ALUAN is an exhibition space in the shape of a magazine.
Each issue of this exhibition on paper is produced by a guest curator who explores a different art scene, defines a topic, and selects artists and artworks for display.
It is a sequence of images, accompanied by a text that can be read as a guided tour.
First issue is curated by Berlin based art critic and curator Thibaut de Ruyter and focusing on art scene of Almaty (the former capital of Kazakhstan) proposing a historical position, an archive about the city and artworks that deal with identity and mapping.
Central Asia has only a few art institutions and publications that provide accessible information and critical content about contemporary art.
ALUAN is two things in one: exhibition space and a publication with an approach valid both inside and outside Kazakhstan.
The magazine is published in three languages (Kazakh, Russian, English) and becomes an alternative way of making exhibitions.
It’s easy to romanticise Baghdad. The mere mention of it brings to mind visions of ancient cities, like Sumer and Babylon. Symbolic rivers divide its districts and aged stonewalls still speak of its former eras. Photos often capture the orange glow of sunrise as it awakens the city’s musicians, poets and artists.
While working on this issue, we found that Baghdad’s culture is deeply rooted in the corners of its history as well as the hopes for its future. Today, whether you’re a chef in Portland or the owner of Al Mutanabbi Street’s most famous café, the reality of being a Baghdadi is one that largely, and perhaps surprisingly, rests outside of conflict.
Kamil Chadirji once photographed unseen landscape shots that portrayed Iraqis from across the country. This issue, too, features the calm moments in the everyday life in Baghdad. A full disclaimer: as much as we resisted, we fell for the romance of Baghdad, seduced by its charms and its beauty, as many before have and many after will.
176 pgs, 26 × 21 cm, Softcover, 2016