Photo by Melissa Blackall

"GROUNDS"

Raafat Majzoub: GROUNDS
Curated by Artemis Akchoti Shahbazi

“…I like the idea of interruptions. When you insert something… be it an object or a story… in a public space that doesn’t necessarily fit, you invite people to go outside the rules of that space, and engage with new stories. Interruptions are windows to other possibilities. I’m curious about how these interruptions compete with agreed upon “reality” and how they can influence them. What happens when someone proposes an idea? What happens when more people subscribe to it? How can communities challenge stories imposed on them? I find all of this very exciting.”

–Raafat Majzoub

Since 2012, Raafat Majzoub has been writing “an autobiography of another Arab world” titled The Perfumed Garden. Performative excerpts of this novel have been published internationally through film, video, audio, textual, and public installations. The work produces fictions that compete with the status quo and plants them in public as new realities. For Majzoub, The Perfumed Garden is an act of claiming power. It produces grounds where existing borders and definitions are challenged and fights for space in defiance of an increasingly homogenizing and bordered world.  

Marking a decade of The Perfumed Garden, GROUNDS brings together a selection of excerpts to weave a conversation with visitors about intimacy and collaboration, and to inspire a meditation on collective futures.

The exhibition is an invitation to reconsider truth as multiple. To change. To engage. And to share. It presents grounds for the validity of our collective fictions and creates new grounds for shared realities to come. 

Please touch the work. Add to it.

The exhibition objects will be integrated in Majzoub’s ongoing project.

Everything—in your love—becomes easy (video), with AbdulKader Mekkawi, Mahmoud Abu Lokmeh, ‘Abu Khodr’ & Tarek Majzoub, documents a project that invites a group of people to learn from, and produces a public landscape to host this learning process. The title of this video is a quote from a Whatsapp voice note (original Arabic: كل شي بحبك بهون ) sent to the artist by ‘Abu Khodr’, one of the collaborators on the Streetschool (prototype) as part of a negotiation of the fairness of equal compensation to all members of the team.


This is the third exhibition in the new “1:1 Curatorial Initiative” series presented in the Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts. Each exhibition in this series presents a collaborative project between one curator and one artist, and either introduces a new artist or highlights a new aspect of a more experienced artist.


Curatorial Walkthrough

January 21, 2022


GROUNDS: A Closeup on the Sound of Blooming

February 12, 2022


Exhibition Catalogue by Zoë Pulley


About the Artist

Raafat Majzoub

Lebanon-based artist Raafat Majzoub invites viewers into a site of action and exhibition. Majzoub’s work spans a decade of public, interactive projects focused on speculating another Arab world through fiction in filmic, radio, performative, sculptural, and textual installations. Majzoub positions his work at an intersection between politics, intimacy and futurecasting — exploring fiction as a tool for individual and collective agency and an arena to construct new worlds. He is the founding director of The Khan: The Arab Association for Prototyping Cultural Practices and Part-time Lecturer at the Architecture and Design Department at the American University of Beirut.

Instagram: @raafatmajzoub

About the Curator

Artemis Akchoti Shahbazi

Artemis Akchoti Shahbazi, an Iranian-born Swiss artist and curator, is the founder of ‘The Impermanence Platform’, an art and research platform which, through interviews, exhibitions, and projects, seeks insights into the artist’s process of creation. “The Matrix of Human Identity” is her investigation into the untold or unseen stories and longings that collectively make our reality. She is the curator of Raafat Majzoub: Grounds at Boston Center for the Arts and, together with Daniela Veneri, of Identities in Movement for Rondo’ Pilot, and she designed and taught undergrad students ‘Ways of seeing Iran and the Arab world,’ in which students were asked to alter their gazes; to look at these worlds through the eyes of contemporary artists. Her visual art projects explore the confluences of history, mythology, and culture.

Website: www.artemisakchoti.com


The Sounds of GROUNDS


Press for GROUNDS