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Ibraaz Platform 009 | Launch Reader

009_00 / 28 May 2015

Ibraaz is pleased to announce Platform 009, which will address the following question:


What are the genealogies of performance art in North Africa and the Middle East?

Driven by artists and cultural practitioners who are working across diverse media, Platform 009 will explore both the formal and informal histories that define the development of performance art in the Arab world. For the duration of this platform, we will map the historical range of practices and theories associated with the labels 'performance', 'performance art' and 'performativity'.


For the launch of this platform – which moves from a six-month to a year-long cycle for the first time – we present essays, projects, responses and interviews. These include an edited video compilation of Hassan Sharif making work from 1995 to 2013 on the Ibraaz Channel, alongside an exclusive video portrait of Jumana Emil Abboud taking part in her Performance as Process residency at the Delfina Foundation in 2015. Elsewhere, Tania El Khoury's Jarideh, in which 'the performer and the audience member become partners in crime,' is showcased alongside the video of Points, Lines, Particulars, a 2008 performance by Fayçal Baghriche.


Ibraaz Platform 009: Performance

Anthony Downey


In his editorial to Platform 009, Ibraaz Editor-in-Chief Anthony Downey asks the question 'What are the genealogies of performance art in North Africa and the Middle East?' In asking this question, Ibraaz's Platform 009 will examine the occluded and overt histories of performance art in the Arab world.

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Performance as Process: Jumana Emil Abboud at Delfina Foundation



In this video, made exclusively for the Ibraaz Channel, Sheyma Buali talks to Jumana Emil Abboud about her participation in the residency project Performance as Process at Delfina Foundation, Spring 2015.

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Practices of Performance Art: Jumana Emil Abboud



In this video, made exclusively for the Ibraaz Channel, Sheyma Buali talks to Jumana Emil Abboud about her practice as an artist and how her idea of performance extends into the visual arts in forms as diverse as drawing, text, sculpture, and installation.

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Point, Line, Particles

Fayçal Baghriche


Point, Line, Particles (2008) goes against the principles of formal composition proposed by Kandinsky in Point and Line to Plane (1926), that a straight line is the product of a force applied in one direction. Here, the force that creates the line is exercised through the media and not by the artist.

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Documentation of Making work

Hassan Sharif


To accompany his extensive conversation with Nujoom Al Ghanem, Hassan Sharif presents documentation of making works from between 1995 and 2013 in a video edited by Craig Stallard. 

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Tania El Khoury


Jarideh (2010) is a one-on-one performance set in a public café where no one other than the audience member knows that a performance is taking place. It is a secret encounter and a highly suspicious mission designed by artist Tania El Khoury and performed by herself and her partner in crime, the participating audience member.

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Doing Performance

Hassan Sharif in conversation with Nujoom Al Ghanem


Nujoom Al Ghanem speaks with Hassan Sharif about performance art and its histories from the perspective of the Gulf. When Hassan considers larger issues pertaining to how performance is defined and enacted historically within the region, what emerges is a framework with which to consider Platform 009's questions.


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Theatre of the Present

Rabih Mroué in conversation with Goksu Kunak


How does theatre enact the compression of time, while mediating a kind of immediacy not found, specifically, in film or video works? In this interview with Goksu Kunak, Rabih Mroué addresses this and other points, including the role of audiences, time, and context in performance.

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Enacting the Void

Fayçal Baghriche in conversation with Sheyma Buali


Ibraaz Channel Editor, Sheyma Buali, speaks Fayçal Baghriche about a reoccurring theme in his practice: the question of what one sees versus what is actually there, which Baghriche reinterprets by enacting his condition in various roles, from artist and performer, to actor.

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Accumulative Processes

Marwa Arsanios in conversation with Fawz Kabra


This interview touches on several previous projects in Marwa Arsanios's work relating to feminism, Al-Hilal magazine publications in the 50s–60s, performance, and destroyed bodies and architectures that mark the remnants of violence induced on the human body by modernization.


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The Great Journey

Lidia Al-Qattan in conversation with Monira Al Qadiri


Born in Italy as Lidia Guiseppe Scagnolari, Lidia Al-Qattan moved to Kuwait in 1960, over half a century ago. In 1966, upon looking at the shiny reflections of a mirror her daughter had broken, Al-Qattan began to cover her entire house in mirror mosaics. Monira Al-Qadiri discusses this life project and its several phases.

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I Once Fell in Love with an Audience Member

Tania El Khoury


In this essay, Tania El Khoury considers performance through the lens of her own practice as a live artist and as a member of Dictaphone Group, a live events project El Khoury started with Abir Saksouk. What emerges is a perspective of how one might define their own practice through experience.

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Performativity and Public Space

Samah Hijawi


'This is a speculative piece,' writes Samah Hijawi, 'In which I will try to unpack the relationship between artists' works in public spaces as performative gestures of active participation and critical citizenship; engagements with state security mechanisms of monitor and control.'

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The Life and Times of Louis Saboungi

Stephen Sheehi


Stephen Sheehi examines how, during the Ottoman period, the 'photograph was charged to stabilize, or at least contain, the latent violence and displaced lived-experiences that haunted photography's positivist representation' through the biography of Louis Saboungi and his brother, Jurji.

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Performing Armenity

Stephanie Bailey


Written for the Armenian Pavilion catalogue at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), Ibraaz Managing Editor Stephanie Bailey considers the notion of a transnational assembly as proposed in the Pavilion's curatorial, which presents the work of artists belonging to the Amenian Diaspora on the island of San Lazarro, the grounds of the Mekhitarist monastery.

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Abdullah Al-Mutairi


5UNTHA is a collection of images documenting the visual correspondence of a WhatsApp group and the tangible loneliness and isolation liminal friends feels when collectively laughing at everyday occurrences in a shared online space.

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هيجان البحر و الدم

Sarah Abu Abdallah


Sifting through the absolute, the predefined, constructs of anxiety, and the absurdity of the agreed-upon in a time of excess. How does one place one's coordinates in the physical, metaphysical, and the digital citizenry?

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Malak Helmy and Sophia Al Maria


I was cleaning out some old boxes I left at my mother's... and look what tresor I found!
There are photos and stage layouts and rehearsal schedules and disintegrating newspaper articles (though not the Rose el Yusuf one).
2004...Ten years...10yrs!?!

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Semitic Score

Oreet Ashery


Semitic Score was a performance that was initially conceived for 2fik; a score of twelve instructions, each one-minute long. Instructions included things like: walk, crawl, beat yourself up, defend/attack, spit in the hole, dance for me, Free Palestine, swear, find it, suck…

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An extended Platform 009 reader, edited by Anthony Downey, will be published in 2016 to coincide with a series of conferences on the subject. Ibraaz is also pleased to confirm that it will publish an online guide for the Delfina Foundation's Staging Histories project (to be showcased at the Hayward Gallery in June 2015, and expanded on at Delfina Foundation in July 2015). An extended online catalogue for the project will be released in September 2015.


Future contributors to Platform 009 will include, amongst others, Lawrence Abu Hamdan,  Barrak Alzaid, Nahrain Al-Mousawi, Doa Aly, Seth Ayyaz, Rayya Badran, Shiva Balaghi, Aaron Cezar, Iftikhar Dadi, Hassan Darsi, Sussan Deyhim, Ismail Fayed, Wafa Gabsi, Rana Hamadeh, Shuruq Harb, Hasan Hujairi, Hiwa K., Sohrab Kashani, Hassan Khan, Alexandra Helen Macgilp, Morad Montazami, Joe Namy, Sondos Shabayek, and Ala Younis.

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