Welcome back, friends and artists,
Cultural institutions are now allowed to reopen in Jordan under strict safety measures after 16 months of closure, during which we launched an online program of activities and artists residencies.
In a soft reopening of our spaces, we are extending the preceding exhibitions that we had to close untimely due to the pandemic. The exhibitions feature artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke's Das Kapital and artist Raed Ibrahim's A Camel in the Room, which question the unsettling political, social, and economic conditions of our world in crisis.
We are showcasing works from The Khalid Shoman Collection, artist Rula Halawani's Negative Incursions, a series of negatives of photographs taken during the 2002 Israeli occupying forces incursions in the Palestinian Territories, repeatedly occurring to the present day, and artist Wael Shawky's 2006 video film Al Aqsa Park, symbolizing the precarious situation of Jerusalem.
We simultaneously pursue our online activities by introducing artist Haitham Ennasr's Online project Nothing Old, Nothing New, consisting of a collection of experimental interactive video games installed onsite, drawings, text, and objects developed over six years. Ennasr's project plays on the relationship between capitalism, colonialism, landscape depictions, real estate development, and folklore, reappropriating them to envision a revolutionary utopia.
The Darat al Funun’s 2021 Online Summer Academy continues its program in October with Part III, Rewilding Pedagogy, facilitated by Sakiya; Part IV, The Water Diviners with artist Jumana Emil Abboud, and the workshop Mud Building with Taghmees.
We present at The Lab the Darat al Funun 1999-2003 Summer Academy: Then and Now. In 1999 we launched the Darat al Funun Summer Academy, which provided a key opportunity for emerging artists to study and work under the supervision of the late Syrian artist and professor of painting in Berlin, Marwan Kassab Bachi. From 1999-2003 over 60 artists from Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Iraq attended the academy. For many of these artists, it was a formative experience in their careers.
Today, twenty years later, we revisit the works of a selected group of artists who studied under Marwan Kassab Bachi. How did their art progress, what have they become today? We will showcase works by Marwan's assistants, Ali Kaaf & Salah Saouli, and by artists Hani Alqam, Raed Ibrahim, Munjed Qasim, Iyyad Kanaan from Jordan, Ayman Baalbaki, Rafik Majzoub from Lebanon, Khaled Barakeh from Syria, Mohammad Hawajri, Mohammad Abu Sall, Shareef Sarhan, Hazem Harb, Majed Shalla, Ra'ed Issa, and Suhail Salem from Gaza and the late Hassan Hourani.
Images: Haitham Ennasr, Tabula Rasa, 2017. Rula Halawani, Negative Incursion series, 2002. Wael Shawky Al Aqsa Park, 2006. Raed Ibrahim, A Camel in the Room, 2020. Nadia Kaabi-Linke Das Capital-Epilogue, 2020.