July 17, 2015 - RAW MATERIAL COMPANY - Time for a break!
July 17, 2015

Time for a break!

Graphic design: Ican Ramageli. 

Time for a break!
September 2015–June 2016

RAW Material Company
Centre pour l’art, le savoir et la société
Center for art, knowledge and society
4074bis Sicap Amitié 2
BP 22170 Dakar

T +221 33 864 0248

www.rawmaterialcompany.org

We are happy to announce a retreat from our public activities in Dakar for a reflection pause of ten moons starting 1 September 2015. After five years of intensive programming, international collaborations, publishing, and 30 residencies, we feel the need to take a break. 

From its inception, RAW was conceived as an experimental site for the production of artistic knowledge and the discussion of art’s role in society. Our curatorial scope has been aimed at challenging the status quo in regards to local cultural policies and at shaking the trees of the global comfort zones. Since the opening of the space in 2011, we have presented over 20 exhibitions of contemporary works of art, research, and social analysis in Dakar as well as internationally, edited 10 publications; organised two symposia and numerous talks and lectures; and hosted a diverse range of artists, curators, writers, politicians, chefs, filmmakers, architects and other professionals. This allowed us to expose the Senegalese artistic community to the work of major international artists and thinkers as well as to promote artistic production and critical ideas from an African perspective. The response to our work has been overwhelming and rewarding. We want to take time to assess the value and quality of this attention and to reflect on the best and most appropriate ways to continue to work relevantly. It is important for us to remain meaningful and useful for artists and related professionals in their endeavours to making sense of what art is there for. 

The extremely positive response to our activity first surprised us, then pleased us, and ultimately challenged us. We therefore believe that the benefits of a sabbatical are not only conducive to the growth of individuals, but can also serve organisations to rethink their work and elaborate different orientations. It thus becomes necessary to take the time to imagine, to day dream, to reflect, to find out, to test, to discuss, to get advice, to develop sustainable funding models and to reinvent our programme in order for it to respond to the needs of our artistic and intellectual environment. 

We are retreating to develop an education and residency programme that should launch in 2016. This programme will complement the various formats of action we carried out until now. It will build up on our practice of exhibition, theory, research and production based residencies and alternative publishing. It shall provide a learning framework within which knowledge producers and knowledge receivers become equal and interchangeable. The time off will also be spent working with young and upcoming Senegalese architect Carole Diop towards the renovation of a 1940′s house of modernist inspiration in a historical neighbourhood of Dakar that will become our new home. This will be the starting point of the incorporation of our growing interest in the histories and politics of architecture and urbanism in African cities into our programmatic structure. 

During this sabbatical time, you will still hear from us sporadically through our own channels as well as through those of our ongoing collaborations: Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the work of six African women artists currently at Lunds Konsthall here and subsequently at 49 Nord 3 Est FRAC Lorraine; Streamlines: Metaphorical and Geopolitical Interpretations of the Oceans at Deichtorhallen Halle für Aktuelle Kunst in Hamburg in December 2015 here; EVA International Ireland’s Biennial in Limerick in April 2016 here; and Saving Bruce Lee, the long term research and exhibition project we are conducting with Beirut based curator Rasha Salti on the influence of Soviet cinematographic language on African and Arab cinema from the 1960s–1980s at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow here. You are welcome to join at the conversational platform FORUM at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London in October 2015 here and at our project at Dak’art OFF during the 12th Dakar Biennial in May 2016.

Many thanks for your trust and consideration. We wish to continue to arouse your interest in what we do. 

Stay tuned. 

Alpha, Carole, Eva, Koyo, Mara, Marie Cissé and Marie Hélène.

RAW Material Company: Time for a break!
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