producing future institutional realities. These questions follow on from our recent conference Future Imperfect, which brought together an international line-up of artists, writers and cultural practitioners to consider ways in which culture can inform and shape the contours of collective futures. Throughout this platform, we will examine the degree to which the changing nature of art—alongside shifts in sociopolitical realities—challenges the long-term sustainability and future of traditional cultural institutions across the MENA region. Conversely, we will ask how institutions are adapting, if at all, to these developments and proposing, in turn, new infrastructures and networks of collaboration.

Whilst the focus of this platform is primarily on the region and its unique potential for institutional development in the arts, these issues are of course global and require consideration of how, for example, participative-based practices and education can engage with potential audiences without becoming either instrumentalized or institutionalized as a result. What role, moreover, do institutions expect audiences to fulfill in the future and how have technological advances changed the way institutions interact with these prospective audiences? In a broader context, Platform 007 will explore how the notion of a radical disengagement—the refusal to participate—on behalf of audiences and artists alike suggests a strategy for re-imagining self-organized, socially engaged art practices beyond institutional frameworks.

Contributors to this platform include Monira Al Qadiri, Amar Kanwar, Yates McKey, Larissa Sansour, Ay?e Erkmen, Okwui Enwezor, Ola Khalidi, Tarek El Ariss, Bassam El Baroni, Ashkan Sephavand, Hadia Gana, Toleen Touq, AMBS Architects, Iman Issa, Malak Helmy, Asunción Molinos Gordo, Caline Aoun, Medrar.TV, GCC, Sirine Fattouh, Sandra Iche, Nora Razian, Meriç Algün Ringborg, Reema Fada, Youmna Chlala, Burak Arikan, Tarek Atoui, Raed Yassin, Koyo Kouoh, Oraib Toukan, Mohamed Abdelkarim, Mahmoud Khaled, Arab Digital Expression Foundation, Ahd, Eungie Joo, Koken Ergun, Hisham Al-Madhloum, Rachel Dedman, Fawz Kabra, Sheyma Buali, Guy Mannes-Abott, Azin Feizabadi, Aziza Harmel, Anahi Alviso-Marino, Mirene Arsanios, Sherri Wasserman, Dalya Islam, and many others.

Future Imperfect: Cultural Propositions and Institutional Perspectives will be published in an edited volume, with additional essays, in May 2015 as part of our ongoing partnership with I.B. Tauris. This will follow the publication of Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in North Africa and the Middle East in June 2014, and Archival Dissonance: Knowledge Production and Contemporary Practices in November 2014.

– Anthony Downey, Editor-In-Chief, Ibraaz