98WEEKS Past Events - 2011

Archive 2011

"The Arab Thought and the Arab Spring"
98TALKS With Wissam Saade
DATE: 16 December 2011; 6:30 pm


The endless questioning of “fair despotism” and “enlightened despotism” will be the starting point to reflect on contemporary political Arab thought in light of the Arab Spring. To what extent is this thought ready to accommodate the event?

هذا العرض

تحت عنوان "الفكر العربيّ والربيع العربيّ" سيطرح وسام سعادة أوّلاً السؤال "أين كان الفكر العربيّ المعاصر عشية انطلاقة الربيع العربيّ؟"، هل كان موجوداً؟ ماذا كانت طبيعة وجوده، وإشكاليّاته الأساسية؟ هل كان مهيئاً في شيء منه لاستقبال الزلزال، هل ساهم في التهيئة للربيع، وهل هو يساهم اليوم في صناعة الربيع، وفي نقد الربيع من موقع الربيع نفسه، أم لا؟ لكن الأهم: هل كان الفكر السياسيّ العربي يفاضل بين "استبداد مستنير" و"استبداد عادل" وهل انتهت هذه المفاضلة الآن؟

“The Arab thought and the Arab spring" is a series of talks inviting scholars, writers, philosophers and artists to reflect on the status and conditions of intellectual thought in the Arab world in the midst of the current uprisings.

Wissam Saade teaches Arab-Islamic History and Contemporary Political Thought at the Saint Joseph University. He studied philosophy and political sciences. Along his journalistic work as editor first at the Safir newspaper and since 2008 at the Mustaqbal, he has published numerous essays in specialized magazines such as Fikr el Arabi el Muaesser addressing topics such as the question of theology and translation in Derrida’s thought. Other essay topics explore Foucault’s understanding of leprosy, the polemic between Foucault and Derrida on the history of madness. Wissam Saade participated in many conferences addressing political regimes.

‘Unthinking Israel’
98TALKS With Rohit Goel
DATE: 9 December 2011; 7 pm

In this talk, Rohit Goel shows how an either/or approach to ideas and institutions, evident in the debates on Israel’s disengagement from Gaza, has plagued scholarship on Jewish nationalism and Israeli state formation more generally. In contrast to this approach, he argues that ideas and institutions worked dialectically to make the Israeli nation-state in Palestine thinkable and thus practicable. Goel first engages abiding scholarly debates on Jewish nationalism, which hold fast to a rigid divide between ideational and materialist explanations of Israeli state formation. He then uses the prevailing academic literature on nations and nationalisms to develop a dialectical method for studying the Israeli case, the subject of the final part of the talk.

There, he shows show how from the 1890’s to 1948, contentious debate on the questions of whether the modern Jewish nation exists, what that existence entails and where it should exist, and finally how it ought to organize politically, worked dialectically with institutional practices to form the Israeli nation-state. To conclude, he emphasizes how liberal ideological contention, rather than oft-assumed coherence, has functioned to sustain Jewish nationalism and shore up Israeli state formation in Palestine over time. As a result, only a radical, anti-liberal critique of Israeli nationalism will work to solve the ‘question of Palestine’.

Rohit Goel is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His dissertation, War and Peace in Lebanon, shows how civil violence and multicultural tolerance have sustained one another over time in Lebanon, a dialectical relation that has shored up the Lebanese nation-state. He received an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2006 and, as Harvard University’s Paul Williams Fellow to Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, an MPhil in Social and Political Relations in 2003. He graduated with a BA in Social Studies from Harvard College in 2002.

98TALKS With Joep van Lieshout (Atelier Van Lieshout)
DATE: 3 December 2011; 6:30 pm

Joep van Lieshout presents his work, with a focus on the following interlinked subjects: free state Rotterdam, new industrial revolution, new tribal organization and Slave City agriculture. Recurring themes in the work of Atelier Van Lieshout are autarky, power, politics, and the more classical themes of life and death. Recent works reflect on the possible end of civilization as we know it. In our extremely advanced and complex society over-consumption and limited raw materials play a crucial role. Once supplies are exhausted, society will see a harshening of relations between people and increased survival instinct, changes which will lead to an emergence of various new cultures in the near future.

Joep van Lieshout (b. 1963, Ravenstein) lives and works in Rotterdam. Since the early eighties he produces objects in - mainly - bright coloured polyester, the material that would become his trademark in subsequent years. In 1995 he founded Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL), undermining the myth of the individual artistic genius. Atelier Van Lieshout has attained international recognition for objects that balance on the boundary between art, architecture and design. These works of art are practical, uncomplicated and substantial.

Performance by Lawrence Abu Hamdan
DATE: 23 October 2011
LOCATION: 98WEEKS Project Space

For the event at 98 weeks Lawrence Abu Hamdan will direct and adapt for audio a theatrical reading of Mountain Language a short political play written by Harold Pinter in 1988. This play was written as an indictment against the bans and regulations enforced upon speech during Margaret Thatcher’s Britain but is relevant to any situation in which such a fundamental tool of political oppression is employed. As well as listening to the live performance of the play those in attendance will be able to select and listen to excerpts from the Aural Contract Audio Archive, a growing collection of recordings from trials, police interviews, performances, cinema etc. Both parts of this event invite an act of listening that intends to open a wider discussion around the politics of the voice and the ear in both the local context of Beirut and beyond.


"Ideas You Believe Are Absurd
Ultimately Lead to Success"
98TALKS With Bik Van der Pol
DATE: 22 October 2011; 6:30 pm

In this presentation, which may interest public space artists and urban planning professionals alike, the renowned Dutch artists Bik van der Pol present their practice and methods and discuss the different aspects, problematics and potential of working in public space. Rather than produce objects, their work responds to the specifics of an exhibition, a site, a community, creating a response which calls into question the norms of institutions, information, public spaces, community boundaries, and discourses. Their work uses a creative, aesthetic, critical approach to invent a corresponding response which might take the form of a book, a billboard, a built environment or a sign on a traveling truck. Their art investigates methods of working and the potential of art to produce and transmit knowledge. They describe their working method as one which engages with "functionality, site sensitivity and negotiation at an institutional and intimate, local level. Generation of knowledge and memory as a necessary potential for dialogue and the development of a certain level of understanding is one of its main objectives."

Bik Van der Pol work collectively since 1995. They live and work in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). Bik Van der Pol explore the potential of art to produce and transmit knowledge. Their working method is based on co-operation and research methods activating situations to create platforms for various kinds of communicative activities. Recent solo shows and projects include Are you really sure a floor can’t also be a ceiling? ENEL Award 2010, MACRO museum, Rome (2010); It isn’t what it used to be and will never be again, CCA Glasgow (2009); I’ve got something in my eye, Marie Louise Hessel Museum/CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2008); Nomads in Residence/No.19, a mobile workspace for artists, Utrecht (2003, with Korteknie Stuhlmacher architects). Recent group shows include: The Future of Pumphouse, Pumphouse gallery, London (2011); We are Grammar, Pratt Institute, New York (2011); Learning from Vancouver, Western Front, Vancouver (2010); Portscapes, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2010). Forthcoming shows will include: Street of Sculptures, Bijlmer, Amsterdam (2011/2012); A Retrospective Future, CAC VOX, Montreal (2011); Living As Form, Creative Time, New York (2011). They curated Too late, too little, (and how) to fail gracefully, Kunstfort Asperen, ww.kunstfortasperen.nl (2011).

See for more information on their work: www.bikvanderpol.net.

98WEEKS Residency at ICP Open Studios
DATE: October 12, - November 12, 2011
LOCATION: ISCP Open Studios, New York, US

In October 2011, ISCP launched an annual residency for an international contemporary art organization. This residency was initiated in the same spirit as ISCP’s residency program, to support cultural exchange by bringing an international perspective into a local context. Currently in residence at ISCP is 98WEEKS a non-profit, artist-run space in Beirut. 98weeks operates within an expanding arts infrastructure and addresses a new generation of artists living in Beirut. Their activities are collaborative and research-based, combining both theoretical and practical forms of inquiry. 98weeks’ projects take multiple forms such as workshops, community projects, seminars, video screenings, reading groups and publications. Every 98 weeks, a research topic is outlined and worked on for that same time period. 98weeks’ first topic addressed spatial practices in Beirut.

To translate this singular configuration into another city, and to transpose 98weeks’ project space into an institutional one, poses different challenges, such as how to re-present the immaterial, process-based nature of 98weeks’ activities. In order to address this, 98weeks presents A Program, which is hosted by ISCP to accompany Open Studios, and which reflects on operating strategies and structural differences. A Program will have autonomous opening hours and will host a series of events to gather the audience at a given time and space. These events will introduce the public to 98weeks through the group’s first two research topics.

A Program Schedule

4 - 6 November 2011, 3 pm - 7 pm:
On the city: a selection of videos and works that disclose urban narratives on contemporary Beirut, revealing aspects of the city and its history that have not yet been subsumed under dominant narratives or popular clichés. Artists include Marwa Arsanios, Vartan Avakian, Mounira el Solh, Siska and Karine Wehbe.

Most of the works could be considered as detours, circumventing what is most visible and overwhelming: traces of war destruction, sensationalist reportages, or the commonplace representation of a city standing between the East and the West. Most works are concerned with following material remains – architecture ruins, which stand as witnesses to anecdotal histories, still to be narrated.

In her work, Marwa Arsanios researches the history of the beach resort Acapulco, which stood as an autonomous living pocket promising a dolce vita amidst political turmoil and radical urban transformations.

Mounira el Solh’s work, the Sea is a Stereo, queries our perception of Beirut’s swimmers, who everyday, swim in Beirut’s public beach located along the city’s main pedestrian walkway.

Siska’s video E.D.L portrays Lebanon’s National Electricity building as homage to a once modernist project linked to the very construction of Lebanon’s modern state.

On Publications revisits historical publications from the Middle East, reinterpreting their present potential for our understanding of the history of literary and publishing production.

A selection of books by artists close to 98weeks’ activities will be available for the public to read by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Mirene Arsanios, Rayya Badran, Mounira el Solh, Rana Hamadeh, Hatem Imam, Samandal Magazine, Jana Traboulsi and Karine Wehbe.

5 November 2011; 5pm:
On Publications: Suneela Sunbula and Mirene Ghossein will read two poems, by Sargon Boulos and Adonis, respectively, and both published in Shi’r, an avant-garde poetry magazine (1957–1970) created by Lebanese poet Youssef el Khal and known for introducing the prose poem in Arabic.

6 November 2011; 3 pm:
Text Tasks: Roles and Relations in Artistic Research, a roundtable conversation with Mirene Arsanios and Sidsel Nelund addressing a series of physical and dialogical tasks, challenging the relation between thinking and doing, theory and practice. These tasks have been developed through an ongoing conversation between Arsanios and Nelund on the conditions of knowledge, its performance and its spaces of production. At ISCP they will enact three ‘text tasks’ that explore and expand the possibilities of the text by performing its different usages.

For more info, visit: http://www.iscp-nyc.org/events/current/722.html

DATE: 9 October 2011
LOCATION: 98WEEKS Project Space

Workshop: All day
Performance: 7:30 pm

Following last years audio adaptation and performance of Harold Pinter's play Mountain Language at 98WEEKS, the focus of this workshop will be to communally direct, cast and produce an audiobook of A King Listens a short story by Italo Calvino. At the end of the workshop, A King Listens will be recorded and performed live in front of an audience.

Calvino’s text was chosen because of its relevance to Abu Hamdan’s ongoing research project, Aural Contract, which is a series of events, publications, performances, exhibitions, workshops and audiovisual material that examine a contemporary politics of listening through a focus on the role of the voice in law.

This one day workshop with a public performance in the evening will allow a core group of participants to hear and perform in space the ideas and arguments at the centre of the project.

The workshop will employ an open directorial system in which many possible arrangements, cast and outcomes of the text will be explored and performed. As well as the production of the performance this workshop will function as a discussion event about the themes raised in the book, about sound and about the technical production of the audiobook and performance. Therefore the participants (both cast, discussants and production team) can be drawn out of a diverse set of backgrounds and the workshop is open to anyone who is interested in drama, literature, sound and sound production. This event is part of the

Aural Contract Project: www.113dalstonlane.com/auralcontract

Artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan is based in London, his projects include Model Court CCA Glasgow (2008) and Chisenhale Gallery London (2011). Aural Contract Homeworks 5 Beirut (2010) and WYSPA IS Gdansk (2011). He is now developing a radio documentary trilogy produced by The Showroom London, Casco Utrecht and as part of a Phd at the Centre for Research Architecture Goldsmiths College. Abu Hamdan is part of the group running the arts spaces Batroun Projects, Lebanon and 113 Dalston Lane in London.

98WEEKS Bazaar
Thessaloniki Biennale
DATE: 18 September - 18 December 2011
LOCATION: Thessaloniki, Greece

Throughout the biennale period, 98WEEKS ran a bazaar containing artists' books, publications and historical collections. People were invited to browse, sell and settle exchanges.

This project was set in the framework of 98weeks's research on historical publications and artists' books. For the biennale, 98weeks published a selection of the talks and interventions on "Al-Hilal" magazine.

Participating artists:
Mohamad AbdelKarim, Lawrence Abou Hamdan, Mounira Al Solh, Lara Almarcegui, Francis Alys, Dimitris Ameladiotis, Marwa Arsanios,Mirene Arsanios, Hisham Awad, Bandrolsuz Magazine, Eric Baudelaire, Elena Bellantoni and Daniela Alloca, Clifford Boress, Susan Bosch, , Victor Hugo Bravo Tony Chakar, Jasper Coppes and Stijn Verhoeff, Cura magazine, Lana Daher and Charbel Haber, Jason de Haan and Miruna Dragan, Sirine Fattouh, Rana Hamade, Loes Heebink and Soledad Pinto, Mark Henley, Hatem Imam, Interactivé Povera, Daniel Jacoby, Lamia Joreige, Nesrine Khodr, Paul Kneale, Lynn Kodeih, Shitamichi Motoyuki, Sidsel Nelund, Mariagiovanna Nuzzi, Zeynep Oz and Suna Kafadar, Iordanis Papadopoulos and Nana Sachini, Bonny Poon, Tom Robinson, Javier Rodriguez, Mario Rodríguez and Camila Jouannet, Katia Rombou, Samandal magazine,Setareh Shahbazi and Mirene Arsanios, Siska, Shimal Travel Guide, Mihalis Theodosiadis, Jana Traboulsi, Fadi Tufeili, Vaticanochico publishing (Misha Stroj and Francisco Araya), Karine Wehbe, Andy Weir, Dilek Winchester, Nihal Yesil, Akram Zaatari,

2HB magazine, 98Weeks Publications.

Including Abboudi Abou Jaoude’s (Al-Furat Publishers) collection of historical cinema magazines.
Cryptozoology and its images (in French)
98TALKS With Stefanie Baumann
DATE: 19 August, 2011; 7:30 pm

Cryptozoology is (from greek, kryptos, "hidden" + zoology; literally, "study of hidden animals"), is the study and research of animals whose existence has not (yet) been considered by the official scientific community. Founded by Bernard Heuvelmans in the 1950s, cryptozoological research includes among others the collection of local legends (in the areas where the existence of one species is presumed) and the production and assemblage of material traces or images (photos, videos, etc.). The status of these images remains highly ambiguous, the more so as different elements of cinematographical - and popular culture are melted with the research itself, thus reflecting inherent cultural representations.

The talk is followed by the screening of "L'hypothèse du Mokélé Mbémbé" by Marie Voignier

For several years, the explorer Michel Ballot has meticulously mapped out the jungle and the muddy riverbanks in search of a mysterious animal hitherto unknown to zoologists: the “Mokélé-Mbembé”, a prehistoric hybrid of rhinoceros, crocodile, snake and dinosaur. Is it a real animal or a mythological beast? Ballot investigates continuously, questioning the Pygmies, contriving to install a camera to film the river and its eddies during his absence, seeking traces, trying to find clue.

DATE: 11 August 2011; 9.30 pm
LOCATION: 98WEEKS Project Space

... PERFORM, REMEMBER, AND IMAGINE at Theater of Desire Cabaret! If you would like to perform, please respond to this message. Anything and everything and all languages are possible! Amateurs, professionals, playwrights, poets, actors, musicians, puppeteers, hakawatis, mothers, uncles, cousins, all are welcome!

The stage is open! Desire is all you need!

WRAPPED MEAL by Massimo Ricciardo
DATE: 23 July 2011; 8:30 pm
LOCATION: 98WEEKS Project Space

The meal prepared for 98weeks follows a research question which guides my work in general; What is the contemporary condition of food and displacement? Immigrants, when traveling from place to place, transport food from their homeland. Food becomes a mean of establishing relations with a new context, but also a witness to the land departed from. Following the custom of traveling migrants, Massimo Ricciardo will prepare a dinner coalescing three daily meals in one. He will use ingredients typical of Silicy, his homeland, as well as products gathered in Istanbul and Beirut. The products will be utilized as relational goods and as a way to establish a contact with a place of arrival. For the occasion, the artist will also present a travel notebook with sketches of food and everyday scenes documenting his journey across the cities visited. Please confirm your participation via email if you wish to attend the dinner.

Lebanese Pani Cunzatu with Bottarga
Mint Tarhana Cold Soup
Kurukaveci Coffee Granita
Lemon Seltz

Massimo Ricciardo (b. 1979 in Darmstadt, Germany) lives and works in Florence. Mainly works with archives, videos and culinary performances. His practice addresses family history and relations, rearranging past traces into a form of “living memory.”

98TALKS With Susanne Schuda
DATE: 25 May 2011; 7 pm

”Susanne Schuda’s art features the self-assertion of the individual within society and with a constructed reality. By means of exaggeration, pointed emphasis, reconstruction of familiar elements and the deformation of the habitual, the mechanisms the individual is exposed to become perceptible. In the beginning, constraints and fears of the human being as well as wishes and hopes associated with them were influenced by religions, ideologies and philosophies of life. Meanwhile, these “grand narrations” have been reduced to absurdity and replaced by the reality construction of the media.”

From a text by Günther Holler-Schuster

Susanne Schuda is a Austrian artist working with video, web and digital photomontage, public art and installation. http://susanneschuda.net. The talk is supported by the Austrian Embassy in Beirut.

DATE: 1-10 April 2011

The rituals of everyday life trace regular paths along streets and through buildings, organising the solids and voids of the built environment into narratives and patterns of association. Complicated by memory and social rituals, our experience of the city is of a dynamic place, a stage for public and private tragedies, of significant moments and the incredibly mundane. The habits, rituals, and actions of its population, the lived experiences within the city define it as something that is always current, always in constant, random movement.


The online collection of routes will be the jumping off point to (re)experience the city via the stories and routes of the people living here, creating a series of visual and historical investigations into the placeness of the city's inhabitants. Between April 1-10, workshop participants will follow the submitted routes, documenting and recording with video, photography and sound their observations as led through the words of our guides, and selected points from certain routes will be chosen as 'landmarks' for further research.

rePLACE is a project initiated in 2007 by PROGRAM and Transit Lounge. rePLACE BERLIN and rePLACE BEIRUT are supported in 2011 by the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures, Prince Claus Funds for Culture and Development, the Arab Image Foundation and PROGRAM.

rePLACE BEIJING is supported by HomeShop. For more information please visit www.re-place.info or contact: mail@re-place.info

Theatre of Desire Cabaret
DATE: 31 March 2011; 10 pm

COME to the revival of Theater of Desire Cabaret!

If you would like to perform, respond to this message or just show up on Thursday. Anything and everything and all languages are possible!

Amateurs, professionals, actors, acrobats, writers, dancers, divas, poets, singers, duos, trios, sextets, cosmonauts, all are welcome! The stage is open! Desire is all you need!

Curated by Akram Zaatari
DATE: 24 March 2011; 7 pm

The Radical Closure program presents artists' films and videos produced in response to situations of physical or ideological closure resulting from war and territorial conflicts, and centered on the region formerly united under the Ottoman Empire. The program was originally presented at the Oberhausen short film festival in 2006, and was recently compiled in a DVD set distributed by Videodatabank in Chicago.

Akram Zaatari’s work reflects on the shifting nature of borders and the production and circulation of images in the context of the current political divisions in the Middle East. His videos and photographic installations look into technologies of image production and communication and the notions of surveillance, exploring the way different media apparatuses get employed in the service of power, resistance, and memory.

98TALKS With Eric Baudelaire
DATE: 26 February 2011; 7 pm

Artist Eric Baudelaire presents and screens two of his recent videos, [SIC] and The Makes, at 98weeks on Saturday Feb 26.

, 2009, 15 min

In a Kyoto bookstore, an employee receives a parcel of new books. She methodically leafs through them, scratching the surface of certain pages with a blade in an extrapolation of the use of bokashi, a Japanese practice of self-censorship wherein obscenity is defined as “that which unnecessarily excites or stimulates sexual desire.” In a poetic of the absurd, the film extends thebokashi gesture beyond the question of desire, in a ritual that doubles as a meditation on what an image does, or can do.

The Makes, 2010, 26 min

In 1967, following the success of Blow Up, Michelangelo Antonioni planned to make a film in Japan. The project was cancelled, and Antonioni opted for the United States instead, where he shot Zabriskie Point. In 1983, Antonioni published That Bowling Alley on the Tiber, a compilation of notes and intentions for films that were never made, “narrative nuclei” that point towards a cinema that remains invisible after Antonioni’s death in 2007. In the spirit of the famous Zen riddle about the sound of one hand clapping, artist and filmmaker Eric Baudelaire invents the notion of the “make” as a remake of a film that was never made a first time, the ghost of a movie lurking behind a document attesting to its possibility.

Eric Baudelaire (b. 1973 in Salt Lake City) lives in Paris. Working in several media,Baudelaire is interested in theThe Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Elizabeth Dee gallery in New York. relationship between images and events, documents and narratives.

Screening Curated by Barbara Goretti, Gaia Casagrande
DATE: 18 February 2011; 7 pm

With videos by Nina Fischer and Maroan El Sani, Damir Ocko, Marinella Senatore, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Driant Zeneli.

“La cinematografia è l’arma piú forte” investigates the multifaceted relations- aesthetics, communicative and fictional- between contemporary art and cinema through the work of different artists.

'The age of happiness' by Damir Ocko (using video, performance, sculpture and drawings) is inspired by Russian composer Alexander Scriabin’s unfinished work “Mysterium” and refers to the genre of science fiction.

Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani have been working with video and film since the beginning of their collaboration in 1993. Their work is often influenced by historical directors such as Antonioni or Tarkovsky. Marinella Senatore’s work is deeply influenced by cinema. She often collaborates with non-professional actors, selected through open castings. In Speak Easy, a musical that takes place in New York in the 1950s, she involved 1800 actors from different social backgrounds and urban areas.

Driant Zeneli’s Prova d’orchestra is a video conceived as homage to Federico Fellini’s homonymous film. Stefanos Tsivopulos realized Amnesialand for Manifesta 8 (Murcia, Spain). The video is a documentary-fiction that questions ideas about images and history, collective memory and forgetting.

Barbara Goretti has a degree in the History of Contemporary Art. She was assistant curator at the GNAM in Rome (2000-2003) and at the MACRO in Rome (2002-2008) and worked in the educational department of both museums. She was a researcher for the show TV/ARTS/TV, at the ARTS Santa Mònica, in Barcelona (2009-2010).

Gaia Casagrande has a degree in the History of Modern Art. She was assistant curator at the MACRO in Rome (2002-2005) and at the Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2006-2008). She was assistant curator for the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennial (2007). She currently works as curator at the Cinecittà Museum and Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome.

DATE: 11 Feb 2011; 7 pm

"Le quartier général" is twin sisters and duet of artists, graphic designers and illustrators Elodie and Delphine Chevalme. They created their own graphic studio in 2005, specializing on the graphics and visuals of different music companies and festivals in France. While students, they undertook plastic researches on identity signs with a focus on urban communities; these projects are still in ongoing.

For the 98weeks presentation, Delphine presents the quartier’s interests on the body, performance, identity, and social signs such as fashion.

More information: http://www.lequartiergeneral.com/