Common Grounds

Common Grounds

Museum Villa Stuck

Ahmed Mater, Al Mansur District, 2012. Courtesy of Athr Gallery, Jeddah, and the artist.

February 7, 2015

Common Grounds
12 February–17 May 2015

Museum Villa Stuck
Prinzregentenstr. 60
81675 Munich 
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm, 
first Friday of the month 11am–10pm

Opening: Wednesday, 11 February, 7pm
Followed by a panel at 9pm
with Abbas Akhavan, Parastou Forouhar, Babak Golkar, Susan Hefuna, Ahmed Mater, hosted by Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern, London, and an introduction by Maya El Khalil, director of Athr Gallery, Jeddah  

Artists: Abbas Akhavan, DAAR, Parastou Forouhar, Babak Golkar, Dor Guez, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Hazem Harb, Susan Hefuna, Bouchra Khalili, Sophia Al Maria, Ahmed Mater, Nasser Al Salem

From 12 February until 17 May 2015 the Museum Villa Stuck presents the group show Common Grounds. The rising cities of the Gulf region and arenas of conflict in the Middle East are captivating subjects of media coverage. Both in terms of their content and through their manipulative aesthetic, the often extreme images from these areas shape our western view of the region. Twelve artists counter this flood of images with more diverse artistic practices that reflect on social conditions.

The exhibition title refers to the concept of “grounding” in communication theory, which posits that communication partners share common knowledge, which allows for dialog to be successful. The artists’ cross-media works put this knowledge to the test. Ultra-modern urban construction and mass demonstrations are subjects that point to global aspiration and tradition. There is a notable broadening of artistic image-making to reflect on overriding themes such as space itself and the characteristics and possibilities of public space. Conceptual works go beyond a documentary approach and reveal social structures oscillating between West and East, sensing a cultural continuity under the surface of new urban phenomena. 

The artists included in the exhibition conceive of themselves as scholarly and searching; in their works they collect, archive and research imagery that, as material appropriated from others, reveals stories which lie underneath the surface of known historiography. They have adopted a view from the outside, which allows them to subject their own experiences to scrutiny and to process such analytical reflections in artistic terms. 

An exhibition organized by Museum Villa Stuck, Munich.

Curator: Verena Hein

The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual (German/English) catalogue that introduces the artists based on individual entries. Among the contributores are Chris Dercon, Verena Hein, Omar Kholeif, Markus Miessen, Nat Muller, and Venetia Porter. The catalogue will be publishd by Hatje Cantz in March 2015.

A interdisciplinary programme will accompany the exhibition. For further information, see:

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.


Common Grounds at Museum Villa Stuck, Munich
RSVP for Common Grounds
Museum Villa Stuck
February 7, 2015

Thank you for your RSVP.

Museum Villa Stuck will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.