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Nafas: Forum

Exchange of opinions about artistic practices, strategies of mediation, the international art system, etc.

The "Nafas" Project is planned to become a long-term process of mutual understanding concerning practical, conceptual, and theoretical aspects of art practice, the international art system and its mechanisms, and other issues. The exchange of opinions takes place at the different venues of the exhibition as well as in the context of this online magazine. On these pages, you will read the synopsis of the real meetings and soon be able to add personally to the debate.

The first event accompanies the launch of the project in the ifa-Gallery in Berlin:

Friday, 19 May 2006, 6 pm

Panel discussion:

Context and Cliché
What does it mean to be an artist coming from a country of “Islamic influence”? Individual positions in a local context and the international art system.

Lida Abdul (artist, Afghanistan/USA)
Amal Kenawy (artist, Egypt)
Anas Al-Shaikh (artist, Bahrain)
Suha Shoman (artist, Jordan)
Kean Wong (media expert, Malaysia)

Gerhard Haupt and Pat Binder, exhibition curators

In the first part of the panel discussion, the exhibition participants will speak about concepts, strategies, and conditions of their artistic work.

The second part is concerned with the individual position of artists in the context of the international art scene. This will include questions of the kind:

- How problematical is the phrasing “art from the Islamic world”?

- How does geographical or geo-cultural categorization and labeling (i.e. “Brit art”, “New Leipziger School”, “Chinese art”) function in the art system? How ambivalent is this procedure?

- Can such customary mechanisms that always run the danger of simplification and exclusion – depending on which side one stands – be countered and used productively?

- Today, art functions strongly dependent on context, meaning that the artists must reckon with the fact that the context of their origins or the idea thereof will flow into the reception of their work. Most particularly artists who are not from Western Europe or North America are often approached from the “West” via their origins rather than an individual position. How should artists and art mediators deal with this phenomenon?

Panel discussion:
19 May 2006, 6 pm

ifa Gallery Berlin
Linienstrasse 139/140
10115 Berlin

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