- VENUE: Project Space Art Jameel
Delfina Foundation and Art Jameel collaborate to present Plan for Feminist Greater Baghdad, a solo exhibition by Ala Younis held simultaneously in London and Dubai. The exhibition includes a major new installation co-commissioned by the two organisations, Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad (2018), that builds on Younis’s 2015 work, Plan for Greater Baghdad, which was included in the Central Exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale curated by Okwui Enwezor, and which will be shown alongside the new commission in the exhibition, thanks to a loan by Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah.
In the original work, Plan for Greater Baghdad (2015), Younis looked at monuments, (by) architects, (for) governments, and the short state of empowerment they gained as politics shifted in Iraq. The project anchored itself within the history of a gymnasium in Baghdad that was designed by Le Corbusier and named after Saddam Hussein. Heavily based on archives, found material, and the stories of its male protagonists, the project explored issues relating to the protection of monuments for posterity, and the creation of plans for Baghdad as either an expression of power or as a necessity.
In the newly commissioned work, Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad (2018), Younis brings to the fore the significant contributions made by female artists, architects and other influential characters to the development of Baghdad and its modern monuments. Typical of Younis’s investigative practice, the work rearticulates archival material to bring about new narratives. In this case, the reading sees beyond the male dominance of the city’s architecture and politics, to reveal the female influence on Baghdad’s history.