Mathaf Mathaf is a collaborative commissioning project between the Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of the Arts in Lebanon (APEAL) - spearheading the Beirut Museum of Art - and Temporary . Art . Platform (TAP).
It plays on the geographical location of the Beirut Museum of Art (BeMA) that will come to face the National Museum in the Mathaf area of Beirut (mathaf literally meaning museum in Arabic), as well as the close exchange between the national archaeological museum and the museum of modern and contemporary art to come.
Mathaf Mathaf aims at bridging the gap between the archaeological museum and modern and contemporary art as well as providing space and means for research and commissioning new art projects to Lebanese and Lebanon-based artists.
In 2018, the iteration of Mathaf Mathaf will be a commission to contemporary artist Ali cherri, whose practice has recently been focusing on objects, archaeology, ethnography and museology.
He has collaborated with different museums around the world (upon invitation) to look at the objects in their collection and reflect upon their usage, their market value, their origins, their meanings and the tense relationship between museum objects and museum viewers or consumers.
We are interested in inviting him to work in Beirut, on Beirut, in the framework of Mathaf Mathaf. Since it is a series of commissions that considers the relationship between the archaeological museum and contemporary art, Cherri’s subtle work dealing with objects as they unfold and manifest in different understandings is relevant in that context.
Preliminary conversations took place between the curator, Amanda Abi Khalil, and the artist and a more detailed proposal could be submitted in the spring of 2018
Chou Hayda? Workshop at Beirut National Museum
A commissioning project grounded in a participatory educational aspect organized by BeMa/APEAL in collaboration with Temporary. Art.Platform.
People from different walks of life will be invited to partake in a workshop at the National Museum and presented with an object, preferably one whose use is obscure or uncertain.
The viewer will be asked a sequence of questions prepared by the artist, which brings the object into the realm of present day average concerns. The responses to the questions will be recorded and then used to create a video (that can also be projected as a slideshow with audio). The script will be a transcription of culled responses from the participants in the workshops.