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Mophradat announces artists selected for the inaugural Consortium Commissions
Deep Sleep, 2014. Video Still. Image courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Imane Fars.

BRUSSELS.- Mophradat, an international nonprofit contemporary arts association that creates opportunities for contemporary artists from the Arab world, today announces the artists selected for the inaugural Consortium Commissions. A new model for co-commissioning art projects, the initiative creates an avenue for production outside of commercial interests and state patronage, while strengthening collaboration between existing non-profit arts organizations. Mophradat has created a network of collaborating partner museums, art centers, theaters, and festivals around the world, in order to collectively select, produce, and exhibit ambitious new artworks by emerging contemporary Arab artists. Mophradat is providing each invited artist with a grant of up to US$22,000, to cover the production of their new project, which will be presented at two of the prestigious partners’ venues. The individual exhibitions or performances are fully curated and financed by the partners, thus amplifying resources and dialogue across the network.

The 2018 selected artists are: Basma Alsharif, a Palestinian/American visual artist; Shadi Habib Allah, a Palestinian visual artist; Yazan Khalili, a Palestinian architect and visual artist; Maurice Louca, an Egyptian musician; Jasmina Metwaly, an Egyptian/Polish filmmaker and visual artist; and nasa4nasa, a duo of Egyptian choreographers and dancers (Salma Abdel Salam and Noura Seif Hassanein). The artists were selected on the basis of the artistic merit of their solicited project proposals after a rigorous nomination process from within the project’s international partner network. Mophradat would also like to recognize the shortlisted artists: Noor Abuarafeh, Doa Aly, Fayal Baghriche, Shuruq Harb, Mahmoud Khaled, Lynn Kodeih, and Joe Namy.

The inaugural Consortium Commissions is developed in partnership with CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow (with curator Ainslie Roddick), the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (with curator Aram Moshayedi), Kunstencentrum BUDA in collaboration with the Next Festival in Kortrijk (with curator Agnes Quackels), KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (with curator Tirdad Zolghadr), MDT in Stockholm (with curator Danjel Andersson), and Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto (with curator November Paynter). Two additional partners with specializations in music will be announced shortly.

“We are thrilled to launch the Consortium Commissions with such a strong selection of artists and exciting partnerships,” said Mophradat Director, Mai Abu ElDahab. “Over the next two years these new works by these emerging artists from the Arab world will unfold in a series of exhibitions and performances internationally. The voices of the artists find their way into the international art discourses through their reciprocal engagement with leading arts institutions beyond the dated models of national representation or award shows. Commissioning significant works in close collaboration with committed curators who have a global outlook on art at a key moment in these artists’ careers represents a profound opportunity for their practice. The network also has the effect of expanding the artists’ exposure, and ensuring that their work reaches diverse audiences.”

The project dovetails with Mophradat’s ongoing work of providing support through Grants for Artists and Participation Grants programs; an Art Fellows program for young curators recently re-located; Accomplices, an annual convening of emerging artists, writers, and curators from across the Arab world; Orbitals, an annual program for four curators to travel together to an international location for research and exchange; and ongoing publishing projects. Mophradat’s Art Time Residencies take place in partnership with several international organizations – currently CCA in Glasgow, Confort Moderne in Poitiers, and Wiels in Brussels – as well as bespoke residencies in Belgium for writers from the Arab world in 2018 and 2019. Artists who benefited from Mophradat’s grants include Lebanese choreographer Omar Rajeh, Egyptian artist and musician Hassan Khan, Egyptian choreographer Adham Hafez, Lebanese artist and musician Raed Yassin, Jordanian artist Oraib Toukan, Egyptian artist Maha Maamoun, Iraqi-British artist Jananne Al-Ani, Egyptian artist Iman Issa, Egyptian theatre-maker Laila Soliman, Libyan-Italian artist Adelita Husni-Bey, Palestinian filmmaker Kamal Aljafari, Lebanese artist Mounira Al Solh, Palestinian research group Decolonizing Architecture, and Syrian choreographer and dancer Mithkal Alzghair, amongst many others. In its earlier incarnation as the Young Arab Theatre Fund/YATF, Mophradat commissioned and produced Meeting Points – a pioneering travelling arts festival curated by Frie Leysen (2007), Okwi Enwezor (2011), and the curators' collective What, How & for Whom/WHW (2013), amongst others.

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