A Prologue to the Past and Present State of Things
In tandem to Echoes & Reverberations at the Hayward Gallery Project Space, this major group exhibition at Delfina Foundation explores performance as a form of recording and re-writing history. Artists include Doa Aly, Marwa Arsanios, Coco Fusco, Emily Jacir, Mona Hatoum, Sharon Hayes, Mohammed Kazem, Xiao Lu, Hassan Sharif, Wael Shawky, Sharif Waked, Lin Yilin and The Yes Men with Steve Lambert and more.
A Prologue to the Past and Present State of Things launches Staging Histories, a new research and commissioning platform for performance art. Through archival research and new commissions, Staging Histories traces seminal moments of performance mapping shared histories and contemporary global concerns. The first stage of the project explores performance art from and in relation to the Arab world.
The exhibition presents a constellation of key performative works, photographs, video documentation and archival materials from the last three decades. The thematic connections cross the Arab world but relate to global politics, economics and cultural shifts. The selected artworks can therefore be understood as a preface, consequence or echo of major developments during this period.
Alongside the exhibition, there will be a reference area with publications by influential practitioners and contributions by The ARC.HIVE of Arab contemporary performing arts, a project initiated by Adham Hafez as part of HaRaKa. A partnership between HaRaKa (Cairo), Lincoln Centre's Performing Arts Library (NYC), and the German Dance Archives (Cologne), the project brings rare film footage and material together for future research in the field for active Arab performance makers.
A Prologue to the Past and Present State of Things is curated by Aaron Cezar with contributions from Ala' Younis and Barrak Alzaid (Staging Histories curatorial fellows) and Jane Scarth (Delfina Foundation).
Echoes & Reverberations, a group exhibition that also emerged from Staging Histories, is at the Hayward Gallery Project Space from 23 June to 16 August 2015.
Co-commissioned by Delfina Foundation and Shubbak – A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture (11-26 July).