A Program of Events & Projects Running May – October 2009
Starting this May and during the following months of 2009, Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF) - a not-for-profit initiative for visual culture based in Alexandria, Egypt and operating since late 2005 - will be presenting its new program 'A.K.A. EDUCATION – Art Known as Education?'.
'A.K.A. EDUCATION?' sets out to present fresh ideas and discussions focusing on the growing tendency to incorporate, engage, and highlight the educational within the practices, curatorial or otherwise, of contemporary art.
'A.K.A. EDUCATION?' aims to stir a debate on both the historical and more recent roles education has played in the formulation of contemporary art discourses in different regions.
What is behind the rise of educational practices taken up by curators and non-profit art institutions in different parts of the world? Over the past few years many projects critiquing the practices of art academies, schools, and educational institutions have come to prominence on the international scene. Can we presume the existence of an art education crisis in the so called "centers", and if so how does this crisis differ from the problems inherent in the art educational climates of regions such as North Africa.
At the core of the art and education relationship lays a myriad of questions that point to a troubled future for the relationship in many parts of the world for both similar and different reasons. To begin to tackle some of these questions, 'A.K.A. EDUCATION?' has invited artists, curators and theoreticians to respond to one of three proposed axises by developing workshops, lectures, or projects for its program. The three axises are: 1- Curating and Education, 2- Citizenship, Community and Art Education, 3- Art Education and the Cultural Identity Matrix
A.K.A. Education? May 2009 Program
As part of 'A.K.A. Education?', Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF) has invited Barnaby Drabble (Curator, Zurich) to develop a short program exploring the relationship between Curating and Education. The program will be composed of a workshop, a public lecture at ACAF, Alexandria and another lecture at the Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo.
May Program Details:
Lecture at ACAF, Alexandria, 22 May 2009, 7 pm
Exhibitions, ideas and encounters: a work presentation by Barnaby Drabble
Freelance curator, writer and teacher Barnaby Drabble presents and discusses a selection of projects he has organized over the last ten years. These include a triennial exhibition organized simultaneously in three different countries, a series of smaller exhibitions looking at the relationships between pop culture, identity and memory, and the fruits of his long-term collaborations with the artist Hinrich Sachs and the curator and academic Dorothee Richter. In his talk he revisits his exhibitions, educational projects and public space interventions describing along the way the ideas and encounters that have influenced his curatorial work.
Curating/Education Workshop at ACAF, Alexandria, 24 – 27 May 2009
Against the backdrop of a growing tendency to highlight the educational within the practices of interpreting and exhibiting contemporary art, curators Barnaby Drabble and ACAF's artistic manager Bassam el Baroni lead a workshop assessing the limitations of the traditional, western Art Academy model and entertaining the possibilities of the Exhibition as an alternative site for art-learning and knowledge exchange.
Participants: Ola Khalidi, Waffa Wali, Soha Abo Hussein, Dalia Suleiman, Aliaa Salah El Din, Fatma Hendawy, Elham Khattab …
Lecture at Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, 30 May 2009, 7 pm
Stop making sense: the ends of curating and the potential of the exhibition
Selecting elements of his current research into the critical possibilities of the contemporary art exhibition, Barnaby Drabble argues for a shift of critical focus away from the controversial figure of the curator and back towards the exhibition as a site of shared knowledge formation. Proposing a speculative tool for analyzing the way in which meanings are co-produced in exhibitions, he suggests observing them as spaces where curatorial agency is distributed between publics, artists, curators and other involved parties as they negotiate the relative value of the processes surrounding the moment of display. In his talk he will outline some of the key ideas in his research in relation to some recent examples of exhibitions in Europe.
Bio - Barnaby Drabble
*1971 Fareham, UK. Lives in Zürich, Switzerland
MA in Curating Contemporary Art, Goldsmiths College, London.
PgDip in Exhibition Interpretation and Design, Napier College, Edinburgh.
BA in English Literature, Edinburgh University.
Selected curated projects:
Nothing to Declare. Friedrichshafen, Lake Constance, 2008
A Second Life. Stadtgalerie Pavilion, Bern, 2007
I almost feel like doing it again… K3, Zürich, 2004
New Visions of the Sea. National Maritime Museum, London, 2000-2003
Burning Love. APT, London, 2000.
Curating Degree Zero Symposium. Bremen, 1998 and Archive. touring exhibiton since 2003 (with Dorothee Richter)
The City that never Sleeps. Public Space, Umea, 2004-2005
Geneva Unplugged. Public Space, Geneva, 2003
Trademark Guerrilla. AMJ, Swiss Expo, 2002
(With Hinrich Sachs as Drabble+Sachs)
Currently undertaking PhD research at Edinburgh College of Art.
Founding director, with Dorothee Richter, of the Postgraduate Program in Curating at the School of Art and Design in Zürich (2005-present day)
Contributor to numerous catalogues and critic for the international art-press, most notably Art Monthly, Flashart International, and Metropolis M.
Sign up to ACAF's mailing list at www.acafspace.org to receive the monthly 'A.K.A. EDUCATION?' program newsletter
Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF)
10 Hussein Hassab Street, Flat 6, Azarita,
Alexandria, Egypt, T: +20 (0)3 480 41 45
Opening times: Open during projects/events/exhibitions from 1 – 9 pm, otherwise by appointment only.
The 'A.K.A. Education' program is supported by The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Cairo and Pro Helvetia, Cairo
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