March 3–April 19, 2014 Alwan338//Foundations in Al Riwaq Art Space and around Block 338 in Adliya, Bahrain
Alwan338 is a large, annual public arts festival in Bahrain. It took place in 2012 and 2013 and I curated the 2014 edition, entitled Alwan338//Foundations. It ran for six weeks and was focused in the neighborhood of Adliya, specifically Block 338. It featured work by 28 visual artists and extensive public programming:
The format of the festival’s 2014 edition is inspired by the fact that Adliya once bordered the sea before land-reclamation extended the natural borders of the island in the 20th century, a practice that has heavily exhilarated in the 21st century.
Alwan338//Foundations addresses the theme of “foundations” in their definition as “grounds on which other structures rest,” thus embodying the tension between inherited conditions and projected constructions, where the present is a blind-spot.
Alwan338//Foundations features newly-commissioned, site-specific artworks that are conceived by 13 international resident artists and 14 Bahrain-based artists. The festival also includes artist talks and workshops conducted by the resident artists, a solo exhibition, research projects, live music, film screenings, and an extensive visual identity and summarising publication.
Resident artists - Caroline Palla, Chris Lawrence, Daniel Rode, EPS51 (Ben Wittner, Sascha Thoma), Eva Frapiccini, Ganzeer, Khalid Albaih aka Khartoon!, Nile Sunset Annex (Taha Belal, Jenifer Evans, Hady Kamar), Rachel Gadsden, Rheim Alkadhi
Bahrain-based artists - Aigerim Aikenova, Ali Mussain Mirza, Brad Niemann, Hanadi Al-Ghanem, Jaffar Al Oraibi, Jenine Sharabi, Maoon Rashed, Mohamed Sharkawy, Mohsin Mubarak, Muna Yateem, Ryan Andrews, Tamara Al Pachachi, Waheeda Malullah, Yasmin Sharabi
Solo exhibition - Hassan Hajjaj
Designer of outdoor area for food, music, screenings - May Yateem
Research projects - Failed Architecture (Architecture), meetings with Robert Kluijver (Contemporary art in the Gulf), Shakshooka (The cultural heritage of regional cuisines, based in Kuwait)
Live music - Zenda Marie, Al Harith & Brothers Band, DJette Kiwi, The Relocators, DJ Hisham T, Ali & Lujain, Majaz
Screenings - Six hour-long episodes from the acclaimed PBS series Art in the 21st Century: Balance, Boundaries, Change, History, Place, Stories
Curatorial assistance - Basma Al-Khayer, Luay Al-Derazi, Zain Al Khalifa