ALMA MARFA is a not-for-profit arts space which will open in Woodstock, Cape Town on February 11th, 2015. The mission is based on the theory that the artist and artists collective are social animators. It will offer a platform for local, regional and international artists to work singularly or in collaboration within and outside of the white cube. The critique and dialogue with all levels of art participants from artists, curators, professors, students and audience will be encouraged to engage with one another. ALMA MATER will support these efforts through a yearly exhibition program, public art and education projects, FEED a conversation with a meal, and acting as a residency liaison.
ALMA MARFA will work with artists who push the notions of contemporary and being contemporary. It is not always about the final product but quite often the process. Aesthetic is a personal choice and it is continually transforming. The aim is to support socio-political, collaborative and experimental contemporary art practice, which may not have a platform in a commercial gallery.
ALMA MARFA believes in the importance of knowledge, research and theory with the aim of conceptuality and or making it political. The goal in all parts is to make work that is accessible to a wide audience and promoting it so that audience in all forms is reached. Broadening the notions of audience and working towards accessing more individuals will be a goal of the space.
The terms local, regional and international artist is vague in that it can be someone from South Africa residing in Europe or an artist from another country in Africa who has made his or her residence in Cape Town. The point is to constantly work towards bringing together artists from around the globe. It will not be an easy task as funding is limited and artists deserve to get paid for their time.
Although ALMA MARFA is an artist-initiated space, the question of the exhibition space as a working whole is considered. The conversation between organizer, artists and curator is a valuable net that can build upon one another and form new collaborative processes. One goal will be to question how is an exhibition a form of art and the curator as an artist and vise versa. Debates surrounding these issues, and especially criticisms and reproaches have become a permanent fixture in the discourses linked to contemporary art. As it seems that persisting in the elementary debate and the rejection of such development on the basic level merely hinder the actual research and understanding as to how does the medium of the exhibition, its author function and what influence they have within the system.
ALMA MARFA is a platform open to growth, feedback and interactions that come from wanting to build an art initiative that pushes to stand on the fore front of contemporary art practice and the conversation that goes with it.
ALMA MARFA – You can always come back, if you want to.