Manifesta 8
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Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum Curator / Team Executive Bassam El Baroni Associate Curator Jeremy Beaudry Curatorial assistant Yolanda Riquelme García
Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF) is a non-profit art initiative founded by Bassam El Baroni and Mona Marzouk in 2005. Operating from its apartment space in Egypt's second city, ACAF constantly shifts its practice and focus between local and international engagement. Central to its mission is an ongoing involvement with projects that bring together established and emerging artists, university students, and diverse practitioners in contexts that recognize the value of an informal, non-hierarchal, open-ended circulation of information and experience. For Manifesta 8 ACAF's artistic director Bassam El Baroni collaborates with Philadelphia based artist and lecturer Jeremy Beaudry on curating ACAF's contribution to the biennial.


How can any art project genuinely touch on the sophisticated and haphazard web of life's complexity. To understand complexity, it is not enough just to possess the ability to be critical, and it can only be part of a more disciplined and strategic act. For the exhibition OVERSCORE, we aim to conceive, build and implement a curatorial interface which firstly outlines those elements hindering the emergence of complexity in art, and then to describe the strategies for projects seeking to embody it. The Theory of Applied Enigmatics is that interface. Here, the term 'Enigmatics' refers to ideas and proposals which appear or resonate from a confrontation with complexity.

An overscore is a line drawn through words. It partially erases them but also shows an ongoing process of editing; it reveals and obscures the past, while establishing links with what emerges in the present and future. Similarly, The Theory of Applied Enigmatics both highlights and seeks to revise the accepted institutional blueprints - those sometimes idealistic and often subconscious models - which are used to simplify complex issues concerning life, people, places, events, history and culture within artistic practice today. It also acts as the mechanism connecting the intellectual input of a diverse array of artists and contributors. The theory offers itself to the visitor as a key with which s/he can unlock the underlying frameworks of history, culture and politics existing in, and between, the artists' works.

OVERSCORE is a project held together by the logic that The Theory of Applied Enigmatics outlines and oversees one project with four components, spread across three venues. OVERSCORE features works and contributions by 37 artists and collaborators, the exhibition component presents newly-commissioned and existing works by 27 artists and collectives and is hosted at the Antigua Oficina de Correos y Telégrafos (Former Central Post Office) in Murcia and at the ARQUA in Cartagena. Espacio AV in Murcia is the venue for the project entitled The MoCHA Sessions, which along with Backbench (Former Post Office), Prayers for Art (Former Post Office), and Incubator for a Pan-African Roaming Biennial, are special projects integrated into the general fabric of OVERSCORE.

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