MAK, a creative initiative with global reach, has an ambitious goal: to provide an alternative platform for the presentation of socially-engaging art. We seek to unearth and highlight identity politics within contemporary art, introducing the potential of emerging and evolving art scenes. We aim to foster a close collaboration between artists, curators, and cultural institutions in the UK and abroad.
From its inception, the focus of MAK has been on organising, promoting, and facilitating the production of projects proposed by artists and curators, rather than securing a single fixed location for all of its activities. In every instance, we seek to find the space most appropriate to each project. In 2017, the gallery occupied the ground floor of the Lighthouse Studios on Shacklewell Lane, a creative hub supporting East London artists.
From this location, the gallery launched ‘Dreamscapes’, a new stage of its programming curated by Sylwia Serafinowicz, focused on artists creating alternative narratives to our contemporary, and increasingly divided world. The artists included in the programme shared a sense of ‘double consciousness’, a term coined in 1903 by the American author-socialist-activist, W. E. B. Du Bois, meaning the ability to see oneself from the perspective of the system one lives in. Du Bois initially focused on the African Americans experience in the United States, but after his journeys to Europe began a much broader study of the mechanisms of exclusion. His perspective inspired the programme of exhibitions and activities of MAK in the summer of 2017 and supported its ongoing endeavour to generate dialogue.