Mimeta is pleased to partner with Makan.
Makan is an independent non-for-profit art space, a dynamic center and a resourceful laboratory for artists and various practitioners with an interest in experimental practices and a focus on social and political issues as well as an engagement of the public space. Makan was established in 2003 offering a space for project development and showcasing for emerging artists; its resources include spaces which can be used as studios, for research, meeting or exhibition rooms, and also has a library collection of art books and journals, as well as wireless internet. Makan organizes projects inside and outside its premises in the public space, or with other organizations, runs a residency program, and has an active website that documents its projects, invites contributions and keeps a Blog.
Makan is located in Amman, Jordan’s center for arts and culture. The local art scene is generally comprised of artists working in traditional forms exhibiting through a number of commercial galleries that are mostly dependent on a small circle of local collectors, with little access to the international market. Within this context, Makan focuses on and supports alternative non-commercial forms and media, engages various audience, ventures into alternative venues and encourages discourse and publishing, furthermore, Makan creates grounds for a new understanding of art and its role/function, while opening up alternative channels for production at the local and international levels.
The challenge with artists in Amman is the small -albeit growing- number of practicing artists. The transition from traditional to mixed and experimental mediums, as well as the appreciation of art production outside the commercial structures has been shy and hesitant. Also, artists are slowly becoming more aware of their position in the larger geographical context of the region and international territories through which to expand their scope of work. The perception that international participation is dictated by official invitations is changing and a realization of the existing and growing opportunities for artists to independently participate is beginning to show. Finally the general environment in Jordan is characterized by a de-politicization of the general public with a lack of political and social engagement. Jordan is a police-state with tight security infrastructures, limited space for freedom of speech and growing religious fundamentalism, this environment affects artists working critically and reflexively as self-censorship becomes apparent in their work which is also translated in writings and thought.
Makan works with artists at various stages of their practice, in developing ideas, shaping projects and realizing work as well as providing learning and exchange opportunities for local artists at the regional and international levels and invites international artist and art practitioners to spend time locally. It provides room for art production that approaches political and social issues, questions taboos, crosses boundaries and provides engaging learning experiences for the artist and the audiences.