Cairo Antiuniversity

Knowledge is an illusion that people have. Pay the students, charge the teachers!

From April 6 to May 1, 2014, Townhouse and Megawra will present the Cairo Antiuniversity, in collaboration with Danish artist and founder of the Copenhagen Free University, Jakob Jakobsen.

A critical inquiry into the possibilities of de-institutionalizing the institution (or misusing it from within) housed in the Townhouse First Floor Gallery, the Antiuniversity will be theatrically divided into five “faculties” of experience: the Faculty of the Everyday, the Faculty of Diagonal Science, the Faculty of Collective Fantasy Systems, the Faculty of Benevolent Knowledge and the Faculty of Apathetic Forgetfulness. Each faculty proposes a question, a provocation, or an invitation to a research task, and is spatially oriented according to traditional spaces of learning: the model of the row of desks, the model of the circle of chairs, the model of the duo.

A group of artists, writers and researchers has been invited by Townhouse and Megawra to respond to and occupy the Cairo Antiuniversity. Within a framework of questions and proposals established by Jakobsen and the respective institutions, the participants will be meeting on a weekly basis to reconfigure and reconstruct these spaces of learning both literally and metaphorically, working through a process of negation to ask, what would a space of antiknowing look like? What could an antiuniversity look like in Cairo today? How should it function, according to our interests and desires? How can we reconfigure the student-teacher-space-administration relationship? Or do we do away with these categories altogether?
This month-long investigation will culminate in “The Theater of Unknowing,” a performative installation in the gallery space that will be exhibited parallel to an international two-day symposium on alternative educational models in Townhouse’s Rawabet theater as part of the Adad project (a six-month curatorial collaboration between Townhouse, 100Copies, Cimatheque, Mada Masr and Megawra).

The Cairo Antiuniversity is a response to Jakob Jakobsen’s “ Antiknow. A pedagogical theatre of unlearning and the limits of knowledge ” exhibition at London’s Flat Time House , on view from November 19, 2013 – January 12, 2014. Reports produced during the course of the Antiknow research, as well as the Antiuniversity Tabloid produced in 2012, will be available for consultation throughout the Cairo Antiuniversity.

The Cairo Antiuniversity is made possible with the support of the British Council and the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute.

For further information please contact Townhouse at +25768086, for press inquiries and material please get in touch with Marwa Morgan at marwa@thetownhousegallery.com