Desire Lines, A Symposium on Experimental Institutional Formats
Mirene Arsanios Presents 98WEEKS, a Research Project Based in Beirut
DATE: 28 & 29 November 2014; 4:30 pm
LOCATION: London, UK
In 1967, British artist Richard Long walked a straight line back and forth across a field in an improvised track, until his steps flattened the grass. Predetermined paths do not always lead to a desirable destination, and they are often not direct enough. Over time, walkers wear away regulated groundcover to create “desire lines,” maps of longing.
This project borrows its title from Long’s work in order to reflect on what it presently means for a contemporary art institution to commit to critical modes of working with artists and curators. Its focus on artistic programs will enable different actors to expand on present-day research interests, modes of production and display, and how these curatorial practices can shape the institution that generates them.
The institutions invited for this symposium show divergent concepts of what a contemporary art institution is, how it functions and what its social responsibilities might be. As curators and producers, how do we handle and work with these complexities?
Desire Lines is a project conceived and organized by Nicoletta Lambertucci (Curator, DRAF) with Sofia Lemos (Curatorial Assistant, DRAF) and produced by DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation) in collaboration with European Kunsthalle and Goldsmiths MFA Curating.
For more info, visit:
On Alienation: Mattin in collaboration with...
Performance by Mattin Artiach
DATE: 6 November 2014; 7pm
LOCATION: 98WEEKS @ Mansion
On Alienation is a performance in which abstract, theoretical ideas are explored in a concrete situation. Mattin is interested in collapsing scientific experiment and experimental music, and in reconsidering the correlation between cause and effect when particular factors and concepts are manipulated in real life. The following day, Mattin will present his theoretical research in conjunction with an account of the performance realized the night before.
Ray Brassier & Mattin
Non-idiomatic Improvisation (Guitar and drums)
Wednesday November 5; 7pm
AUB Byblos Bank Art Gallery
On Alienation: Mattin in collaboration with...Performance by Mattin Artiach
Thursday November 6; 7pm
98weeks @ Mansion
On Alienation A Talk by Mattin Artiach
Friday November 7; 2pm @ Art History Department, AUB. Bldg. 37 (behind Lee Observatory)
The talk is hosted by FAAH (Department of Fine Arts and Art History) and AHI (Art and Humanities Initiative).
Mattin Artiach is an artist from Bilbao (currently living in Stockholm) working with noise and improvisation. His work seeks to address the social and economic structures of experimental sonic artistic production through live performance, recordings and writing. He is currently doing a PhD at the University of the Basque Country under the supervision of Ray Brassier and Josu Rekalde. He has edited with Anthony Iles the book Noise & Capitalism and in 2012 CAC Brétigny and Tuamaturgia published Uconsitituted Praxis, a book collecting Mattin´s writing plus interviews and reviews from performances that he has been part of. Both books are available online.
The VOLUME project
DATE: 11-20 September 2014
LOCATION: Multiple locations across Beirut
Have libraries become obsolete in the digital age? Can we conceive public libraries as something other than a collection of books? When does a library begin and end?
Started as a long-term research project in November 2013, the VOLUME project investigates the potential of libraries as sites for artistic creation and production of knowledge, as well as for the formation of critique and dialogue. For nine days, international and local artists, theorists, curators and librarians engage the public library as a space and a concept, through a series of performances, ad-hoc interventions, talks, literary writings and installations. Events took place at 98weeks Project Space, Assabil Libraries, and in public spaces around Beirut.
The multiplicity of interventions composing the VOLUME project mirrors the complexities that the library embodies, both as a physical and theoretical subject. Commissioned artworks and a program of talks reflect the many facets of the library as a public space, political agent, vehicle for memory, conceptual entity, cataloguing system, knowledge generator and imagination. What is a library after all? Something so vivid and yet so elusive. Something physical and yet conceptual. Container and content. A singular encompassing multitude. Potentially infinite and intrinsically unfinished.
The library symbolizes the human ambition to amass and preserve all the knowledge of the world, the utopia of a totality at hand. In its physical manifestation, it displays the modern rationality trying to tame the episteme under categories, inventories or parameters of acceptance. It raises questions related to the accessibility to knowledge and how libraries’ collections reflect political choices. The library feeds the desire to know, but also the desire to forget.
VOLUME’s September session presents an occasion to share and discuss with the public these and further issues, in what we hope is an intensive and thought-provoking series of events and encounters. A live publishing platform called “Vologue” accompanies the project. Two writers/witnesses, Roger Outa and Lina Mouzner, reacted to talks, events, and performances, and their accounts are set to appear daily in printed form and on VOLUME’s website.
All the interventions and their ramifications eventually coalesce into a single publication – the VOLUME–, which was donated to Beirut’s public libraries. VOLUME is therefore the artists’ measuring device and connector. It is part and whole. It is inside the library. It is the library. It is what is what the library is missing.
Ad hoc interventions and performances by Mounira Al Solh (LB/NL), Andrew Beccone (US), Pauline Curnier-Jardin (FR), Aldis Ellersdóttir Hóff (SE), Per Hüttner (SE/FR), RyBN.ORG (FR), Walid Sadek (LB)
Talk series with Stefanie Baumann, Antoine Boulad (Assabil Association), Jessica Khazrik & Monica Basbous (Ashkal Alwan Library), Marcell Mars, Maud Stephan-Hachem (Lebanese National Library).
The VOLUME project is a collaboration between Vision Forum, Assabil Association and 98weeks Research Project and is curated by Sara Giannini together with 98weeks.
The VOLUME project has been realized with the generous support of: Prince Claus Fund, The Swedish Institute, and Vision Forum.
11 September 2014
6 pm - 8 pm @ 98weeks
6 pm Welcoming speech by Sara Giannini and 98weeks
6:30 pm Presentation of The Reanimation Library | Mar Mikhael Branch
7:30 pm Performance An Incomplete Portrait of the Reanimation Library
12 September 2014
6 pm @ Geitawi Garden (meeting point)
Performance walk by Per Hüttner
7:30pm @ 98weeks
Screening of The Silence by Per Hüttner
13 September 2014
4 pm - 7 pm 98weeks
Open decoding session with RYBN.ORG
7:30 pm 98weeks
Talk “Public Library (in the Age of the Internet)” by Marcell Mars
14 September 2014
5:30 pm @ Horsh Park, gate facing military court (meeting point)
Performance To avoid the great heat of the Sun is kept in the Night, and by the light of the Moon: an inexistent book catalogue by Mounira Al Solh.
15 September 2014
4 pm -7 pm @ 98weeks
Open decoding session with RYBN.ORG
16 September 2014
6 pm-7 pm @ 98weeks
Group discussion “On Feminisms Library”
17 September 2014
4 pm - 7 pm @ Geitawi Library
Performance Smaller Apparition of Continuous Future by Aldis Ellersdóttir Hóff
Only small groups of people can enter the gate at once. To participate send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Registration_Smaller Apparition of Continuous Future” in the subject line.
18 September 2014
4 pm - 7 pm @ Bachoura Library
Transe-narrative performance The Teeth of the Rack, the Eyes of the Librarian by Pauline Curnier Jardin.
19 September 2014
7 pm @ 98weeks
غداً في باحة المكتبة music for voice and melodica by Walid Sadek
20 September 2014
4 pm - 7 pm @ 98weeks
Panel discussion “Inventions and Inventories of Lebanese Public Libraries” w. Stefanie Baumann, Antoine Boulad, Jessica Khazrik & Monica Basbous, Maud Stephan-Hachem
For the entire duration of the VOLUME project, 98weeks Project Space is open daily from 3 pm to 7 pm.
Talk with Sara Mourad
Sexing the Other: Themes in Post-War Lebanese Cinema
Roundtable series organized by Maya Helou
DATE: 7 August 2014; 7 pm
What role does sexuality play in post-war cinematic renditions of Lebanese identity and citizenship? And how and why does gender figure as a salient axis of representation? Through a critical reading of three popular Lebanese films, West Beirut (1998), Bosta (2005), and Caramel (2007), Mourad unpacks how difference is visually and figuratively rendered through themes of secrecy and revelation, passing and coming out. Such discourses, which emerge through the filmic plots, characters, and spaces, point to the ways in which sex becomes a lens to imagine and represent an “other” in a fragmented postwar landscape.
Dardashat Jandariya (DJ) are forums that provide a space for young researchers, academics and activists working in Gender and/or Sexuality to present their work, gain exposure and benefit from networking opportunities. DJ hosts regular talks with the aim of bringing to the public eye locally produced knowledge both in the Lebanese context and in the Middle East and North Africa region, while also connecting like-minded youth who are active in research and/or civil society with more experienced scholars, academics, and actors of civil society.DJ is an initiative by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (www.gsrc-mena.org) at the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality and organized by Maya El Helou.
Sara Mourad is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Annenberg, Sara received her B.A in Political Science from the American University of Beirut. Her current research grapples with queer theory, cultural studies, and postcolonial theory to explore the nexus of citizenship and intimacy in popular and public culture. Sara serves as the Graduate Associate for the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in the International Journal of Communication, Critical Studies in Media Communication, the Journal of Communication Inquiry, the Global Media Journal, and Jadaliyya.
The End of Rent Control in Lebanon: A New Piece in the Puzzle of Property-Led Urban Redevelopment?
Talk by Bruno Marot
DATE: 31 July 2014; 8 pm
After decades of a fierce battle raging between landlords and tenants, the Lebanese Parliament voted on the April 1, 2014 for the termination of the ‘old rents’ system. The reform, currently embroiled in a juridical and institutional maze, is very telling about the politics of pro-growth city-building in Beirut. Based on current research, the presentation provides an overview of the new law and discusses its various objectives and limitations, as well as its potential consequences and alternatives.
Bruno Marot is a PhD candidate in urban planning, policy, and design at McGill University. He is also a graduate research fellow at the Institut Français du Proche Orient (IFPO), and at Sciences Po Paris. His research investigates the political economy of urban transformations in Eastern Mediterranean cities by looking at the way property-led restructuring is governed in Beirut and Istanbul.
Workshop by Pelin Tan & Önder Özengi & Brian Kuan Wood
DATE: 23 & 24 July 2014
Work/Labor conditions have over the past few years become one of the main discussions in the field of contemporary art. In many ways, this is absolutely comical as contemporary art finds itself to be the site of some of the most advanced forms of labor extraction and value inflation on the planet. Furthermore, the arguments we come across still tend to lean on the conceptual division between material labor and cognitive labor, on the institutionalization of labor in art and the fundamental precariousness of artistic labor, when in fact one of contemporary art’s greatest structural achievements has been its conflation and confusion of these very categories. The literature of Marxism and post-autonomia literature no longer fully connects to what is happening to artistic production, and to artists themselves.
Today, the profound ambiguity in how vital energies and productive forces are distributed throughout the lives and communities of people working in contemporary art poses a severe challenge to clarify how it actually works. How do we proceed to a methodology based in concrete cases and artistic production that can lead us to better analyze the heterogeneous economy of art work and labor in art?
The three day workshop “Method/Assemblage/Work/Labor/Love" with 98weeks, Brian Kuan Wood, Pelin Tan, Önder Özengi (LaborinContemporaryArt) is open to anyone interested to work on mapping economies within the case study of 98weeks.
Wednesday July 23, 2014; 5 pm (for registered participants)
Introduction + Love as Labor / Brian Kuan Wood
Thursday July 24, 2014; 2 pm - 6 pm (for registered participants)
What is method assemblage of research of labor in contemporary art?
With Önder Özengi & Pelin Tan
Case study on in-situ mapping analysis on the heterogeneous economy of 98weeks, with Önder Özengi & Pelin Tan & Brian Kuan Wood
Thursday July 24, 2014; 7 pm (open to the public)
Pelin Tan is a researcher in the project Like a Rolling Stone: Labor in Contemporary Art (2012–2015), which surveys working conditions in art. She is a member of the video collectives Artikİşler and videoccupy, and with Anton Vidokle she codirected 2084, the first in a series of video episodes on the future history of art/artists. Based in Mardin, Tan is Associate Prof. and vice-dean of Architecture Faculty of Mardin Artuklu University. Author of forthcoming book: ARAZİ/TERRITORY (Critical Spatial Practices, Edt.MM&NH, Sternberg Press, 2015)
Brian Kuan Wood is a writer based in New York. With Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle, he is also the editor of e-flux journal.
Reading Errors, The Author is Insane
Interactive Installation and Reading by Raafat Majzoub
DATE: 19 July 2014; 6 pm -8 pm
Reading Errors, The Author is Insane is an event including a reading and an interactive installation within the scope of the process of writing a novel titled The Perfumed Garden.
The Author is Insane. He picks random pages of his corpsed books and assembles them into small groups that owe nothing to time, logic or him. He packs one booklet and one cassette in one coded brown paper envelope. He does that one hundred and forty two times. He will give pieces of himself away, and in return he wants pieces of everyone else.
Raafat Majzoub is an architect, author and artist based in Beirut.
Is Art Important?
Discussion Series: Arts Education & Educating Through Art
DATE: 5 April 2014; 3pm
LOCATION: The Greek Campus at the AUC, Egypt
How to talk about the importance of the art without raising the question of arts education and educating through arts? In the Arab world, where the primary as well as the high education systems suffer from severe deterioration, corruption and obsolete curricula, the question of the relation between arts and education is obviously pressing. This discussion will be dedicated to remarkable individual and civic initiatives that use art as a tool for better inclusion and creative learning targeting different age groups as well as the underprivileged; but also to lead programs responding to the current transformations of the Middle-East contemporary arts scene; all together forming what seems to be groundbreaking factories of imagination.
Curator: Jumana al-Yasri (Iraq/Syria)
Moderator: Mia Jankowicz (UK)
Khawla Abou Saada (Syria/Egypt)
Zeina Assaf / 98weeks (Lebanon)
Brian Conley (USA)
Shady El Noshokaty (Egypt)
Jan Willems (Netherlands/Palestine)
For more info, visit: http://d-caf.org/event/view/34
Opening of Triangles at 98weeks
Masrah Ensemble presents a theatre festival-in-progress across Amharic, Arabic, and English.
DATE: 29 March 2014; 1:30 pm - 3 pm
Triangles is a festival-in-progress that translates, workshops, and reimagines three plays through a series of residencies and public encounters in Beirut and New York and an array of collaborations with groups and artists in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, the United States, and beyond. Supported by Hivos and other partners, the project seeks to cultivate a new dynamic between artists and audiences and to invite them to participate and play a central role in playwriting, translation, and performance development. Works- and translations-in-progress include plays by resident writers alongside Yekermo Sew (Tomorrow’s Man) by Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin (1936-2006).
The opening of Triangles culminates Masrah Ensemble's two-week residency at 98weeks.
Performance of Four Guitars for Two Guitar Players
with Fadi Tabbal and Charbel Haber
DATE: 17 March 2014; 4:30 pm
In the Labyrinths of Exhibition Histories: The International Art Exhibition in Solidarity with Palestine
Talk by Kristine Khouri & Rasha Salti
DATE: 28 February 2014; 8 pm
The International Art Exhibition in Solidarity with Palestine was inaugurated on March 21st, 1978, in Beirut and opened to the public until April 5th of that year. Organized by the Unified Information Office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the show included some 194 works by 197 international artists from approximately 29 countries. The idea was to establish a museum of international modern and contemporary art in solidarity with Palestine, in exile, until the liberation of the country. In comparison to biennials organized by neighboring Arab states, the International Art Exhibition in Solidarity with Palestine was remarkable in scale, scope, and international outreach. The fact that it took place in Beirut, three years after the civil war had erupted, when the city was splitting between into its eastern and western flanks, makes it furthermore awe-inspiring. For the Palestinians, it represented a stupendous feat, the recognition of world-acclaimed artists of the righteousness of their revolution. It also marks a crystallization of the mobilization of the solidarity network of the international revolutionary left.
During the research around the genesis and realization of the exhibition, as well as the projected museum, stories of other exhibitions have surfaced, crossing paths in the foreground and back scenes, drawing a complex unwritten cartography of how exhibitions draw another history of art.
Rasha Salti is a researcher, writer, curator and film programmer. She is a co-founder with Kristine Khouri of the History of Arab Modernities in the Visual Arts Study Group, a research platform focused around the social history of art in the Arab world. Their current project is focused around the history of “The International Art Exhibition in Solidarity with Palestine” which took place in Beirut in 1978.
Kristine Khouri is a researcher, writer and photographer based in Beirut. She is a co-founder with Rasha Salti of the History of Arab Modernities in the Visual Arts Study Group, a research platform focused around the social history of art in the Arab world. Their current project is focused around the history of “The International Art Exhibition in Solidarity with Palestine” which took place in Beirut in 1978. She is working independently on the history of the Sultan Gallery, Kuwait as part of an exploration of Pan-Arab sites and events of the 1970s.
Artist Talk by Kara Lynch
DATE: 1 February 2014; 7 pm
Conceived by artist Kara Lynch, “saved” is an outdoor sound installation-performance that marks the 100th anniversary of the lynching of Laura Nelson and her fourteen-year old son, L.W. Nelson at the Old Schoolton Bridge in Okemah, Oklahoma. “saved” will be a living, embodied memorial to Laura and L.W. Nelson that engages a collective public. We will stage sound installation-performances with live local choirs on a series of steel bridges across the United States. The people gathering at these bridges create a memorial and a series of postcards will constitute the piece’s documentation. Lynch will be discussing the first installation/performance that was presented in September 2013 in Harlem River Park.
Kara Lynch is a time-based artist living in Brooklyn, NY and member of Interdiciplinario La Lìnea, a feminist artist collective based at the US/Mexico borderlandia. She has published in XCP Streetnotes, Ulbandus Review, BFM, contributed audio to Cabinet Magazine, video to PocketMyths, and drawings/writings to the Encyclopedia Project v.II F-K. Lynch completed her MFA in Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. She earns a living as an Associate Professor of Video and Critical Studies at Hampshire College and is a current research fellow in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas, Austin. Major projects include: 'Black Russians' - a feature documentary video (2001); ‘The Outing’ - a video travelogue (1998-2002); and ‘Mouhawala Oula’ - a gender-bending trio performance for oriental dance, live video, and saxophone (2010). Her current project 'Invisible’, an episodic, multi-site video/audio installation (2003-present), excavates the terror and resilient beauty of the Black experience.
Talk by Pelin Tan
DATE: 13 January 2014; 6 pm
|Souzy Tros, 2012, Athens.|
Spatial practices in conflicted urban spaces instigated society to invent a new collective dictionary not only for the constrained environment of the recent socio-political and economic crisis, but also to rebuild a collective consciousness that can refer to our communal co-existence. In this context, it is urgent that curatorial practices need to be altered from their institutional structure with certain representation formats. The production of curatorial formats is not only about searching for representation, which is somewhere in the imagination of the horizon, but also is about transversing practices and knowledge production according our collective everyday life actions.
Pelin Tan is based in Mardin/Istanbul, an Assistant Prof. at Architecture Faculty of Artuklu Univ. She completed her postdoc on "artistic research" at MIT /ACT program under Prof. Ute Meta Bauer, and was The Japan Foundation fellow researching on artists/activists collectives in urban space of Japan (2012). She curated “Luggage from another climate on urbanism and migration” in Rotterdam (WittedeWith&TENT 2004), Adhocracy - Associate Curator of Adhocracy, I.Istanbul Design Biennial (2012), Short Gaze Long Gaze - Knut Asdam - Solo Exh. (DEPO, 2011), Cevdet Erek – Solo Exhibition, 300m3 Art Space Göteborg (2009), Innocent Act, StudyoKAHEM, architectural research project, 10th Int. Istanbul Art Biennial, 2007. She will be curating about art&activism at 0047 (Oslo, 2014). Forthcoming books: Ethics of Locality: Urban Commons (drp-barcelona), Unconditional Hospitality - Threshold Architecture (drp-barcelona).