Losing Ground: On Disappeared Art Institutions And Their Ghosts
Why small art spaces can make a difference
Small-scale, independent art spaces are not to be underestimated as players in an art field that seeks to facilitate both local and transnational gatherings. They, more than anybody else, try to create the conditions in which artistic research and work can occur. Quite a few of these initiatives have been successful, but many of them have disappeared again. What remains of the ideas, the connections and the objects that they established?
Qalqalah قلقلة, a platform of editors and curators, and NOA (Not Only Arabic), a performative magazine, investigate the afterlife of such independent places at Almost Summer. How, why and for whom were these initiatives created? What kind of artistic institution did they strive to become? What relationships did they establish, what myths did they start and last but not least: who gets to tell their stories?
In BUDA, both platforms take you through their investigations. The programme includes video work as well as collective actions, in a tent designed by artist and NOA co-founder Mounira Al Solh. On Sunday 2 July (11:00), there will be a panel discussion with esteemed witnesses of such art incubators, including Marnie Slater, Line Ajan and Virginie Bobin.
The Feminist School is part of the European programme apap – FEMINIST FUTURES, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union
Qalqalah قلقلة (FR/SY/MA/LB/NL) is an editorial and curatorial platform, founded in 2018 in France. It is dedicated to the production, translation and circulation of artistic, theoretical and literary research in three languages: French, Arabic and English.
Line Ajan is a curator, writer and member of Qalqalah قلقلة. She is currently a Curatorial Fellow at Mudam Luxembourg. She writes for various publications and contributes regularly to Art Asia Pacific and to Mediapart’s podcast L’esprit critique. Previously, she has worked and curated exhibitions and screening programs at MCA Chicago, ArteEast, Imane Farès gallery and afterhours.
Virginie Bobin develops collaborative projects that take the forms of exhibitions, publications, workshops, seminars, texts, translations or ongoing conversations with artists, curators, researchers and art students. She is a co-founder of Qalqalah قلقلة and a PhD-in-practice candidate at the Akademie der bildenden Künste (Vienna, 2018-2023).
Salma Mochtari is a researcher, curator and member of Qalqalah قلقلة. In addition to discursive and editorial programming, her curatorial practice is based on forms of collective production through workshops, translation or fiction writing. As a research affiliate at Clermont Art school, she studies what the Black radical traditions do to the artists, curators and art practitioners who work with them.
NOA (not only arabic) magazine is a periodical magazine in limited editions, co-initiated by Mounira Al Solh. Viewing of the magazine can only be arranged by appointment or by direct inscription, at specific or secret locations, such as a hotel room, or a library.
Mounira Al Solh is a visual artist embracing video and video installations, painting and drawing, embroidery, and performative gestures. Narration, story-telling are engaged and committed to an ongoing witnessing in feminist issues, wars, languages and mother-tongues, migrations, and a constant search for the self, as part or as opposed to social and cultural obligations and imposed contexts.
Marnie Slater (b. Aotearoa New Zealand) is a visual artist who lives in Brussels. She is co-curator of Buenos Tiempos, Int. and a team member of Mothers & Daughters – A Lesbian* and Trans* Bar*. Marnie is currently teaching on the AdMa program at St Lucas School of Art, Antwerp, where she is also undertaking a year-long research project on process tools for queer, feminist and anti-racist collaborative art making.