Program: Monday, April 23, 2018, 7pm -

e-flux lectures: Ala Younis, “The Works Were Limited: Baghdad and Her Architects"

Monday, April 23, 2018, 7pm          e-flux, 311 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002, USA

e-flux lectures: Ala Younis, “The Works Were Limited: Baghdad and Her Architects"

Ala YounisNuha Al-Radi's Nightmares in Baghdad Diaries, detail from Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

The Saddam Hussein Gymnasium was designed by Le Corbusier, and metamorphosed through numerous iterations of plans over twenty-five years before it was inaugurated in Baghdad in 1980. Heavily based on archives, found material, and the stories of its protagonists, the artist’s project Plan for Greater Baghdad (2015) looked into the making of this gymnasium as part of performing plans for Baghdad as an expression of power, and at the men who appear in these plans as they gesture their parts in the denouements of the historical time. In 2018, the whole work was reproduced in an all-female voice. Titled Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad (2018), it located the place of women within these plans, looking beyond the dominant narratives to the unwritten local dynamics/legacies in and outside Iraq.

This lecture analyzes the words chosen by the female architects, interns, artists, poets, jury members, wives, and other protagonists who inspired, informed, and critiqued the research and presentation of Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad.

Ala Younis is an artist, trained as an architect in Amman. Research forms a big part of her practice, as do curating, collaboration, film, and book projects. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice, Gwangju, and Istanbul biennials, the New Museum Triennial (New York), and the Home Works Forum (Beirut) among other places. Her projects include Tin Soldiers, An Index of Tensional and Unintentional Love of Land, Plan for Greater Baghdad, and most recently, Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad which opened at Delfina Foundation (London) and Art Jameel Project Space (Dubai) earlier this year, and will be on view at 17Essex in New York in April and May. Younis curated the first Kuwaiti Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale; and the Museum of Manufactured Response to Absence and its interventions in Algeria, Kuwait, and Ramallah. She is co-founder of the non-profit publishing initiative Kayfa ta.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

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