Meeting points 5
Meeting Points 5 (MP5) presents a careful selection of artworks coming out of the Arab region and beyond. MP5 shares with previous editions of this festival the conviction to foster a platform within the Arab region for contemporary artists coming from this region, supporting the production, showcasing and circulation of their works. While keeping faithful to this objective, this edition of Meeting Points chose to expand the range of its interest, and include art and artists from beyond the Arab world, in a move to open up and share with audiences of this region compelling and interesting contemporary art productions coming from different parts of the world.

This autumn you will meet artists from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, South America and Asia. The selection of artists and works presented in MP5 was not informed by an over-riding theme; rather, the program brings together artists with distinctly strong and independent visions. Artists with an independent way of looking at the world, people with a vision and a need to share this vision with an audience. Surely there are detectable under-currents, trends, affinities that bring some works closer and others further apart. On the whole they reflect the complexity and diversity of contemporary art in the Arab world specifically, and the world generally.

This festival is an invitation to see and reflect. To see how artists today view and engage with the society they live in. And by extrapolation, how do they see the world around them? What are their thoughts, passions, critiques, worries and concerns? How do they see their role and formulate their position in their varied social, political and cultural contexts? How can their vision inspire and nourish us, as well as invite us to grow out of the simplifying clichés with which we try to understand the world? How can they help us to accept that complexity cannot be simplified? But also, how do artists reflect on their art form and develop critical and new languages?

MP5 presents a selection of existing works, international and regional, as well as seven new creations, co-produced by the festival and presented in their world premiere this November: one theatre production, one dance piece, two visual art works, one concert and two performances.

In this MP edition, two new projects are launched that will continue and develop in the years to come. The first one is the DVTheque, a traveling library of films from the Arab World, which will come to your city during the festival. The second is called ‘Unclassified’: in six cities we invited a curator or a curatorial team to propose an artistic program, tailor made for the town they live in, mobilizing artists and cultural producers, oft unknown to us, from different backgrounds, to reflect on and dream their city.

This festival will introduce you to some of the artists we have met over the past year, and whom we would like you to become acquainted with. Many, obviously, are those we could not see, and those, who for some reason or other, were unable to participate.

Thankfully, there will be another opportunity, the sixth edition of Meeting Points in 2009.

Frie Leysen, Curator
Maha Maamoun, Assistant Curator

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