K-oh-llective


K-oh-llective (or KOH in short) is an artist group of five visual artists who have a shared desire to facilitate collective conversations around art practices. This platform is used for resource-sharing among artists, writers and curators in Egypt and the Arab world who are in need of this content and critical discourse. It features an open-source library with a database of essential tools for arts practitioners, as well as a selection of podcasts, texts and discussions. It stages online/offline studio visits and acts as a conduit for future art-making and cross-disciplinary collaboration.





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KOH

As independent artists, at the early stages of our careers, we are constantly faced with precarity due to the lack of support, discourse and scarcity of opportunities around us. This, in turn, usually creates a highly competitive environment. To the extent that basic information -opportunities, forms of funding, or even contacts to artisans and craftsmen- is mostly circulated in secrecy or within closed circles, on the basis that it might provide a competitive advantage. Emerging and early-career artists thus find it difficult to access these basic forms of know-how, although it can otherwise impact their practices significantly. We understand how rare it is for artists to come together, but we also see the potential, long-term benefits, and how collectively our practices can grow if we can pool our resources.

This artist group was mainly formed as a response to the lack of resources, and we are fully aware of our critical position and the extremely challenging context we find ourselves in. Hence, we are trying to avoid turning into an institutionalised structure, nor reproduce the very circumstances we aim to resist. We noticed that dialogue between artists is infrequent, and so we propose to create more opportunities to build a sense of community. We aim to encourage cross-disciplinary intergenerational dialogue between practitioners, by inviting guests from different stages in life to contribute to the conversations taking place. One of the many benefits of holding "online open studios" is overcoming geographical barriers that will allow the participation of artists and guests regardless of location, whether they are in Egypt, neighbouring Arab countries, or the world. Our plan is to organise open studio events in a way that allows for two-way communication between the artist and the audience. Altogether, we want this platform to serve as a growing and ongoing database that would benefit the entirety of the art community in Egypt and the region, which we believe is a much needed and sought-after resource.

Opportunities and art spaces where artists can show their work in Egypt are also very scarce. The numbered art spaces and institutions do not measure up to the amount of yearly cultural production. Artists therefore only get to exhibit in local art spaces, perhaps once a year or every few years. Due to this imbalance, many artists end up relocating to other parts of the world or living between two cities. This also extends to the media and press whereas art reviews, critiques, and opinion pieces about artworks and exhibitions are published at an even lower rate.

Ever since crossing paths in Alexandria in 2018, we have continued to foster a shared system of support between us to this present day, in order to stay involved in nurturing each other’s practices. We do so by engaging in constant conversations, exchanging critical feedback through online meetings and mini crits, reviewing each other’s applications and compiling a shared list of resources of artist residencies, grants and exhibition opportunities. We also engage in thorough discussions around shows, reviews and art we come across. This platform is an extension of this; it's our opportunity to expand this circle of knowledge sharing to the public and to extend the support system beyond our group of five.





K-oh-llective (2020) is supported by Mophradat’s Self Organizations program.

Head over to Library to learn about the Open Call for Art Publications ✦ Listen to our latest podcast episode with artist Mohamed Abdelkarim - What is the exchange rate for exposure? ✦ Get in touch at info@kohllective.com ✦ 

Head over to Library to learn about the Open Call for Art Publications ✦ Listen to our latest podcast episode with artist Mohamed Abdelkarim - What is the exchange rate for exposure? ✦ Get in touch at info@kohllective.com ✦