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Aida Eltorie

Managing Director of Finding Projects Association

Aida Eltorie, is an independent curator and director to Finding Projects Association (Florence). Since 2012, Eltorie launched the new branding for 6 Contemporary Arts gallery (Cairo) and had been handling its exhibition programs until 2013. From her most recent projects are The Maldives Pavilion first national participation at the 55th International Venice Biennale (2013), and "The Changing Room Project" at the 2012 London Festival. She co-curated the late Ahmed Basiony at the 2011 Egyptian Pavilion of the 54th International Venice Biennale, and her past work includes curating "The Changing Room" project at Spazio Qubi in Turin, Italy, the film program at Manifesta 8, under the curatorial auspices of The Chamber of Public Secrets, and the video collective Contemporary Arab Video Encounter (CAVE) at Maraya Art Centre (Sharjah, UAE) leading to the launching of the Maraya Video Archive (aka. MAVA) on video art from the MENASA regions.

Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Practices Journal (Dubai) for two years; Volumes 4, 5, and 6, Eltorie has worked with The Townhouse Gallery of contemporary art (Cairo) for a period of 5-7 years from when the Gallery first opened in Cairo, during which she was also involved with The International Museum of Women (San Francisco) when they first launched in March 2003. By 2007, Eltorie moved to New York whereby she was accepted as a curatorial intern at The Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth Sackler Feminist Art Center, and continued her time there working with Bidoun Magazine for a year and then Christie's auction house with the Indian and Southeast Asian Department.

She independently produced a number of international projects with artists and cultural practitioners from the Middle East and Europe, with various support granted from institutions like ProHelvetia Swiss Arts Council, The Ford Foundation, Mawred Cultural Resource, The British Council, Allianz Stiftung amongst other.

Eltorie has been part of seminars and lectures at Art Basel (2009), The American University in Cairo (2011), the House of World Cultures (Berlin, 2011), The Kunst Akademie (Copenhagen, 2011 & 2012), AICA Conference (Zurich, 2012), Latvia Contemporary Art Centre (Riga, 2013) amongst other. Her published works can be read in catalogues for shows such as the Maldives Pavilion Catalogue: Portable Nation (55th International Venice Biennale 2013), Egyptian Pavilion Catalogue / Ahmed Basiony: 30 Days of Running in the Place (54th International Venice Biennale 2011), The Changing Room: Arab Reflections on Praxis and Times (Turin, Italy 2011), on Jane Jin-Kaisen "Revolution is not a Bird's Eye View, but a Rose is a Rose is a Rose" Monograph (Copenhagen, 2014), Julienne Johnson "Ashes for Beauty" (Los Angeles, 2012), Sama Alshaibi's Vs. Him (Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai 2011); Patrizio Travagli’s Monograph, MMX (Florence, Italy 2010); Breaking News (2008) and Golden Gates (2009) curated by Daniela da Prato on art from the Arab World and Iran in Paris. Further articles can be found in Contemporary Practices Journal and Rawi Magazine (2008-2011).

  • Finding Projects Association logo - Design by Engy Aly -

    Finding Projects Association is a non profit international network designed to realize new and unconventional projects across the Middle East and Mediterranean regions exposing a regional culture on an international platform. The Association has been quietly founded since 2006, with the realization of exhibitions starting from Cairo and San Francisco, and grew across the Middle East and Europe in 2010 with exhibitions at the 8th Manifesta Biennale (Murcia, Spain), Maraya Art Centre (Sharjah, UAE), Cairo Biennale, and Museums in the United States and Gulf region. All projects are mainly directed and produced by Aida Eltorie, if not otherwise curatorially involved. Finding Projects Association was founded in an art academy in Florence, Italy, under the recognition of the school’s Director Patrizio Travagli, who is also one of the practicing artists in the association. The Accademia D’Arte is the founding base for the Association where they encourage the recognition of international culture and welcome students from all over the world to learn and study the foundation of the arts at what ever age they would like to start in. Finding Projects Association offers visibility and production awareness to individuals and collectives who have no means to seek funds, but have very significant projects to show in site-specific spaces. This means we help formulate a support structure for the artistic community, whether through media and communication channels, or portfolio and project structures to their proposals. This includes consulting services which act as a form of publicity, and awareness to groundbreaking cultural movements happening everywhere; by realizing and pushing the capacities artists, curators, and cultural anthropologists have to offer.
    The medium varies from published materials, to large scale installations, photo-based mediums, video projects, sound analogies and the finer arts. Medium is no object; however, its detection is key. Finding Projects Association is the first visual construct located between Italy and Egypt, it combines narratives of contemporary social history under the auspices of cultural institutions and funding bodies identifiable by the projects found.

  • Video Project: Aspirations / Photo by Osama Dawod -

    Aspirations: The Fable, the Dream, and the One Thousandth and One Night. Curated by Aida Eltorie, under the auspices of Contemporary Practices Journal and Albareh Gallery (Bahrain). Dubai Art Fair, March 2009 / Curatorial Statement: States of social authority and aspirations to the fable are moments reserved to our imagination. Searching for the superhero, the villain and the last night of 1001 tales, come projects from regional and international perspectives on the fictionalization of facts and their encounters with reality. Basim Magdy realizes the eventual fate of Superman in a world where accidents can happen. Larissa Sansour becomes the first Palestinian to step foot on the moon, another departure into exile, she seeks to claim a ‘no man’s land.’ Khaled Hafez recalls his childhood heroes, but then discovers faults with the rise and fall of authority figures, and disregards an unchanging regime. Aissa Deebi fixatedly watches a woman devour a chocolate soldier. Yin-Ju Chen voids the banality of her daily endeavors with a collage of herself in two unwavering contexts. Susan Hefuna explores the differences of cultural disposition with the pronunciations of “I, Me, Myself” in Arabic and German. Daniela Swarowsky and Samuli Schielke explore desires for Egyptian migration from a utopic viewpoint, the frustrations of detainment and disappointments of arriving. Oraib Toukan finds herself on google earth as she travels through borders of the Middle East and narrates her happenings. Naiza Khan restores the boundaries of a small forgotten yet ‘found’ fishing community on Manora Island. Maryam Jafri revisits a “film noir” episode in Staged Archive. Waheeda Malullah animates a conservative dress by “rainbowing” a color-less photograph. Ahmed Mater Aseeri x-rays a blatant suicide. Assia Lakhlif exemplifies a dreamer’s longing for the drafted soldier and Madeline Djerejian reminisces an expats’ departure from a ‘75 conflict zone. These are a few of the works proposed to function with and without time or space. Fully dependent on the human state of mind and its apprehension to truth, the dream and the identities associated with the artists’ fantasies are what bring us to this series of short video screenings.

  • Manifesta 8 / Film Program: Under the curatorial direction of the Chamber of Public Secrets (Khaled Ramadan and Alfredo Camerotti), designed by Aida Eltorie. -

    Image is a partial range of details from Arab Film Posters Department at The
    Yale University Library, Near East Collection and reconfigured for the purpose
    of the CPS Film Programme (www.library.yale.edu/neareast/poster.html).

  • Manifesta 8 / Film Program: Under the curatorial direction of the Chamber of Public Secrets (Khaled Ramadan and Alfredo Cramerotti), designed by Aida Eltorie. -

    Image detailing an iconographic painting of 'King Kong' partially extracted from a Polish film poster for the 1968 movie King Kong Escapes! Originating from a 1933 stop-motion animation, remade in 1976 in the United States of America by Italian Producer Agostino De Laurentiis, and again in 2005 by New Zealand film director Sir Peter Jackson. With several other film sequels, this global character has lived throughout the century in other visual formats such as cartoons, comics and books.

  • CAVE -

    Contemporary Arab Video Encounter | The first International Video Biennial from the Arab World. Maraya Art Center, Sharjah / November 2010.
    Curated by Aida Eltorie

  • Patrizio Travagli: MMX / Book realized by Gallery GOMO (Korea), Relco Group, Accademia D'Arte - AD'A, Firenze, Studio Calcografico Urbino, Segni e Segni. -

    credits:
    (testi) Aida Eltorie, Marina Giordani, David Bianco (traduzioni) Veronica Soldani (fotografie) Gildardo Gallo (www.zona-x.org), Gino di Paolo, Robeya Williams Walt (www.robeya.com) (grafica) Gualtiero Gualtieri (www.gualtiero.com)
    ringraziamenti:
    Cecilia, Marina Giordani, Carlo e Rosella Nesi, Angelo Giuliano Pisati, Roberta Pecci e Marco Moretti, Massimiliano Madonna e Gabriela Fust, Massimo Guarducci, Brunetto e Miguel, Antonio S·nchez-Ramos, Andrea Ferrara, Alessio Spadaro, Massimo Pinzani,
    Giovanni Pinzani, Valerio Tarricone, ISBN 978-88-95977-08-9
    www.travagli.it

  • Years-of-Residency_Cover -

    Years of Residency is a publication launched by Pro Helvetia's Swiss Arts Council, Cairo Liaison Office in August 2010. Reflecting on their support for the past decade on artists residency programs between the MENA region and Switzerland, Years of Residency tells the stories of 10 artists and their projects across four disciplines; visuals arts, literature, music and theatre. Paraphrased Introduction from the Director of Pro Helvetia (Cairo):
    Pro Helvetia gives priority to the artist and his role in society, acknowledging his/her needs and desire to interact with other cultures. Thus, the arts council focuses on the residency program, inviting Swiss artists for residencies in the Arab region and providing an equal opportunity of a residency in Switzerland to Arab artists. This program also supports mutual projects by artists from both sides, which deepen the human intercommunication and allow the audience to get to know a different culture, through an artistic, inspiring and profound point of view. The residency program of Pro Helvetia leads to a fruitful dialogue among artists, not just depending on first impressions. Publication Edited by Aida Eltorie, designed by Amr El Kafrawy, and Managed by Nevine Fayek. You can pick-up your copy from the head office:
    Pro Helvetia Cairo
    Swiss Arts Council
    c/o Embassy of Switzerland
    10, Abdel Khaleq Tharwat Street
    EG-Cairo, Egypt
    T +202 257 74 100
    F +202 257 92 267
    cairo@prohelvetia.org.eg
    www.prohelvetia.org.eg

  • Ahmed Basiony / 30 Days of Running in the Place / 54th International Art Biennale (Venice), Egyptian Pavilion (June - November 2011) -

    Exhibition Commissioner: Fine Arts Sector, Ministry of Culture, Egypt Conception: Shady El Noshokaty
    Curator: Aida Eltorie
    Sound Engineer: Magdi Mostafa
    Technical Assistant: Hosam Hodhod Ahmed Basiony (1978 – 2011) was a crucial component as an artist and professor to the use of new media technology in his artistic and socio-cultural research. He designed projects, each working in its own altering direction out of a diversity of domains in order to expose a personal account experienced through the function of audio and visual material. Motioning through his artistic projects, with an accurate eye of constant visibility, and invisibility, while listening to audio material that further relayed the mappings of social information: Whether in the study of the body, locomotion through a street, the visual impact of a scream versus data representation in the form of indecipherable codes. The artist functioned as a contemporary documentarian; only allowing the archival of data the moment it came in, and no longer there after. 30 Days of Running in the Place is the play of a video documentation to a project that had taken place one year ago. Marking a specific time when the artist had performed a particular demonstration of running, in order to anticipate a countering digital reaction; the aim was to observe how in the act of running in a single standing point, with sensors installed in the soles of his shoes, and on his body [to read levels of body heat], could it had been translated into a visual diagram only to be read in codes, and visually witness the movement of energy and physical consumption become born into an image. One year later, the uprisings to the Egyptian revolution took on Basiony’s attention, as it had millions of other Egyptians motioning through the exact same states of social consumption. It was from then on, for a period of four days, did Basiony film with his digital and phone camera, the events of downtown Cairo and Tahrir Square, leading to his death on the night of the January 28th, 2011. An evolution of universal networks created out of audio, visual and electronic communications, blurring the distinction between interpersonal communication, and that of the masses, Basiony’s works only existed in real-time, and then after that they became part of the archives of research he invested into making. It is with this note, we collectively desired, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, to recognize and honor the life and death of an artist who was fully dedicated to the notions of an Egypt, that to only recently, demanded the type of change he was seeking his entire life. A gesture of 30 years young, up against 30 years of a multitude of disquieted unrest. www.ahmedbasiony.com Full Catalogue can be viewed here:
    http://issuu.com/aidaeltorie/docs/basiouny_all_final

 
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