Egypt's artist Maha Maamoun joins Forum Expanded curatorial team at Berlinale 2018

Ahram Online , Friday 22 Dec 2017

Artist and curator Maha Maamoun is the co-founder of the Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) in Cairo

Bläue by Kerstin Schroedinger
Bläue by Kerstin Schroedinger (Photo: Forum Expanded press release, courtesy: Berlinale 2018)

Egyptian artist and curator Maha Maamoun will for the first time join the curatorial team responsible for setting the Forum Expanded, one of the segments of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), scheduled to take place between 15 and 25 February 2018.


Maamoun, who is based in Cairo, is a founding board member of the Contemporary Image Collective (CIC), an independent non-profit space for art and culture founded in the Egyptian capital in 2004.


"Maamoun’s videos and photographs address the form and function of images that are found in mainstream culture," reads Maamoun's biography published at Cairo Gypsum gallery's website. "Maamoun’s approach keeps a balance between what is studied and what is intuitive, leaving room for the incidental to play itself out. With a keen eye for the absurd and a dark sense of humor, her work pulls on emotional, psychological and cerebral strings."


Maamoun's work has been showcased in many institutions worldwide including Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Modern in London, the MoMA in New York, among others.


Her curatorial work includes exhibitions in Sharjah Gallery at the American University in Cairo; film program in Weiner Festwochen - Künstlerhaus (Vienna); film program in Gallery Nova (Zagreb); Video Room at Art Dubai 2013, among others.


Led by the section head Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, the Forum Expanded's curatorial team also includes Syrian visual artist and filmmaker Khaled Abdulwahed, and Berlin-based film curator and film scholar Ulrich Ziemons.


Forum Expanded showcases films and video works of all genres, as well as installations, performances and panels, featuring artists from all around the world.


The Berlinale's press release clarifies that "since its foundation, Forum Expanded has always placed a special emphasis on documentary forms. This year once again the term encompasses archival works, fiction and experimental film, in the sense that the selected works function as an expression of a reality that represents a new take on the past while transforming it into a possible future."

The Forum Expanded's theme is "A Mechanism Capable of Changing Itself", a statement taken from a paper by a media scholar Ute Holl on avant-garde cinema pioneer Maya Deren's theories and conception of cinema.


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