Museum of Manufactured Response to Absence

Museum of Manufactured Response to Absence is a nomadic museum collection conceived in response to the absence of people and documents relating to the history of Palestinians in Kuwait, who formed a vibrant community from their arrival in 1936 until their departure enmasse following the Iraqi invasion in 1990. It's a continuous project that commissions objects that conjure the fragile and fragmented, fading memory of a unique Palestinian society that emerged in Kuwait; one that contributed to and lived its national modernization and pioneering projects.The museum’s objects conflate pieces from this past: accumulated, negotiated, dismantled, and reassembled, in order to make sense of the present and propose and a way to address or reclaim an unchronicled legacy. Therefore, every one of the museum’s exhibits is either an impossibility or an exaggeration, and is located between two temporal markers: 1948 and 1990. These two points, of entry and departure, are marked out in A Ruler, a golden timeline of this golden age. The premiere exhibition’s layout mirrored that of a famous Palestinian alphabet poster in which every Arabic letter corresponded to an iconic Palestinian image. In the museum, each object becomes a Palestinian letter from Kuwait.

The museum attempts to free its objects from the confines of a specific structure or site for permanent display, favoring the rotating of its collection in exhibitions hosted by other museums and spaces both inside and outside of Kuwait.

Its first exhibition tooke place in Kuwait, under the patronage of the Kuwaiti National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters in May - July 2012. It's second intervention was registering to join the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) Annual Conference in Istanbul in November 2012. The third intervention was an exhibition that took place at the massive spaces of the Musée public national d'art moderne et contemporain d'Alger (The Public National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) in Algiers in December 2013.

Museum of Manufactured Response to Absence is curated by Ala Younis, and initiated and produced by MinRASY PROJECTS. Collection includes works by: Kamel Abu Yahya, Mohamed Abusal, Ahmed Badry, May Batt, Pieke Bergmans, Bilal Chrif, Neil Conley, Cevdet Erek, Bruno Fantoni, Mohssin Harraki, Raed Ibrahim, Hakim Jamain, Rebecca Joselyn, Halim Karabibene, Basim Magdy, Paul Rioblotti, Firas Shehadeh, Amer Shomali, Firas Taybeh, Amin Tbakhi, George Vlosich, Uwe Wruck, Khadijeh Yosef, Nabeel Younis, Sofiane Zouggar.

Premiere at the Museum of Modern Art, Kuwait (22.5 – 12.7.2012)
Exhibition at Musée public national d'art moderne et contemporain d'Alger (MAMA) (14.12.2013 – 14.2.2014). Symposium: 15.12.2013, speakers include: Mai Al-Nakib, Jacques Aswad, Khaled Hourani, Kristine Khouri, and Yehia Sewailam.
Exhibition at Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah, as part of Qalandiya International II, (23.10 – 15.11.2014). #MinRASY. > Exhibition Guide

> Curatorial Statement
> Images

> Para-museum, note by Jacques Aswad, Beirut/Algiers, December 2013
> Interview: The Strand, BBC World
> Article: Nafas art magazine, Universes in Universe
> Geographic Gnomons: A conversation between Ala Younis and Liane Al-Ghusain, Ibraaz, 13.7.2012
> Museum of Manufactured Response to AbsencFeatured in Harper's Bazaar Art, June 2012, text by Liane Al-Ghusain
> Review by Isabella Ellaheh Hughes, Art Asia Pacific
> Reflections by Ghadah Alkandari, on her blog Pretty Green Bullet

> Text by Ala Younis on MoMRtA and National Works (Kuwait's Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale), published in Broadsheet 43.1, a periodical by Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (CACSA), 1.2014. ISSN 0819 677X

> Text by Ala Younis on MoMRtA published in Sweet Sixties, Specters and Spirits of a Parallel Avant-garde, published by Sternberg Press, 2014. ISBN/ISSN: 978-3-95679-039-3


Arabic press:
> Al-Hayat, London, 3.1.2014
> Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London, 31.5.2012
> Al-Hayat, by Rana Najjar, London, 1.6.2012
> Al-Qabas, by Mohammad Hanafi, Kuwait, 30.5.2012
> Al-Ayyam, Palestine, 2.6.2012

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