Change seems to be the only reality in today’s world.
Today Contemporary Practices enters a new phase with a new Chief Editor who takes over from our great Aida el Torie, who revolutionized the look and content of our publication since her arrival on board around two years ago. Aida with unmatched energy and dedication took the journal throughout three volumes to establishing the CP brand. By writing, editing, curating and developing a diversity of projects for Contemporary Practices our journal attained the trust and confidence of our readers and partners alike. We wish Ms Torie the best with her new personal curatorial project Finding Projects (FP), and like a family happy to see one of their own develop and grow, we remain happy to see her collaborate with us in the future.
Our new Chief Editor is the renowned Egyptian artist and professor of art Hazem Taha Hussein. Hazem currently lives in Manama, Bahrain where he is professor of art, design and typography, as well as guest professor at Muenster University of Applied Science, Germany. He holds BFA in applied arts and MFA and PhD in design, printing and typography. His painter’s career that spread over two decades combines painting, photography, digital manipulation and the use of text. Hazem is widely exhibited internationally in exhibitions like: What’s happening Now, Casa Arabe, Madrid, Spain, 2010; Alexandria Biennale, Egypt, 2009; Asian Biennale, Bangladesh, 2008; The Present out of the Past Millennia, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany, 2007, to mention a few.
Our volume 7 explores several events and practices that are paramount to probe now. We delve in dialogue with the three curatorial institutions that currently --as you are reading these lines—are co-curating the prestigious Manifesta 8 in Murcia and Cartagena, Spain. We take pride in this essay / dialogue as two of the curatorial collectives who co-curate Manifesta 8 arise from and are linked to our region: the Egyptian-based Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF), and the Lebanese and Danish-based Chamber of Public Secrets (CPS). Tranzit.org is the third co-curating institution, and the three enter in a conversation that explores process, concept, praxis and modus operandi.
We give particular attention to the Cairo Biennale XII; the Biennale’s President visual artist Mohsen Shaalan presents us with an insight about Egyptian artists and their appearance in international auction houses. Contemporary Practices shows its complete and total support, trust and consolation to Mohsen Shaalan in his current crises.
We introduce in volume 7 a new section devoted to shedding light on studio practices in Egypt: Cairopraxis. Here we look at the interdisciplinary practice of Shady el Noshokaty (see CP volume 1), as well as other artists at different stages of their careers, under-examined and seldom found in regional literature despite their serious careers: from those we mention Hesham Nawar, Samah Salah Allaithy, Emad Abdelwahab, Hala Abushady and Sameh Ismail. We here introduce in this section a new tradition: featuring artists from outside the region who practice, exhibit and/or collaborate in the Middle East. In our volume we shed light on the practice of Filipino visual artist Josephine Turalba, who will show for the first time at the Cairo Biennale XII next December.
We look forward to further progress with our readers, authors, artists and editors.