Platform for discussion003
Can Artistic Practices Negotiate the Demands of Cultural Institutions, Public Space, and Civil Society?
'What do we do when as artists we are invited to behave as liberal democratic [beings]? You have your own space, each has their own little house, we can all live together; does this not sound like the idea of a Lebanon of all the different mosaics and cohabitation - the cohabitation that failed us during the war?' (Ziad Abillama, Beirut, June 17, 2009)
In 1995, a young artist staged a disruption within what was already perceived as a disruption of young contemporary artists probing the notion of 'public' space in post-Civil War Beirut. For a group art show, participating artists were each allotted a space within a small park to exhibit their work by a newly formed, non-profit arts organisation. As part of his contribution to the show, the artist provoked his colleagues by handing out a questionnaire asking each if they would allow him to sequester 30 centimetres of each of their allocated spaces. The artist proposed that he would exhibit what he wanted in the space granted to him by his fellow participants as long as he complied with the agreement he made with them regarding the reallocation. His request was unanimously refused.
What is a platform?
A platform is a space for speaking in public. It is an opportunity to express ideas and thoughts. It also suggests the formal declaration of a stance or position on any given subject.
Unique to Ibraaz is a 'platform', a question put to writers, thinkers and artists about an issue relevant to the MENA region. This platform is sent to respondents both within and beyond the MENA region and contributions will be archived every 12 months.