Banu Cennetoğlu, Mohssin Harraki, Maha Maamoun, Evariste Richer, Oraib Toukan, and General Idea

Banu Cennetoğlu (b. 1970, lives in Istanbul)

Banu Cennetoğlu works with photography, installation and printed mater. After having a B.A in Psychology in Istanbul, she studied photography in Paris. Between 1996 – 2001 she lived and worked in New York. Between 2002-2003 she was an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. In 2006 she initiated BAS, a project space in Istanbul focusing on collection and production of artists’ books and printed matter. Her recent solo exhibitions include Guilty feet have got no rhythm, Kunsthalle Basel (2011) and Sample Sale – 2010 BC, Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul (2010).  She has been part of numerous group shows such as Beyond, Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn (2011), Uncanny Encounters, Istanbul Modern (2011), La revanche de l’archive photographique, Centre de la photographie, Geneva and Manifesta 8, Murcia (2010). In 2009 Cennetoğlu co-represented Turkey at the Venice Biennial together with Ahmet Öğüt.

Mohssin Harraki (b. 1981, lives in Paris and Tangiers)

Graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Dijon, Mohssin Harraki is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores cultural constructions, consequences of post colonialism and collective imaginations. Paying particular attention to foreign cultural landmarks and social practices, Harraki produced his first video works in the form of interviews with colleague artists debating political everyday issues that have no direct association to art practice. Harraki showed his work in a solo exhibition at Lavomatic in Saint-Ouen in Paris in 2009, as well as in exhibitions and festivals in Amman, Cairo and Berlin.

Maha Maamoun (b. 1972, lives in Cairo)

As an artist she primarily works with photography and video. Most recently she co-edited, with Haytham el-Wardany, a book titled The Middle Ear, for Sharjah Biennial 10. Her recent exhibitions include: ‘Second World’, Steirischer Herbst (2011), Outres Mesures, La Galerie – Contemporary Art Centre in Noisy-le-Sec (2011), ‘The End of Money’, Witte de With – Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2011), ‘Mapping Subjectivity’, MoMA, New York (2010), and ‘Live Cinema’, Philadelphia Museum of Art (2010). She was co-curator of ‘PhotoCairo3’ (2005) and assistant curator for ‘Meeting Points 5’ (2007). Maamoun is a founding board member of the Contemporary Image Collective (CiC).

Evariste Richer (b. 1969, lives in Paris)

Richer finds inspiration in the scientific and cosmic research bordering on the irrational. He investigates historical or contemporary facts, climatic or cosmic natural phenomena, and peels back their layers or meanings, looking at them from all angles as to reach another interpretation. Richer studied at the École Nationale D’arts De Cergy-Pontoise and École Nationale Des Beaux-Arts De Grenoble. Richer has shown work in shows at the Centre Pompidou and Palais De Tokyo in Paris, as well as in other cities across France and the world; Lyon, Grenoble, London, Salzburg, Brussels, Berlin, Mumbai and other.

Oraib Toukan (b. 1977, lives in New York)

Oraib Toukan works across media in a process she likes to term, ‘mimicry-as-method’. Appropriation, referentiality, and institutional interventions under the radar, are typical of her practice. Recent exhibitions include the Hordaland Kunstsenter Bergen (2011), NGBK/Kunstraum Bethanien Berlin (2010); The Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon (2010); the Irish Museum Of Contemporary Art (2010); InIva London (2010); and the 11th Istanbul Biennial (2009). With a background in photography, Toukan has a Masters in Fine Arts (interdisciplinary) from Bard College. Toukan was raised in Jordan, is based in New York, teaches on various fine arts programs in Palestine, and works on a few collaborative initiatives in Amman.

General Idea (1969 – 1994)

A pioneering conceptual collective of three Canadian artists, Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson, who were active from 1969 to 1994. General Idea’s work inhabited and subverted forms of popular and media culture, including beauty pageants, boutiques, television talk shows, trade fair pavilions and mass media. The collective adopted the name General Idea in 1969, and constructed and employed the fictional “Miss General Idea” as their official muse. The group intervened in and controlled the production and distribution of their own artworks, and assembled all their work within a structure that recreates the art world, and the world of media that surrounds it. The five elements to that structure were: “General Idea” as the “artist;” “The Miss General Idea Pageant,” as the process of creation; “Miss General Idea” as the artwork itself; “The Miss General Idea Pavilion,” as the museum or the gallery; and the “Frame of Reference,” which is the audience and the mass media.