It’s the Thought That Counts - Roundtable with: Vasif Kortun, Khalil Rabah, Suha Shoman, Christine Tohme, Akram Zaatari and William Wells. Moderator: Tirdad Zolghadr.

past traction-2-publication-574-305
21 November 2014
Time: 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Event Type Roundtable

Location Ashkal Alwan CHECK THE MAP

It’s the Thought That Counts

A roundtable with:

    • Vasif Kortun, founder of Platform Garanti in Istanbul, now director of research and programs at SALT Istanbul
    • Khalil Rabah, co-founder of Al Mamal in Jerusalem and of the Riwaq Biennale in Ramallah
    • Suha Shoman, founding director of Darat al Funun in Amman
    • Christine Tohme, founding director of Ashkal Alwan in Beirut
    • Akram Zaatari, artist and founding member of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut
    • William Wells, founding director of the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo
– Moderated by Tirdad Zolghadr

The guests at this illustrious roundtable co-founded key institutions during the course of the nineties, and played a decisive, not to say canonical role in the recent history of contemporary art throughout the region. As they look back in retrospect, what are their most significant decisions, and what are the regrets that still have them waking up at night screaming? In tandem with the afternoon session with Kirsten Scheid, this panel is devoted to exploring mutual generational shifts, some ‘what if’ scenarios, and the opportunities seized and forgotten.

This panel is part of Traction 2: Workshopping the Riwaq Biennale, a seminar by Resident Professor Khalil Rabah, taking place from November 17 – 21, 2014 at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut. The seminar is presented as part of Rabah’s workshop for HWP 2014-15: Setups / Situations / Institutions.

Traction 2 doubles as the 5th Riwaq Biennale’s (RB5) contribution to Home Workspace Program (HWP) 2014-15 at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut. As a whole, it will reflect all the key components of RB5. The seminar begins with an introduction to the biennale program and the Riwaq agenda, and features extensive tours of sites that were pivotal to the Palestinian experience in and around Beirut. In an exploration of HWP and the RB5 educational program NADI, Traction 2 also addresses the promises and pitfalls of informal art education over recent decades. Finally, the seminar ends with a transregional investigation of the institutional memory of contemporary art since the 1990s.
The seminar forms the second part of the RB5 public program, Traction, which is structured as a long series of responses to institutions and events throughout Palestine and its immediate neighborhood. It aims to push the biennale to be thinking “through” the structures of contemporary art, as opposed to thinking “about” or “against” them.
In this spirit of chronic infiltrations and slow tenacity, RB5 will span a full two years, which may allow this brief visit to Lebanon to become a lasting contribution to a longer, accumulative conversation.
Traction 2 is not only an infiltration of HWP in Beirut, where RB artistic director Khalil Rabah is one of the year’s resident professors, but an opportunity to enrich and indeed infiltrate the RB5 agenda in and of itself.

Traction is a programme proposed and organized by the 5th Riwaq Biennale in Palestine.

Traction 2 is an event produced and organized by the Homeworks Program Ashkal Alwan and the 5th Riwaq Biennale in Palestine

The seminar is open to the public. Some events have limited capacity and require registration.

Vasif Kortun
Khalil Rabah
Suha Shoman
Christine Tohme
Akram Zaatari
William Wells
Tirdad Zolghadr
Ashkal Alwan | Home Workspace
Jisr el Wati, Street 90, Building 110, 1st Floor
Near Souk Al Ahad, facing IMPEX Garage, Pink Building next to Beirut Art Center
Phone: +961 1 423 879

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