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15/15, Contemporary Art Meets Cultural Heritage

The Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohamed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research, one of the leading cultural centers in Bahrain and the Middle East, has to date saved over twenty traditional Bahraini houses from demolition and decay and turned them into centers dedicated to preserving and celebrating Bahrain’s cultural heritage. Since 2002, over three hundred speakers, poets, musicians and artists have used its venues to present their art and debate issues of the day.

In January 2017, the Shaikh Ebrahim Center will celebrate its 15th anniversary. On this occasion, the center is hosting the exhibition “15/15” – inviting fifteen artists to create individual site-specific projects in fifteen of the restored historical Bahraini houses belonging to the Shaikh Ebrahim Center. The exhibition will be the lead event in a series of events celebrating this important milestone in the history of the center.


Exhibition concept

The exhibition “15/15” is a unique opportunity to discover Bahrain’s cultural and architectural heritage through the prism of contemporary artistic practice. Located in traditional urban conglomerations of Muharraq and Manama, the houses of the Shaikh Ebrahim Center present a unique point of departure for examining the interplay between traditions and heritage. A meeting of traditions, which root us and form the bedrock of our identity, and contemporary practice, which probes, questions, and looks into the future, forms the core of “15/15”. Fifteen artists were invited to create new and site-specific artworks inspired by the history of the individual buildings of the Shaikh Ebrahim Center, their architecture, or the personalities, missions and crafts to whom the buildings are dedicated. The individual projects each have a direct connection to the building, forming a unique response and dialogue.

The exhibition “15/15” was conceptualized and curated by Melissa Enders-Bhatia, Head of Art and Exhibitions at the Shaikh Ebrahim Center.


Exhibition venues, dates and timings

The exhibition “15/15” will be held at fifteen locations throughout Muharraq and Manama. Please refer to the section on the artists for individual artist names and locations.

The exhibition previews on Thursday, 15 December 2016, and runs until 15 March 2017. The opening hours of all the venues are Saturday to Thursday from 9am to 1pm and 4 to 7pm.

For further information about the Shaikh Ebrahim Center, its events and the series of restored houses, please visit us on www.shaikhebrahimcenter.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.