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This exhibition (and the All-Artist Congress scheduled 11 days hence) is unconventional by contemporary standards, insofar as the usual vetting and incentive procedures – curators, juries, prizes, fees – are absent.Artists have been invited to submit one work of any medium, style or genre, to be installed on a first-come, first-serve basis. The project grounds itself in early Soviet cultural discourse, when the experimental art institution "proletarskaya kultura" sprang from the ferment of 1917 . Esanu had hoped the exhibition would provide a precis of cultural production in Lebanon at this point in time. If he and the other committee members regret anything about the submissions, it's the general absence of Lebanese contemporary artists – artists more likely to create installations, video or other "new media" work than to paint or sculpt.A couple of established contemporary artists, Esanu says, have agreed to contribute pieces. Though the "Mashrou' Prolekult" call targeted professional artists, it's clear that not all the 140-odd works visible on Thursday have been rendered with equal professionalism.
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