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Launching the Mahjouba 4 Collector Edition

After six years of development Eric Van Hove and the Mahjouba Initiative launched, during the 1-54 Art Fair in Marrakech last month, the Mahjouba 4 Collector Edition. This artist multiple of 100 numbered and signed edition of the latest prototype for a moped is the result of a lasting collaboration between the artist and a team of engineers & craftspeople.
Mahjouba Initiative (click here)

It is a fully functional functionalist technical design found at the crossroad of the EU legislation for two-wheel electric drive and the materials and tools used today in the craft sector in Morocco. It combines factory-made components using a Capitalist Mode of Production and partaking in the formal economy (30% of parts) and craft-made components fostering a Socialist Mode of Production within the relational economy (70% of parts). Mahjouba 4 Collector Edition is a function-driven object combining low-tech and high-tech elements: it is an NFT (though not using cryptocurrencies – illegal in Morocco) via a blockchain-secured ‘O°code’ VIN number, latest lithium battery technology and General Transmission’s latest 2Kw electric engine, while being simultaneously a moped made by the craftsmen for the local market, using brass, steel, wood, bone, horn and recycled aluminium. It is combined to three apps: one for interacting with makers, one for future Mahjouba riders, and an informative app for now only available on Android:
Mahjouba app: available on Android (click here)

The Mahjouba 4 Collector Edition is part of a wider incentive to crowdfund for the licencing (in Morocco) and the development of the moped’s controller (normed software development).
It is sold at the price of 5000 Euro (or equivalent in Moroccan dirhams or dollars).
Download the information pdf for this edition : Mahjouba 4 Collector Edition (click here)

Announcing a new platform : Malhoun

Proposed during the last pre-Covid edition of 1-54 Art Fair in Marrakech in 2020, the Malhoun 2.0 exhibition developed from the long relationship Eric Van Hove and Fenduq built with artisans from the region. Curated by Phillip Van Den Bossche, it was a short-lived exhibition that emerged from a six months production period.
Following and building up on that exhibition, Malhoun grew into a space, a platform that is simultaneously a gallery, a curatorial laboratory and a production residency.

The Mahjouba Initiative featured in The Journal of Modern Craft – volume 13 (2020)

Special Issue on Middle East Craft

Guest Editor: Mariam Rosser-Owen

« The essays assembled here represent a selection of the papers presented at the international conference, “Middle Eastern Crafts: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, held at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London in October 2018. This grew out of a research and collecting project, funded by one of Art Fund’s New Collecting Awards, to investigate North African contemporary craft and to develop strategies for ways in which the V&A’s world-class collection of applied arts from the broad region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) could be brought up-to-date. There was no ready-made body of research on this field to tap into. While contemporary visual arts from the Middle East have been a burgeoning field of interest among collectors, public and private, over the last two decades, the perception of the plastic/decorative/applied arts – what we could simply call “crafts” but feel uncomfortable doing in this context – has been very different. When applied to Middle Eastern and North African geographies, as with many non-Western societies, the word “craft” equates to “folk art”. This is defined by the Folk Art Alliance as an “expression of the world’s traditional cultures; rooted in traditions that come from community and culture; made by individuals whose creative skills convey their community’s authentic cultural identity, rather than an individual or idiosyncratic artistic identity”. The key notions here, that distinguish “art” from “craft”, are those of “tradition” and “authenticity”, issues that arise repeatedly in all the essays in this issue. The matter of authenticity and the question of who determines this dubious and contested quality is one that will not go away. The Western curatorial eye still expects, indeed demands, regional references in non-Western art and design. » (…)