summaery2018: Projects

Dialogue with 10 Nabrawy

Malak Tarek Yacout Saleh

Prof. Dr. Sabine Folie, Kaya Behkalam, Ina Weise

Art and Design

Public Art and New Artistic Strategies (english) (Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.))


Summer semester 2018

  • Freifläche 9 / outside 9 (Mensa-Innenhof)


Nabrawy 10, the over 100 year-old building of Townhouse Gallery’s First Floor Gallery, Kitchen Lab, Library, and office spaces, partly collapsed in early April 2016. Not two days after, remaining residents were kicked out, threatened with demolition. As researcher at the time, I was tasked to find relevant documents that might help save the building from demolition, research that could protect the cultural memories of the neighborhood, while lawyers and municipalities argued about its future, and concern for memory and survival spread in art writing across Egypt. Yet, what did the collapse of the building mean? Was it trying to say something, was it asking for attention? Could it potentially speak for itself - be its own political being? What might a dialogue with 10 Nabrawy look like? What might such a dialogue mean architecturally, semiologically, ontologically, politically, and for the arts? These questions solidify across the site-specific work, DIALOGUE WITH 10 NABRAWY's 7 installations with(in) Townhouse's gallery space, which itself interrupts these installations.
One of the bigger challenges of site-specificity seems to be moving it elsewhere, to a “non-site,” without making it self-referential or losing its site-specificity. Yet the work’s performativity allows it to move away from the space without harming the dialogue, transforming it into a dialogue about the dialogue with the sites. The forthcoming book launch is the performance building on itself.

: Malak[at]