Delfina Foundation

Theme: Collecting as Practice – 2018

Residency & Public Programme

Building on the success of our Collecting as Practice in 2017, Delfina Foundation is pleased to announce our 2018 activities under the theme, including an exhibition, residencies and public talks programme.

Collecting as Practice is a ground-breaking programme exploring the philosophy, psychology and politics of collecting has thus far included 15 residencies for collectors, artists and curators as well as collaborations with the V&A Museum, Tate and the Horniman Museum, among others. Directed by Aaron Cezar, Collecting as Practice was initiated in 2017. To see last year's programme and documentation please click here.


Ala Younis: Plan for Feminist Greater Baghdad
1 February to 24 March 2018

Delfina Foundation and Art Jameel collaborate to present Plan for Feminist Greater Baghdad, a solo exhibition by Ala Younis. The exhibition includes a major new installation co-commissioned by the two organisations, Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad (2018), that builds on Younis’s 2015 work, Plan for Greater Baghdad, which was included in the Central Exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale curated by Okwui Enwezor.

In the original work, Plan for Greater Baghdad (2015), Younis looked at monuments, (by) architects, (for) governments, and the short state of empowerment they gained as politics shifted in Iraq. The project anchored itself within the history of a gymnasium in Baghdad that was designed by Le Corbusier and named after Saddam Hussein.

In the newly commissioned work, Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad (2018), Younis sees beyond the male dominance of the city’s architecture and politics, tracing the contributions made by female artists, architects and other figures on the development of Baghdad and its modern monuments. Among the female protagonists that inspire this project are Nuha al-Radi, Fahrelnissa Zeid, and Zaha Hadid. Through found materials, archival documents and oral histories, their stories are presented through a timeline punctuated with inkjet prints and drawings alongside digitally sculptured and 3D printed models, which mirror the 2015 male edition of the work.

Plan for Feminist Greater Baghdad will also be exhibited at Project Space Art Jameel in Dubai, from 1 March to 14 April.


This season of Collecting as Practice brings together collectors, curators and thinkers to raise provocations around collections, museums and markets across the world.  Curated by Rose Lejeune, the talks programme looks at the development and presentation of collections, along with alternative ways of interpreting them through art historical revisionism and other forms of scholarship such as publications, interventions and exhibitions with a transnational perspective.

De-constructing Collections: Artistic interventions and Strategies in Museums
10 February 2018
Following several short residencies by Mark Dion, Delfina Foundation hosts an afternoon of conversations and film screenings that takes as a starting point Dion's long standing interest in examining the way museums construct knowledge through their objects and collections. The afternoon will explore contemporary artistic, scholarly and curatorial strategies that intervene in and interpret collections from an international context.

In Conversation: Mimi Brown and Haro Cumbusyan on Patronage and Social Change
28 February 2018
On the occasion of their residencies at Delfina Foundation, collectors Mimi Brown and Haro Cumbusyan discuss their previous initiatives, Spring Workshop in Hong Kong and collectorspace in Istanbul, respectively, and what they might do next.

De-constructing Collections: The Colonial Past and Contemporary International Collecting
08 March 2018

Inspired by the research residencies that form part of Collecting as Practice, this evening will explore the colonial history of collecting within the UK, the ethical status of objects in British museums, and curatorial and artistic strategies to continue to collect and create new international understandings.

Collecting Arab Art: Revising Western Art History Related to the Region and Beyond
13 March 2018

During his residency, collector Sultan Al Qassemi uses Ala Younis’s exhibition at Delfina Foundation as a starting point to discuss the shared responsibility of artists and collectors in revising Western notions of art history through collecting and scholarship.

Collecting African Art: Developing the Market and Frameworks for the Future
15 March 2018

This talk looks at current infrastructures to support the multiple and diverse forms of artistic production from the African continent. Prominent and emerging collectors, gallerists and curators explore the present situation, urgencies and possible futures in relation to collections, public institutions and art ecologies.


Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi (UAE), Mimi Brown (Hong Kong/USA), Haro Cumbusyan (Turkey), Mark Dion (USA), Lucie Drdova (Czech Republic), Anton Lapov (Ukraine), Chanon Kenji Praepipatmongkol (Thailand), Katia Sowels (France), Nadine Siegert (Germany), Santiago Villanueva (Argentina)