Air/Port is the art and charity project that Beauty Without Irony launched last year in Essaouira (Morocco). The aim of the project is to build an art exhibition able to have a real social impact. One of the special features of Air/Port is the fact that the exhibition takes place in more than one place: the edition in Morocco consisted of 11 different traditional exhibition venues and a public art project that saw the participation of more than 70 international young, emerging and well-known artists. The artists provided us with images to be printed on flags that were placed on the seaside of the city, in front of the ocean. Furthermore, Air/Port ended with an auction where the proceeds were donated to the Essauira-based humanitarian organization Project 91 and Association de Lutte Contre le SIDA (ALCS).
The 2014 edition will be hosted in Antwerp this summer and we are already working on it for a while. As last year, BWI is not the only actor: last year we already collaborated with a school in Essaouira, the Lyceé Mohammed V, and one in Antwerp, the Instituut Sint Maria. The collaboration with schools is another very important part of Air/Port: it’s important to give the chance to young talent to express their skills on an international stage and we know that many schools are full of interesting, talented students that will be successful artists in the near feature, so you’d better keep an eye on them!
For the Moroccan edition of Air/Port, St Maria gave us very good quality artworks to be shown in one of the exhibition venues and 5 of them were also used for the huge (2 x 3 m!) flags. BWI will continue the collaboration with the students and teachers from Instituut Sint Maria (Antwerp) and the students of the art department will provide Air/Port 2014 with new amazing works of art. Moreover we’re now also working on a collaboration with the school’s fashion, decorating and graphic departments too. Just wait until next June and see how Air/Port will transform Het Eilandje in Antwerp!
Gordon Matta-Clark liked to say “Remember that ‘no where’ can also be ‘now here'” and we believe the same: Air/Port is a work in progress born from a vision, a dream about how art and society can work together to build a better city – and a better world. Those who are participating with BWI share this same vision and be sure that soon or later many others will start doing the same thing.