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Staging Histories

Delfina Foundation's initiative on the history of performance art in the Arab region presents two shows in London: Echoes & Reverberations at Hayward and A Prologue to the Past and Present State of Things at Delfina.
Jun 2015

Staging Histories is Delfina Foundation's 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.

This research framework is informing two exhibitions, co-commissioned by Shubbak - A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture:


A Prologue to the Past and Present State of Things
2 July to 15 August 2015
Delfina Foundation
This major group exhibition explores performance as a form of recording and re-writing history. Participants include ARC:HIVE, Doa Aly, Marwa Arsanios, Coco Fusco, Emily Jacir, Mona Hatoum, Sharon Hayes, Mohammed Kazem, Xiao Lu, Hassan Sharif, Wael Shawky, Sharif Waked, Lin Yilin, and more.
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.

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), Jane Scarth and Yasmina Reggad.

Echoes & Reverberations
23 June to 16 August 2015
Hayward Gallery Project Space
This exhibition examines aural culture and history through the work of six contemporary artists. Using a variety of media, the evocative potential of sound is explored, from stories to music to ambient noise, connecting the past to the present. The artworks employ different sonic strategies to both conjure and challenge cultural memory. Sound becomes a medium of performing history and, in turn, listening a performative act. Artists include: Jumana Emil Abboud, Basma Alsharif, Anas Al-Shaikh, Samah Hijawi, Magdi Mostafa, and Joe Namy.

Co-curated by Aaron Cezar, Director, Delfina Foundation, and Cliff Lauson, Curator, Hayward Gallery, with Jane Scarth, Residency and Projects Manager, Delfina Foundation, and Eimear Martin and Dominik Czechowski, Assistant Curators, Hayward Gallery.

More information:

(From press information)

Echoes & Reverberations
23 June - 16 August 2015

Hayward Gallery Project Space
Southbank Centre,
Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX

A Prologue to the Past and Present State of Things
2 July - 15 August 2015

The Delfina Foundation

29 Catherine Place, Victoria
United Kingdom
Website Email

A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture
11 - 26 July, London

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