Cultural Initiatives in North Africa and the Middle East
“Borrowing its title from Jim Morrison’s song Moonlight Drive, “Climbing through the Tide” foregrounds a set of queries, observations, research operations, tryouts, and earned knowledge. The curatorial methodology relies upon the act of composing the display of research-led artistic methodologies and the process of production. The entire experience of exhibition making is turning the space to a statement. The same approach and practice dictated and shaped the ‘fabric’ of the Climbing through the Tide exhibition by positioning ‘Tunis’ as the center and the filter for its progression.
The location and the building of B7L9 in Bhar Lazreg, La Marsa, connotes a place which resonates between being a non-place and an industrial zone that is subject to gentrification. The exhibition charges B7L9 with a function, hence, transforming this building is an act of activating potentials. It is an adrenaline-high process with a clear tension; while having enormous ambitions and dreams, it dictates a modest and generous approach by letting the process of this exhibition regulate its function. Such an approach prioritizes some fragile and sensitive notions such as trust, sincerity, commitment, openness, passion, and enthusiasm.
It has been a privilege to have this distinct way of working with an institution as it allows and supports an experimental curatorial approach. By reflecting this experimental approach, the setting of the exhibition is being designed to initiate dialogues and encounters among the works. The exhibition aims to suggest various paths of reception through its scenography. Works in the exhibition connect to each other through spontaneously formed content; form; methodology; and approach-based links.
By taking the condition-based and geographical inputs into account, the exhibition operates as the prompter of new interrogations and the instigator of multiple perceptions leading to a more layered reading of our current situation and to different ways to cope with it.”
Basak Senova is an art curator, writer and designer from Istanbul, Turkey. She lives and works in Vienna since 2017.
She holds an MFA in graphic design and a PhD in art, design and architecture from Bilkent University, and is active internationally with art and technology related projects. She attended the Seventh Curatorial Training Programme of Stichting De Appel, Amsterdam in 2002. As an assistant professor, she lectured in various universities in Turkey. In 2017 she was the resident fellow at the University of the Arts, Helsinki in co-operation with HIAP. In 2017, she received Associate Professorship by the Higher Education Council of Turkey. She has been writing on art, technology and media, initiating and developing projects and curating exhibitions since 1995.
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