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Something to Generate From

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Algerian Pavilion

 

 

 

 

At the Kunsthal Aarhus in Dannemark, Madrassa* Collective’s exhibition Something to Generate From proposes to investigate the practice of institution building as an artwork by tracing back and mapping a number of institutional projects created by artists and artistic collectives active primarily in the regions their curatorial collective comes from. Envisioning exhibition making as a research and critical endeavor, Madrassa aims at experimenting and questioning collective practices and transborders collaborations as a means to resist and confront the difficulties of art making in their regions.

For the exhibition Something to Generate From, the Algerian Pavilion sets up a stage for the enactment of a micro history of French colonial architectural production in Algeria during the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962). It voices a few ambiguities around a historical and symbolic moment: when General Charles de Gaulle, the President of France between 1958 and 1968, announced the construction of housing units for 1,000,000 people in Algeria under French rule in October 1958. The Algerian Pavilion accommodates the juxtaposition of events that preceded and followed de Gaulle’s declaration of the construction of mass housing projects. It houses the formation of possible relations, legacies, and intersections between territorial planning, architecture making, economic interests, military purposes, and political intentions. The aim is not to write a history of the apartment buildings that resulted from de Gaulle’s strategic attempt, but rather to feature the complexities and ambiguities of such constructions and expand the field of architecture making to political objectives and military measures. Such extension includes the exploitation of oil in the Algerian Sahara, the Battle of Algiers, the United Nations’ recognition of Algeria’s right to independence, and the detonation of France’s first nuclear bomb in the Algerian Sahara.

The Algerian Pavilion does so by drawing a timeline around de Gaulle’s announcement of October 1958 that features these events, and displays the major headlines in one common wall at the Kunsthal Aarhus. Photographs that portray these chronological chronicles will be compiled and printed in a temporary newspaper entitled: Algerian Pavilion: News From The Past, which can be consulted on site. Along with these two fragments, a series of French television news and propaganda broadcasts from the 1960’s on the construction of de Gaulle’s housing projects will also be displayed. In addition to this platform, the webpages of the Algerian Pavilion (www.algerian-pavilion.org) will be reactivated during the run of the exhibition in order to incite the dissemination of this and other micro histories, comparisons, and dialogues that involve imperialism, colonialism and spatial operations.

The Algerian Pavilion 2016 is an exercise in and an invitation for re-telling stories and re-writing histories of space and power. The history of Algeria under French colonial regime is only a paradigm.





 

*Madrassa (school in Arabic) is a collective of young curators and art practitioners based in Africa and the Middle East. Madrassa Collective is composed by eight members working in different fields such as research, curation and cultural management.

Madrassa Collective
Nadine Atallah (Egypt/France)
Rim Mejdi (Morocco)
Francesca Masoero (Morocco/Belgium)
Nouha Ben Yebdri (Morocco)
Lea Morin (Morocco)
Victoria Dabdoub (Palestine/Jordan)
Aude Mbga (Cameroon)
Marc Mouarkech (Lebanon)

Participating artist-led institutions
Algerian Pavilion (Algeria)
L’Art Rue (Tunisia)
Bandjoun Station (Cameroon)
Fehras Publishing Practices (Syria/Germany)
Invisible Borders (Nigeria)
Mass Alexandria (Egypt)
The Collective Museum (Morocco)

Exhibition period: 17 June-7 August 2016
Kunsthale Aarhus, Dannemark.
Visit the website of the Kunsthal AArhus

 

©2016 Algerian Pavilion