BOZAR and the Chair Mahmoud Darwich invite you to explore the universal philosophy of this great poet, through the work of contemporary artists from the Maghreb and the Middle East. In 2020 the Chair wants to investigate imaginary futures, shaped by the anatomy of the past and characterised by the resilience of the present. Close to the realm of science-fiction, these artworks offer new readings of our geopolitical reality, and create space for free thinking.
The programme that was conceived and planned for May 2020 has been postponed until November 2020, featuring Larissa Sansour, Monira Al Qadiri, Adania Shibli, Mazen Maarouf, Mariam Mekiwi, Bassem Yousri and Ismail EL Fayed. Here you can alsready discover two of the artists:
Larissa Sansour was born in East Jerusalem, but now lives in London. She was educated in Copenhagen, London, and New York. Sansour applies an interdisciplinary approach to her works comprising film, photography, installation, and sculpture, often taking their points of departure in a science fiction universe, addressing both current political and universally human issues relating to identity and belonging. Among recent solo exhibitions are Dar El-Nimr in Beirut, Bluecoat, Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, Liverpool, the Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, and Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen. She represented Denmark at the 2019 Venice Biennale. She is currently based in London.
A Space Exodus (2008) is the first part of Larissa Sansour’s science fiction trilogy along with Nation Estate (2012) and In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain (2016).
The film follows the artist herself onto a phantasmagoric journey through the universe echoing Stanley Kubrick's thematic concerns for human evolution, progress and technology.
However, in her film, Sansour posits the idea of a first Palestinian into space, and, referencing Armstrong's moon landing, she interprets this theoretical gesture as "a small step for a Palestinian, a giant leap for mankind".
Monira Al Qadiri is a Kuwaiti visual artist born in Senegal and educated in Japan. In 2010, she received a Ph.D. in inter-media art from Tokyo University of the Arts, where her research was focused on the aesthetics of sadness in the Middle-East stemming from poetry, music, art and religious practices. Her work explores unconventional gender identities, petro-cultures and their possible futures, as well as the legacies of corruption. Al Qadiri has had solo exhibitions in recent years at Gasworks, London, the Stroom Den Haag, Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Haus der Kunst, Munich and has participated in group shows including the Athens Biennale and the Asia Pacific Triennial. She is currently based in Berlin.
Phantom Beard. This performance from 2019 was inspired by a meeting with a Japanese woman who practised necromancy. A reading of her soul revealed that Al Qadiri is carrying 40 spirits of her Saudi ancestors with her, burdening her with their bloody past. Al Qadiri incorporated the image in Phantom Beard, which fills the holes in the story of the region: its local history, its current, destroyed state, and its unknown, science fiction-like future. In a mysterious and stimulating blend of butoh dance, music, animation, poetry and performance, Al Qadiri faces up to her spirits with complete dedication.
This performance had its premiere at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in May 2019. Monira Al Qadiri will bring another creation to BOZAR in November 2020.