Archive 2012

The Dumbest Question Ever
Reading by Pranav Behari
DATE: 21 December 2012; 7:00 pm
LOCATION: 98WEEKS Project Space

The Dumbest Question Ever is a series of electronic letters(emails) which venture into a delirious bricolage of technology, sex, urban decrepitude, Goldman Sachs, race, the active lives of objects, AFRICOM, the state of American black nationalism, betrayal, the occult, friendship, and the late despot Muammar Qaddafi--all to solve the mystery of a missing phone charger. Conceived and written as a short story, it is forthcoming as a chapbook from Projective Industries.

Pranav Behari is a writer based in New York.

Presentation of Pages
by Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi 
DATE: 13 December 2012; 7:30 pm


The presentation will be divided into two parts. First we will talk about our recent work Seep, which is about misplaced sites and memories of modernity evoked by politically and ideologically disputed archives. In this work the archive of the British Petroleum from the earlier half of the 20th century when it operated in the South-west Iran, is juxtaposed with the Western collection of modern art at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art established during the end of 1970s.

The second part of the presentation will be the screening of Satellite, as long as it is aiming at the sky (2009, 30 min.), a video that documents Los Angeles-based Iranian satellite television stations. Initially exile televisions, these TVs represent a tele-visual micro universe produced through live phone-in programs with audiences from Iran and outside. The video traces the hysterical mediation and staging of a satellite geography defined by social and political crisis.

In 2004 Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi founded Pages, a collaboration that encompasses various joint projects and the production of a bilingual magazine in Farsi and English titled 'Pages'. Their projects and the magazine's editorial approach are closely linked, both described by the artists as "attempts in articulating the indecisive space between art and its historical condition."Tabatabai and Afrassiabi live in Rotterdam and work both in the Netherlands and Iran. Their work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions internationally. Currently they are Advising Researchers fine art at the Jan Van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
For more information please see: www.pagesproject.net

Supported by: Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam

Series of live readings selected by Jacopo Miliani through 5 rooms, 2 big terraces, 2 small terraces and 98WEEKS
DATE: 6 December 2012; 7 pm

The artist Jacopo Miliani presents an experimental project in the space of 98WEEKS and adjacent apartments. The event is part of the 5-day project Quantum Fluctuations in a Synecdochic Universe organized by OuUnPo in Beirut and curated by Sara Giannini and Fatos Üstek.

In a mapped configuration of time-space, OuUnPo lands at a temporary shift in the magnitudes of entropy and gravity. It is one in a multitude and finds itself when the unknown starts. It is a twofold encounter, one contemporary with its participants, the other with an inhabitant of age, which you would call a distant future. What happens is only possible to seize in its aftermath. Recurrence of places is a possibility yet there will be no repetition. Guided by the uncertainty principle the encounters will unfold as moderate conditions are at hand.
                                                             -Sara Giannini and Fatos Üstek.

OuUnPo is a European research network made up of artists, curators and researchers. Together they travel to different cities and investigate a given problem in dialogue with local creators, museums, art organizations, research centers, residency programs, and informal groups. With the enactment of Quantum Fluctuations in a Synechdochic Universe in Beirut, OuUnPo launches a 2-year itinerant research project on “Catastrophe & Heritage”. OuUnPonians and local participants will investigate how a catastrophe and a situation of crises embrace potentiality for creation, how architectural and cultural heritage contains the seeds for future developments. The diverse and multiple interactions of these notions will be witnessed, experienced, supposed, analyzed, contemplated, performed, discussed, contested, negated, emphasized in Tokyo (Spring 2013), Sweden (Fall 2013) and Sao Paulo (Spring 2014).

With the generous support of European Cultural Foundation

The Lebanese Confessional System and its Forms of Authoritarianism
Talk by Giacomo Galeno
DATE: 5 December 2012; 7 pm
Language: French

The talk begins with a brief explanation of how the confessional system works and will explore the notion of authoritarianism that proceeds the concept of democracy and of "Electoral Gap" of the Arab countries. Galeno will examine different points of the Lebanese confessional system including the absence of a law that regulates the personal status, the famous question of civil marriage; and the debate about the electoral law and the perpetuation of the political class, family dynasties in power, the parties and their electoral feuds that allow them this domination.

Giacomo Galeno received his Masters in International Relations with his thesis titled "The Arab spring in Lebanon: the anti-sectarian movement of 2011" from Università Ca' Foscari, Venezia - Italia.

Cabaret Night
Inexactly THIS/Kunstvlaai: Festival of Independents 2012
DATE: 24-25 November 2012; 7 pm - 11 pm
LOCATION: Amsterdam

98WEEKS will organize a cabaret night on the 24th and the 25th of November, inviting artists, writers, poets and performers to contribute with a reading, a song or any other text based performances. It can be improvised, written by the performers themselves or taken from an existing novel. The contribution should not exceed a 15min slot and should respond in a broad manner to the theme fiction.

The Cabaret of Desire is a collaborative project with the Masrah Ensemble (masrahensemble.org/)

98 Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeks Au Soleil
Presentation by Jean-Michel Wicker
Curated by Margarida Mendes
DATE: 23 November 2012; 7:00 pm
LOCATION: 98WEEKS Project Space


Upon an invitation by curator Margarida Mendes, Jean-Michel Wicker introduced his work for the first time in Beirut to the 98WEEKS audience, in the format of an oral presentation which drifts around main topics of his various practices, such as: the tactics of un-learning, situationism and sensuous knowledge, current futurisms, homoerotics or –delics (ars homo erotica / kinks), DIY aesthetics, like gardening, walking-swimming-stretching, ice-cream making anal hair extensions (with conditioners).

Jean-Michel Wicker and Margarida Mendes met in Lisbon in 2010 at The Barber Shop, space that Margarida runs since 2009. On the occasion of this presentation, a new xeroxed map titled Anti-plan hallucinogénique vu de la lune, is launched, co-produced by 98Weeks Beirut and APNews Zürich. JMW work has been recently shown at Motto Berlin, Kunsthalle Bern, Kunsthalle Zürich, KW Berlin, New Jerseyy Basel, Kunsthal Charlottenborg Copenhagen and Donlon Books London.

Jean-Michel Wicker (b. 1970, france / lives in Berlin) is founder and editor of the publishing houses Le Edizioni Della Luna (Nice, 2006-2008), Le Edizioni Della China Papers Archive Berlin (2009-2010), and the Ballabella papers (2011 – ongoing).

Curated by 98WEEKS
DATES: November 9 – 11, 2012; 10am – 10pm
LOCATION: Museo Diffuso della Resistenza, Torino, Italy

Opening: November 9; 7 – 10pm
Public reading from the workshop: November 11; 2pm

98WEEKS presents two parallel events at the Museo Diffuso della Resistenza, della Deportazione, della Guerra, dei Dirittie della Libertà. The first project is a writing workshop, led by Italian author Christian Raimo, that explores the relationship between writing and resistance, examining how writing can become a form of action. Its point of departure is to take a fresh look at the text of the Italian Constitution, which is projected on mirrors in the last room of the museum, and reflect on the relationship of responsibility between state and culture. Through a group exercise, participants at the workshop, who have been selected through a public application process, will be invited to rewrite the document, reinterpret its meaning, and come up with an alternative vision of government and constitution.

To reflect on the term of resistance and what it means in specific context, the second project is a video program of a series of works by artists from Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait and Denmark that tell stories of resistance: Feature length, medium-length and short films by Maher Abi Samra, Basma Al Sharif, Omar Amiralay, Christian Ghazzi, Ahmad Ghossein, Joanna Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Ali Kays, Lasse Lau, Mohammad Malas, Rania & Raed Rafei, Ghassan Salhab, Roy Samaha, Mohamed Soueid, Rania Stephan, Akram Zaatari.

For more info, visit:

Presentation of the Bik Van der Pol Workshop
DATE: 18 October 2012; 6 pm

After a week-long intensive workshop, Bik Van der Pol and participants will present their stories, maps and documentation of their experiences.

Participants traveled by taxis, talked with drivers, recorded their conversations, and returned with stories which will be disseminated by public radio. The space of 98weeks functioned as a hub where workshop participants listened and discussed their recordings while constructing of a large city map of the routes taken and speakers were invited to talk about public space, mapping and the forming of collective memory.

The taxi is regarded as social place, as carrier and interface of public voice, knowledge/history, often across generations. By choosing the taxi, the project also subtly touches upon two major urban management issues in present-day Beirut: lack of public space (spaces of collectivity) and transportation.

Film Screening and Discussion with Laure de Selys
37 min with English and Arabic subtitles
DATE: 24 March 2014; 8:30 pm

Sorties is a selection of photographs from the Atlas, suites collection (a collaboration between photographer Arno Gisinger and art historian/philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman). It is used as a pretext, an interface to speak of something else, of here and now, namely Beirut, in it’s contemporaneity, made of de-phased narratives. A body of words made of several voices serves as a partition to film connected and disconnected spaces in the city.

Laure de Selys is a video maker and editor, who studied sculpture. She lives in Beirut, most of the time.

98TALKS With Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld
DATE: 6 January 2012; 6 pm
LOCATION: 98WEEKS Project Space

In 2033 the construction worker Ludvig is sent into space to repair the space station “9000 Aalborg”. Suspended in time between past and future, fiction and reality Ludvig recollects the memory of the site to change the future. TIME:AALBORG/ SPACE:2033 is a three-screen video installation specially designed for the amphitheater of Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg (Denmark). In 1933 Aalborg hosted a fairground for arts and culture to create optimism and hope during the great depression. But the optimism was short lived: Following the German occupation of Denmark, the fairground was turned into the headquarter for the German soldiers. During the war the fairground burned down to the ground and in post-war times Finish architect Alvar Alto erected the Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg on the site. Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld will discuss the video in relation to her artistic research project “Rehearsing Reparative Critical Practices” and her current project “Movement City”, developed for Metro Al Madina, Beirut. To articulate agency artistically, socially and politically, the reparative critical practice proposes a communal dense exploration of fragments of cultural fabric in response to different “broken” contexts and situations.

Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld works with multi-channel video installation and performance. She is currently doing an artistic research PhD at the University of Copenhagen – “Rehearsing Reparative Critical Practices”.

I Thought I Was Seeing Muslims
Talk by Maryam Kashani
DATE : 6 JANUARY 2014; 8 pm

The title of this talk refers to both the Harun Farocki video “I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts” (2000) and to the Roberto Rossellini film Europa ’51 (1952) in which a bourgeois woman reveals that “I thought I was seeing convicts” as she watches workers leave a factory. Both works articulate the complexity of the visual field and institutional forms - the interplay of ocular vision, power, and cognitive thought.

Kashani’s work at Zaytuna College, an emergent Muslim liberal arts college in Berkeley, California, addresses this visual field in a number of related registers. Her work addresses the ways in which seeing is an ethical practice within an Islamic framework and a technology of the state in surveillance. In her video works, she attempts to “break free” from common-sense images of Muslims that proliferate in the media towards another way of “seeing Muslims” who likewise see.

In the feature-length documentary IQRA’ is READ (in post-production), she collaborates with Zaytuna students, staff, and scholars on self-portraits in which they read or recite a text that has some personal significance to them. In the video installation, When they Give Their Word, Their Word is Bond, Imam Zaid Shakir, an African American Muslim scholar and co-founder of the College, recites his favorite verses of the Qur’an in a garden in one video and in a second video is giving a sermon (khutba) at a local mosque. She will show clips of these works and discuss them within the larger context of this ongoing research.

Maryam Kashani recently completed her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin where she was also a lecturer in Asian American Studies. Her research is concerned with the lived experience of Muslims in America through the lenses of knowledge practices, race, gender, visual culture, and political economy. She received a Masters of Fine Arts in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts. Her films and videos have been shown at film festivals, universities, and museums internationally and include “things lovely and dangerous still” (2003), Best in the West (2006), and “las callecitas y la cañada” (2009). She is currently working on a book and finishing a series of films related to her research at Zaytuna College, the first Muslim liberal arts college in the United States.