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Can Artistic Practices Negotiate the Demands of Cultural Institutions, Public Space, and Civil Society?

Daniella Rose King
24 May 2012

The two-year-old MASS Alexandria, founded by artist Wael Shawky in the working-class neighbourhood of Miami in east Alexandria, Egypt, aims to create a space for the production and dissemination of ideas and debates concerning contemporary visual culture. Apart from displaying and encouraging the consumption of art through exhibitions, it creates an open platform and a discursive space for encountering, (con)testing, and contributing to ideas in and around the practice of contemporary visual art and interdisciplinary studies. MASS Alexandria is a seven-month-long programme for artists in Egypt, which provides studio spaces and a study programme comprising discussions, workshops, seminars and reading groups delivered by visiting artists, curators and art educators based in Egypt and across the globe. Artists are invited to participate in the programme through an open call and as well as being provided with a studio space, take part in a study programme and receive mentoring by leading artists and curators. They also show their work in a group exhibition at the end of the programme. The discursive, open-ended and participatory programme is committed primarily to fostering critical engagement and creating a space for new ideas and approaches.

Daniella Rose King

Daniella Rose King is a curator and writer currently resident in London. Most recently she was Program Curator at MASS Alexandria, an independent study and studio program for artists in Egypt. While in this role she curated the program of workshops, lectures, screenings and discussions at MASS Alexandria and Exhibition 2, a group show featuring the work of 18 students who took part in the 2012 program. King holds a BA in History of Art from the University of Manchester and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London. She recently contributed to Adel Abidin's exhibition catalogue Symphony at Lawrie Shabibi Gallery (Dubai 2013), Hatje Cantz's On One Side of the Same Water: Artistic Practice between Tirana and Tangier (Germany, 2012) and The Right Dissonance (London, 2011) a collection of interviews between emerging curators and artists. She has written for FriezeArt MonthlyUniverses in Universe – Worlds of ArtPortal 9, and Harper's Bazaar Art. Between 2009 and 2011, King worked as Assistant Curator in Nottingham Contemporary's Exhibitions and Public Programmes departments.

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