mugh-al
mugh-al: the project
aladin info + contact
   
 



              Mughal magician aladin by Andrew Atkinson
                         (2009; all rights reserved)

                                  ~~~~~ oO(*)Oo ~~~~~~

For a lifetime, renowned magician aladin has been privately
researching the putative existence of a maverick magician of
fabulous prowess and insight in the court of Mughal Emperor
Akbar
. mugh-al recovers and updates these speculative histories,
framing them with the complex personal journey of aladin himself, a
magician and interdisciplinary explorer operating with the
indeterminate.

Deconstructing the customs, protocols and rituals of Mughal courtly
entertainment and unearthing the sublime, other-worldly
prestidigitatory virtuosity and social genius of the greatest of the
emperor's magicians, mugh-al re-presents ‘magic show’ as iconic
and ironic divertissement, meshed with wry threads of contemporary,
anachronistic and historical commentary.

On February 11, 2009 mugh-al was presented as as
work-in-progress
at London's Brunei Gallery, for an audience of
pre-eminent Mughal scholars who had gathered for a ground-breaking,
four-day colloquium on the arts of the Mughal era organised by the
Department of Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and
African Studies
, University of London. On 25 October, 2009 an
action research performance of mugh-al took place at the
Hamburg Museum of Ethnology. From September to December 2009
research on the project continued with the installation of aladin as
'genii-in-residence' at the extraordinary luxury space Sketch
in London under the direct, personal patronage of its founder/creator
Mourad Mazouz.

"The highlight of the symposium"
(a leading Mughal scholar attending the SOAS event)

                                  ~~~~~ oO(*)Oo ~~~~~~

Phase 1 research having taken place between February and December
2009 (not restricted to the special interventions in Hamburg and London
cited above) mugh-al now continues to unfold as continuous
work-in-progress, a series of events and collaborations with
practitioners and institutions who are contributing to the development of
the project.

The mugh-al team continues to invite and evaluate proposals and
approaches regarding the project, including offers to commission or
partner mugh-al. The project affords a rare opportunity to engage
with the practice of an unique artist at the height their powers.

Initial communications may be made by utilising the contact form at the
aladin info + contact section of this website.

Please note that owing to the nature of the project - in particular
confidentiality requirements of specific hosting partners and patrons  – some
event itinerary details may not be posted on this website. In due course
however, it is intended that an historical, retrospective account including
documentation of mugh-al events, will be made available.

                                  ~~~~~ oO(*)Oo ~~~~~~

mugh-al is evolving in discussion with a number of practitioners across
disciplines. aladin gratefully acknowledges the invaluable input of the
following:

Andrew Atkinson, Photographer; Nick Barnard, Curator, South Asian
Department, V+A; Richard Blurton, Head/Curator, South and South
East Asia section, British Museum; Dr. Katherine Butler Brown,
Department of Music, King's College, London; Derek J. Content,
Independent Art Expert;  Siddhartha Das, Independent Animateur/Artist,
 Delhi, India;  Jane Glitre, Director, The Spitz; John Grant, writer, thinker,
 green communications innovator; Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir, Arts Director,
 Shorefast Foundation; Dr. Heather Elgood, Course Director, Diploma in
Asian Art, Department of Art and Archaeology, SOAS; Dr. Ernst Fischer,
Research Fellow, Roehampton; Professor Richard Gough, Senior
Research Fellow and Artistic Director, Centre for Performance Research,
Aberystwyth University; Inderpaul Johar, Architect/Social Thinker,
RSA/NESTA/Architecture00; Farhana Mannan, Faculty of Oriental
Studies, Oxford University; Mourad Mazouz, Curator/Restaurateur;
Marita Muukkonen, Independent Curator;  KS Ramesh, Magic Academy,
Bangalore, India.; Lone Sigurdsson, Artist; Robert Skelton, Former Keeper
 of the Indian Department, V+A;  Susan Stronge, Senior Curator, South
Asian Department, V+A; Rebecca Swift, Creative Director;
Marcus Tomlinson, Photographer and Filmmaker.

                                  ~~~~~ oO(*)Oo ~~~~~~

mugh-al
aladin info + contact