Mophradat Announces Participating Artists In Inaugural Consortium Commissions
By Kayo Chang Black
On April 18, Brussels-based, non-profit contemporary arts organization Mophradat—dedicated to supporting artists from the Middle East—announced the winners of the association’s inaugural Consortium Commissions. The awardees are Palestinian-American artist Basma Alsharif; New York-based Palestinian artist Shadi Habib Allah; Palestinian multimedia artist Yazan Khalili; Egyptian musician and composer Maurice Louca; Polish-Egyptian artist and filmmaker Jasmina Metwaly; and Cairo-based dance collective nasa4nasa (Salma Abdel Salam and Noura Seif Hassanein).
The Consortium Commissions is a new biennial program developed by Mophradat in collaboration with seven international cultural institutions. The closed program—adjudicated by representatives from Mophradat and its partner organizations—selects winners based on the artistic merit of solicited proposals, and entails grants of up to USD 22,000 as well as a presentation of the commissioned works at two of the program’s partner venues.
Basma Alsharif’s winning proposal is for a work titled Philistine (2018), a room-sized installation that invites viewers to sit down and read a handmade, sixty-page novella, which is in English, Arabic and French.
Shadi Habib Allah will create a series of sculptures and images that examine the ways that racial and economic disparity intersect, as part of his exploration of corner shops in Liberty City, Miami, and the impact of government welfare policies in this area.
Yazan Khalili’s multimedia work will focus on facial recognition technologies and biopolitics, exploring human appearance in front of a technological gaze.
Jasmina Metwaly will explore how the uniform acts as a vestige of power in her new film, featuring tailors from Iraq, Syria and Egypt.
Maurice Louca, whose artistic practice involves customizing percussive and melodic instruments, will produce live performances improvised by guest composers and musicians.
Finally, nasa4nasa will choreograph an unstructured dance based on the concept of reorganizing time and space through physical movement, which is central to their practice.
Mai Abu el-Dahab, director of Mophradat, stated: “We are thrilled to launch the Consortium Commissions with such a strong selection of artists and exciting partnerships.”
The program was developed in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Kunstencentrum BUDA and the Next Festival in Kortrijk, KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, MDT in Stockholm, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto. Two additional partners focusing on music are yet to be announced.
Works by the selected artists in the first round of Consortium Commissions will be exhibited across the project’s partner venues throughout 2018 to 2020.
Kayo Chang Black is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.
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