Calling All Arts Writers: Art Jameel Announces Residency

Art Jameel
The three-month Art Jameel Commissions: Arts Writing and Research should appeal to creatives who possess a sound understanding of the Gulf region's diverse cultural vocabulary

Does a writing-focused residency pique your interest? Submissions are now open for the second edition of Art Jameel Commissions that calls on creatives with a penchant for arts writing and research to put forth their proposals. Fronted by Saudi non-profit organisation Art Jameel, the commissions programme will offer the winner a three-month residency in 2019 at Jameel Arts Centre that opens on 11 November this year.

A first in the Gulf, Art Jameel Commissions: Arts Writing and Research should appeal to writers, critics, art historians, artists and curators from or based in Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, and others who possess a sound understanding of the region’s diverse cultural vocabulary. The idea is to foster critical dialogue and produce a written body of work that aids innovative research. “Innovations in research and written material are crucial for evolving dialogue around art production and the broader development of cultural infrastructure,” Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel, said in a statement. “This exciting commission continues Art Jameel’s longstanding interest in supporting practitioners to make new works, often for the public realm.”

Jury for the 2018-2019 Art Jameel Commissions includes writer-curator Omar Berrada, who is the Director of Dar al-Ma’mun, a library and artists’ residency in Marrakech, Morocco, independent writers and critics Negar Azimi and Nida Ghouse, and members of Art Jameel’s curatorial team. For the duration of the residency, the winner will be based at Jameel Arts Centre, a multidisciplinary organisation that’s set to serve as a hub for educational and research initiatives. In addition to this, grantees will be afforded the chance to enhance their reach by getting connected with Jameel Arts Centre’s vast network of academic, arts and cultural organisation in the UAE and across the region. They’ll have access to original material and archives to facilitate their research.

The winners’ research will be made available at Jameel Library with the opportunity to participate in interactive public events at Jameel Arts Centre. “By challenging candidates to undertake a long-term engagement with Jameel Library, this commission creates an impactful public resource for the Jameel Arts Centre’s diverse audiences,” added Carver. While the commission is open for all areas of inquiry, applicants have been encouraged to focus on themes that fall within Jameel Art Centre’s current programming that centralises confluence, museology and the GCC. Applicants are invited to propose a significant work, which can take the form of a booklet, magazine, pamphlet or other experimental printed format, to be produced before the end of 2020.

Art Jameel Commissions is an annual programme spread across three years with its first part that took place this year dedicated to sculpture. Kuwait-based artists Alia Farid and Aseel AlYaqoub emerged as winners of the edition, and their installation titled Contrary Life: A Botanical Light Garden Devoted to Trees will be revealed at the opening of Jameel Arts Centre. The third Art Jameel Commissions: Drawing and Painting will be announced in 2019 and completed the year after.


Proposals and accompanying materials to be submitted by 30 November 2018, with a public announcement of selected candidates to follow in March next year. Artjameel.org

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