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Ibraaz March Newsletter

004 / 29 March 2013

This March, Ibraaz is pleased to publish the first interviews in a video series produced at Art Dubai. Ibraaz's Senior Editor Omar Kholeif talks to curator and critic Murtaza Vali and artist Basim Magdy about the subject of domesticity and science fiction respectively. Further conversations, with Sophia Al-Maria, Shuruq Harb, Ala Younis and Guy Mannes-Abott, will be uploaded in April.


In Interviews, readers will also find a conversation between Michael Rakowitz and Anthony Downey, alongside interviews with Ayah Bdeir and Robin Kahn.  For Projects, Kahn has also produced a scrapbook exploring the development of The Art of Sahrawi Cooking, first presented at dOCUMENTA(13) in 2012. In News, we have updates on a series of talks and screenings at the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo.


Ibraaz is also pleased to announce the launch of its Reviews section this month with group show Objects in Mirror are Closer than they Appear at Tate Modern; Khalil Rabah's Pages 7, 8, 9 at the e-flux exhibition space; and a review of the publication On One Side of the Same Water, which explores art from the Mediterranean region. In collaboration with Hatje Kantz, we also publish Angelika Stepken's introduction to On One Side of the Same Water in Essays.



On One Side of the Same Water

Angelika Stepken


This year's Jahresring brings together voices by artists, authors, curators, architects, and scientists active in the countries of the south and southeastern Mediterranean. They talk about their projects, about working conditions, and about how individual biographies and cooperative practices reflect political history. Their contributions shed light on an extremely heterogeneous situation for artistic production between Tirana and Tangiers.

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From Invisible Enemy to Enemy Kitchen

Michael Rakowitz in conversation with Anthony Downey


In this interview with Anthony Downey, Michael Rakowitz discusses projects such as The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist (2007) and his ongoing project Enemy Kitchen that started in 2004. He also talks about his 2012 project, presented at dOCUMENTA(13), and its focus on the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, the latter having been destroyed in 2001 by members of the Taliban. In The Break Up, 2012, Rakowitz examines the apparently unlikely relationship between The Beatles, the Six Day war in 1967, and the dream of Pan-Arabism.

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On Domesticity

Murtaza Vali talks to Omar Kholeif


For our first conversation in the Ibraaz Talks series, independent curator, critic and this year's Guest Curator for the Abraaj Group Art Prize speaks about the notion of domesticity.

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On Science Fiction

Basim Magdy talks to Omar Kholeif


In this second interview for Ibraaz Talks, Omar Kholeif talks to artist Basim Magdy about his conception of science fiction through the prism of the Egyptian literary figure Ragy Enayat. Magdy also discusses apocalyptic landscapes, the materiality of film and a dream scenario for his own work of science fiction.

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A Woman's Place?

Robin Kahn in conversation with Stephanie Bailey


For dOCUMENTA(13), Robin Kahn created The Art of Sahrawi Cooking, in which she transplanted a tent – the centre of Sahrawi social life – from the sands of the Tindouf Refugee Camps in Algeria to the soil of the Karlsrue Park in Kassel, producing a project exploring the idea of space and the sense of community produced within that. In this interview, Kahn discusses the roots of the project and how it relates to her practice as an artist.

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Coding For Change

Ayah Bdeir in conversation with Omar Kholeif


Ayah Bdeir is the creator of littleBits, an open source system of preassembled, modular circuits that snap together with magnets – making learning about electronics fun, easy and creative. An engineer, inventor and interactive artist, Bdeir discuss with Omar Kholeif the difficulties of teaching technology in non-traditional contexts, copyright law, and the relationship of art and technology in Lebanon and the wider region.

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Sahrawi Scrapbook

Robin Kahn


In 2012, dOCUMENTA(13) commissioned Robin Kahn to produce an installation and series of events based on her publication Dining in Refugee Camps: The Art of Sahrawi Cooking, (Autonomedia, 2010). To accompany her extensive interview with Ibraaz, Kahn produced a scrapbook that documents the project's development.

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The Double Reflection

Stephanie Bailey


Stephanie Bailey examines the works on show in Objects in Mirror Are Close than they Appear, which showcased artists Herman Asselberghs, Manon de Boer, Sherif Al-Azma, Patricia Esquivias, Lars Laumann, Maha Maamoun and Ján Mančuška.

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On One Side of the Same Water

Dorothea Schoene


On One Side of the Same Water: Artistic Practice from Tirana to Tangier, is a timely piece of literature that contributes to the ongoing interest surrounding the artistic and cultural scenes of the Mediterranean region.

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Making Universes

Fawz Kabra


Fawz Kabra reviews Khalil Rabah's first solo exhibition in the United States. Khalil Rabah: Pages 7, 8, 9 presented the artist's work from the last ten years in a very curious manner.

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Battle of Images

Jenifer Evans


Battles of Images, (2nd, 5th, 12th and 13th March 2013), was a series of talks and screenings this month at the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo. It was the final program initiated by outgoing director Mia Jankowicz and was curated by artist Shuruq Harb.

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In April, Ibraaz will be showcasing the remaining video talks conducted at Art Dubai and a series of reviews from across (and beyond) the region, including two about the 11th Sharjah Biennial and a critique on the presentation of Palestinian art written by Sheyma Buali.


Ibraaz is also pleased to announce its partnership with Winchester School of Art and Third Text in a two-day conference. '10 Years On: Art and Everyday Life in Iraq and Iran' will be held at The Mosaic Rooms in London, 7-8 June 2013 and will be live-streamed on Ibraaz during those dates. More details will follow in April but for now, Ibraaz can confirm the participation of Wafaa Bilal, Jananne Al-Ani, Payam Sharifi, Rijin Sahakian, Omar Kholeif, and Alan Ingram in a panel chaired by Ibraaz's editor Anthony Downey.



Image captions from top to bottom; Main image: Michael Rakowitz, Detail of The Breakup, 2012, original Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover (1967) magazine color printouts, 12 x 12 inches, 30.5 x 30.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Lombard Freid Gallery; Archive of the Interational Academy of Art Palestine; Michael Rakowitz, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist (Recovered, Missing, Stolen Series), 2007, middle eastern packaging and newspapers, glue, variable dimensions, installation view at Lombard-Freid Projects, New York, NY. Courtesy the artist and Lombard Freid Gallery; Still from video interview: Murtaza Vali talks to Omar Kholeif; Still from video interview: Basim Magdy talks to Omar Kholeif; Robin Kahn's 2009 project at ARTifariti, Sahrawi Tea ceremony, Ausserd, Tindouf Camps, Algeria. Image courtesy of the artist; Ejet Ejet, Interactive Neon installation about the broken electricity infrastructure in Lebanon; Robin Kahn, SOS Intl Publications, 2010. Courtesy of the artist; Maha Maamoun, Night Visitor: Night of Counting the Years, 2011. Image courtesy of the artist. © Maha Maamoun; On One Side of the Same Water, cover, Yto Barrada, Oxalis Crown, 2006; Khalil Rabah, Pages 7, 8, 9, 2013, installation view, e-flux, New York. Photograph by Ray Anastas; Battle of Images: discussion after Martens' film. Image courtesy of Shuruq Harb.


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