Climbing through the Tide

Date(s) - 24/05/2019
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

University of Applied Arts Vienna / Flux 2


In conjunction to Basak Senova’s curatorial activities during her residency at Angewandte, there will be a talk on her latest curated exhibition: “Climbing through the Tide” at B7 L9 in Tunis and the Kamel Lazaar Foundation. Lina Lazaar, the Vice President of the Kamel Lazaar Foundation and Petra Swais, the Programme and Exhibitions Manager of B7L9, will also participate in the talk.

B7L9 is an experimental art space imagined and developed by the Kamel Lazaar Foundation (KLF) in Bhar Lazreg, a rural land whose landscape has morphed organically amidst the political vacuum in the revolution aftermath. B7L9 is conceived as a laboratory for KLF to connect, interact and expand upon its activities to date and trigger a regional dialogue with contemporary global developments in visual culture.

Curated by Basak Senova, the inaugural exhibition of B7L9, “Climbing through the Tide” is designed to initiate dialogues and encounters among the works by suggesting 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 a 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.

Climbing through the Tide brings together 5O artists from 21 countries including Adel Abidin, Afif Saâdane, Aicha Snoussi, Ali Cabbar, Ali Cherri, Ali Tnani, Almagul Menlibayeva, Bahar Behbahani, Behzad Khosravi Noori, Benji Boyadgian, Bronwyn Lace, Egle Oddo, Etel Adnan, Farah Khelil, Fares Thabet, Fatih Aydogdu, Ghada Amer, Gulsun Karamustafa, Hatem El Mekki , Heba Amin, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Inci Eviner, Inma Hererra, Jawad Al Malhi, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Jumana Manna, Kader Attia, Larissa Sansour, Lina Selander, Malek Gnaoui, Marcus Neustetter, Negar Tahsili, Nermin Er, Nicène Kossentini, Nilbar Gures, Ramesch Daha, Raqs Media Collective, Ricarda Denzer, Susan Hefuna, Wael Shawky, Walid Raad, Yasmine Ben Khelil, Younes Ben Slimane, Youssef Nabil, Yto Barrada, Ziad Antar, and Zineb Sedira. “Annotations” section of the exhibition presents Centre for Less Good Ideas, Apartment Project, Mahatat, Mophradat, Ashkal Alwan, L’Atelier de l’Observatoire, Egle Oddo and Centre de Biotechnologie, Technopole Borj Cédria, Fares Thabet, Muhammed, Future Lab, and the CrossSections Project.

While being anchored in the Mediterranean and global artistic landscape, B7L9 responds to KLF’s commitment to social impact in underprivileged areas through art and culture and aims to promote exchange of knowledge and visions by encouraging guest artists to interact with local communities through workshops, seminars, events and an extensive outreach programme.

Since its inception in 2005, the Kamel Lazaar Foundation for Art and Culture has initiated several cultural and artistic actions and projects whose local and regional effects put forward the vitality and diversity of the cultural scene in the MENA region. The foundation supports research, publication and exhibition initiatives and organizes scientific conferences and seminars as well as artistic creation residencies and workshops. KLF’s backbone is the largest contemporary and modern art collections in North Africa and the Arab world. In 2011 the Kamel Lazaar Foundation launched the online platform Ibraaz – the largest forum for critical exchange on visual culture in the Arab region, followed shortly by the first installment of Jaou – an annual event bringing together artists, thinkers and change-makers to exhibit works of art and fostering a dialogue about contemporary creative practices in the Arab region. In 2017 KLF was the commissioner of Tunisia’s Pavilion titled ‘The Absence of Path’ at the Venice Biennale after almost 6 decades of absence. KLF is looking forward to fostering its actual partnerships and building new ones in order to carry on its mission and rally structures, institutions and cultural actors around a common goal: to develop, promote and support art and culture in Tunisia and lay the foundation of a future where they play a central role in personal and social growth.

Lazaar is the Vice President of the Kamel Lazaar Foundation. Specialized in contemporary art, she has an MA degree in Statistics from London School of Economics, and an MA in Art History from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Throughout her career in Sotheby’s, London, she supported the emergence of contemporary Arab art on the international scene. She is the co-editor-in-chief of the online magazine Ibraaz.

Petra Swais is a researcher and facilitator of art projects in the MENA region. Working at the Kamel Lazaar Foundation (KLF), she is Programme and Exhibitions Manager of B7L9. Prior to her position at the KLF, she completed an MA in Arts Management at Birkbeck, London and worked at Darat al Funun in Amman and MASS in Alexandria.

Kamel Lazaar Foundation

Photograph: Basak Senova
Poster Design: Peter Putz