Where Are We Now? A New Physicality
Published in: Pas de Deux: 5 x 2 x 2, Mediterranean dialogues, argobooks, 2014
The notion of public space seemed to undergo major metamorphoses during the past two decades, with buzzwords such as virtual reality and cyberspace implying that the space where we were going to live our lives in the future would be located in the non-physical realm of the artificial worlds created by scientists and computer programmers. However, with the disenchantments of the Internet as a free space of which the recent surveillance scandals are just the latest, and the renewed interest in real-space civic actions, it would seem that we are re-discovering the physical space of our towns and cities. The protests of Occupy Wall Street and its offshoots in European cities, Avenue Bouguiba, Tahrir Square, Taksim Square/Gezi Park, just to name a few, have all shown us the importance of the physical presence of masses of bodies in real space, and despite the current setbacks of these movements, they seem to have changed our perception of the term “the public space”….
PAS DE DEUX: 5 x 2 x 2 was a residency project encouraging Mediterranean dialogues between artists from the southern Mediterranean and curators from the northern and eastern sides of the Mediterranean Sea.
Participating artists and curators: Anna Raimondo (curator and artist, Italy), Younes Baba Ali (artist, Morocco), Basak Senova (curator, Turkey), Simohamed Fettaka (artist, Morocco), Yasmina Reggad (curator, France), Ismael Leamsi (artist, Tunisia), Charlotte Bank (art historian and curator, Germany/Switzerland), Younes Atbane (artist, Morocco), Nora Razian (curator, Lebanon), Atef Berredjem (artist, Algeria). They met for a two-week residency to create a dialogue about artistic approaches to the question: “Where are we now?”. That question – central to the Marrakech Biennale in 2014 – prompted collaborative reflections focusing on the artist’s creative process as well as on the curator’s more theoretical reading of it. The conversations and themes of the residency finally took material form in a book: each artist/curator pair produced an essay evoking the key themes addressed during the residency. The first book launch took place in Marrakech in February 2014, during the Marrakech Biennale.
Youness Atbane, born in 1982, currently lives and works between Casablanca and Berlin. His artistic practice is based on a critical relationship to the fields of art, its actors and its geopolitics. He is working with live performance as a space of reflection, installations as an outcome of the performance act, as well as with photography and drawing as an archive. In 2008, he took part in the Master performing art program EX E.R.CE08 at the CCN of Montpelier. In 2010, he graduated with a master in Art – Literature and Museology – from the University of Nice.
Charlotte Bank is an art historian and independent curator. She holds a PhD in Arabic from the University of Geneva, where she was a research assistant on the project Other Modernities: Patrimony and Practices of Visual Expression Outside the West from 2013 to 2016. She is currently preparing the publication of her monograph, The Contemporary Art Scene in Syria: Social Critique and an Artistic Movement, to be published with Routledge. Since 2012 she has been the co-director and curator of the artistic project space Art-Lab Berlin im iPhonedoctor.