Delfina Foundation

Exhibition: A Prologue to the Past and Present State of Things

02/07/15 — 15/08/15

A Prologue to the Past and Present State of Things
Exhibition dates: 2 July to 15 August 2015
11:00 to 18:00 daily (except Sundays)
Delfina Foundation

FREE

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 WakedLin 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.  

An online catalogue has been produced in collaboration with Ibraaz Platform 009, which addresses the genealogies of performance art in North Africa and the Middle East.  Contributors include Anthony Downey, Aaron Cezar, Ala Younis, Sulayman Al-Bassam and Barrak Alzaid. Download here.  Ibraaz's channel also includes content from the exhibition and a video tour.

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). Special thanks to the British Council, Video Data Bank, and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde. 

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. 

With support raised through Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative on Kickstarter.

We are grateful to the major supporters of our campaign: Perihan Bassatne, Maya Rasamny, Fatima Maleki, Marwan T. Assaf, Raghida Ghandour, Jenny Hall, and Midge Palley.

Special thanks to our other crowdfunders:  Sunny Rahbar, Dana Farouki, Maria Sukkar, Maryam Eisler, Mourad Mazouz, Joana Schliemann, Rose Issa, Sheena Wagstaff, Isabelle van den Eynde Gallery, Mona Khashoggi, Hanan Sayed Worrell, Zeina Durra & Saadi Soudavar, Faris Smadi, Paola Weiss, Nawel Khelil, Gabriela Galceran, Maya Nassereddine, James Lindon, Layla Binbrek, Gabriel Catone, Sabrina Amrani, Yola Noujaim, Yassi Sohrabi, Kate Jones, Nadine Toukan, Khalid Mezaina, Samallie Kiyingi, Albertine Kopp, Salma Tuqan, Cathy Costain, Lawrie Shabibi, Zain Masud, Antonia Carver, Lisa Fischman, Kavita Chellaram, Burcu Yuksel, Abdullah AlTurki, Mary Sabbatino, Omar Berrada, Madeline McLean, Jared & George, L M De Felice, Aisha Mazin Stoby, Hind Mezaina, Alessio Antoniolli, Oussama Rifahi, Camilla Barella, May Calil, Luiza Texeira de Freitas, Karim Mostafa, Justine Ludwig, Alia Fattouh, Ellen Wettmark & Hans Rosenstom, Ali Cherri, Alia Al-Senussi, Vali Mahlouji, and Mareike Dittmer.

Special thanks to Stephanie Bailey, Live Art Development Agency, Yasmina Reggad and Tarek Abou El Fetouh.