Setups / Situations / Institutions

Led by Resident Professors (RP)s Kader Attia, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Walid Raad, Khalil Rabah, Lina Saneh, Gregory Sholette, and What, How, & for Whom (WHW).



Fellow:  Fadi AbuNe’meh, Salwa Aleryani, Nour Bishouty, Mena El Shazly, Walid Elsawi, Haitham Ennasr, Raymond Gemayel, Imane Ibrahim, Dina Khouri, Eshan Rafi, Mary Jirmanus Saba, Mahmoud Safadi, Merve Ünsal, Tala Worrell, Illia Yakovenko


كتيب البرنامج / Open Studio Catalog

Setups / Situations / Institutions

 

October 6, 2014 – July 3, 2015


Home Workspace Program’s 2014-2015 year is organized around the theme of Setups / Situations / Institutions


Over the past decade, the Middle East North Africa South Asia (MENASA) region has been witnessing an acceleration in the building of a new infrastructure for the arts: museums, screening rooms, commercial art galleries, art centers, festivals, biennials, art schools, residencies, magazines, prizes, and fairs are flourishing in cities such as Beirut, Ramallah, Istanbul, Mumbai, Cairo, Doha, and Abu Dhabi among others. This new infrastructure presents sometimes new, but mostly familiar modes of making and experiencing culture. But it is important to note that this new infrastructure leans on (and at times expands, complements and/or hijacks) rich experiments undertaken in the 1990s in the region, experiments that developed and implemented collective historical and fictional cultural initiatives (archives, foundations, festivals, workshops, study centers, magazines, journals, reading groups, among others). Moreover, the experiments of the past two decades were also clearly shaped by other rich initiatives undertaken since the early part of the twentieth century in Arab, Turkish, Iranian, North African, and South West Asian cities, as well as contemporary experiments in Europe and the Americas. 


The workshops in Setups / Situations / Institutions will engage the aesthetic, philosophical, ideological, economic, historical, and political dimensions of various institutions, setups, and situations created by artists, writers, curators, film and video makers, and others in the region and elsewhere in the past few decades. They will also function as laboratories to explore new concepts, gestures, sounds, forms and mechanisms that can lead us to imagine, create and form the kinds of situations, setups, and institutions attuned to the fertile yet thorny grounds on which we “stand.”


The HWP 2014-2015 is conceived and organized by the HWP Curriculum Committee members Joana Hadjithomas, Walid Raad, Khalil Rabah, Lina Saneh, and Gregory Sholette, who take on the role of Resident Professors (RPs) for the year, alongside the invited RPs Kader Attia, Khalil Joreige and What, How, & for Whom (WHW). 


The year will begin with a four-week Preface—a series of encounters with artists, writers, curators, film and video makers, historians, architects, activists, politicians, scientists and others living and working in Lebanon. Organized and led by Lina Saneh, the Preface will include visits to Lebanon’s museums, art centers, universities, archives, galleries, and other spaces that have been and/or remain central to Lebanon’s political, historical, and cultural life. The Preface will be followed by six workshops organized and led by Khalil Rabah, Walid Raad, Kader Attia, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Gregory Sholette, and WHW. Each workshop will explore particular expressions of the year’s theme. While led and organized by the RPs, each workshop will also include a number of invited speakers from Lebanon and elsewhere. Each workshop lasts two weeks (Monday-Friday), and typically includes a series of public presentations by the RP’s guest speakers, and one-on-one encounters and closed workshops with enrolled HWP participants, with some workshops accessible to a limited number of non-enrolled participants. A seventh and last workshop will be organized by the HWP enrolled participants. 

 

The HWP 2014–15 will also include the following supplement: a seminar in 12 sessions led by Resident Thinker Jalal Toufic. It will take place every third week throughout the curricular year. This seminar is open to enrolled participants as well as others wishing to register. Over the year, HWP Resident Artist Roy Samaha will be available to advise enrolled participants on their projects through studio visits and one-on-one encounters.

The Preface | Lina Majdalanie 

 

The Preface will be a four-week general introduction to the main theme of the year, “Setups / Situations / Institutions.” With a focus on Lebanon, the Preface will introduce the context, the different structures and institutions, as well as the artistic or intellectual initiatives (or even those of citizens), which have taken place in Beirut since the 1990s. This includes not only art practices, but also cultural initiatives dealing with other issues such as public space, archives, urbanism, NGOs, ideological and political movements, relations to the image, writing of history, among others. 

Artists, activists, journalists, authors, architects and other members of the political, social, civic and literary world will be invited to present and (re)place in their context(s) the main debates of the last decades. There will be visits to different places and guided tours of the city. In short, an immersion into the heart of Beirut’s realities, images, representations, and mythologies. 

Week One: orientation | presentation by Lina Saneh | presentations by enrolled participants | Hamra tour with Nesrine Khodr, visit to Zico House and conversation with Mostapha “Zico” Yamout | Gemmayzé and Mar Mikhael tour with Ghassan Halwani | Achrafieh tour with Tony Chakar | Burj Hammoud tour with Maxime Hourani and Jessika Khazrik

Week Two: conversation with Ahmad Beydoun | Ashkal Alwan, conversation with Amal Issa and Lina Saneh | seminar by Jalal Toufic | Beirut DC, conversation with Jad Abi Khalil | Ayloul festival and Mulhaq An Nahar (An Nahar cultural Supplement), conversation with Tony Chakar and Lina Saneh | conversation with Elias Khoury | conversation with Bernard Khoury | conversation with Waddah Charara | Arab Image Foundation, conversation with Akram Zaatari | Metropolis Art Cinema, conversation with Hania Mroué | visit to Beirut Art Center, conversation with Sandra Dagher and Lamia Joreige

Week Three: conversation with Nizar Saghieh | conversation with George Arbid | visit to Solidére, conversation with Amira Al Solh | conversation with Tarek Al Ariss | conversation with Dalal El Bizri | 98weeks, conversation with Marwa Arsanios and Mirene Arsanios | conversation with Diana Abou Abbas, Georges Azzi, and Tarek Zeidan | visit to Sursock Museum 

Week Four: conversations with Gheith Al-Amine, Marwa Arsanios, Ziad Antar, Vartan Avakian, Ali Cherri, Omar Fakhoury, Joe Namy, Tamara Al Samerraei, Sharif Sehnaoui, Corine Shawi, Nadim Tabet, Raed Yassin; moderated by Roy Samaha | Reuters, conversation with Jamal Sayideh; moderated by Roy Samaha | visit to Arab Image Foundation | visit to the National Museum

 

WORKSHOPS

 

WORKSHOP I | Traction 2: Workshopping the Riwaq Biennale


Khalil Rabah | November 17 – 28, 2014

 

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 2 is an event produced and organized by Home Workspace Program Ashkal Alwan and the 5th Riwaq Biennale in Palestine.Traction is a program proposed and organized by the 5th Riwaq Biennale in Palestine.

 

WORKSHOP II | The loudest muttering is over


Walid Raad | January 5 – 16, 2015

 

For the past seven years, Raad has been working on an art project titled Scratching on things I could disavow which proceeds from the recent emergence of new infrastructures for the arts in the MENASA region, with particular emphasis on recent developments in Lebanon, UAE and Qatar. Raad’s project engages the concepts, gestures, and forms made possible by these infrastructures as well as their ideological, economic, historical, and political frames. Raad’s workshop will parallel his own ongoing inquiry and interests and as such will include lectures, presentations, and interviews with the artists, writers, theorists, historians, activists and others who continue to inform his project.
With guest speakers Alexandre Karezouni, Maria Lind, Eungie Joo, and Andrea Salvini. 

 

WORKSHOP III | 4 thoughts among others


Kader Attia | January 26 – February 6, 2015

 

Attia’s last publication RepaiR will serve as the canvas for this workshop, in which he will explore together with participants different thoughts on four fields he developed in his multi-thought project. As an artist, Attia always finds fascinating how things that are not Art can lead to Art. Textual or visual archives have this heavy absolutism, which has to become a beyond and/or a before Art. The aim is not to teach Art, but to share unexpected experiences, souvenirs, encounters, observations, imaginations and intuitions which one day could suggest a starting point for Art.
4 thoughts among others include four subtitles:
– The anthropocene, Nature’s agency becomes institution
– Architecture, a body on both sides of the skin (or in and out of the skin)
– From the political to the intimate, music as sexual revolution
– History to do what?

With guest speakers Françoise Vergès, Jacinto Lageira, Léa Gauthier, Ana Teixeira Pinto and Doreen Mende.

 

WORKSHOP IV | Inquiries on a Common World


Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige | February 16 – 27, 2015

 

Facing certain situations, to what modes of inquiry, practices of art, but also tools and methods of sciences can we refer today? Considering their research on the construction of imaginaries and the writing of history, Joreige and Hadjithomas will work jointly with Bruno Latour and his methodologies, with members or former participants of SPEAP (the Masters program of Experimentation in Art and Politics, Sciences Po, Paris) Valérie Pihet and Sandra Terdjman, with actors in the Lebanese scene Waddah Charara and Tarek Atoui, and with participants. Presentations and workshops shall focus on the shareable public space, on the common, and on the invention of new forms of political, scientific and artistic representations. 
With guest speakers Valérie Pihet, Bruno Latour, Waddah Charara, Sandra Terdjman, and Tarek Atoui.

 

WORKSHOP V | Encountering the Counterinstitution


Gregory Sholette | April 13 – 24, 2015

 

In the aftermath of recent and ongoing mass occupations of public space around the globe, the question of collective practice and institutional formation has become paramount for artistic work. This learning unit will systematically investigate new, as well as older, overlooked ways of organizing cooperatives, cultural spaces, inter-active and public-art projects, and other DIY institutions. Over the course of two weeks a series of lectures, workshops, and assignments will draw on the history of tactical media, community organizing, Occupy, counter-globalization, as well as other related examples. Throughout this the aim for Sholette and participants will be to address a contrasting set of challenges – both critical and constructive – involving the re-thinking of institutions today by taking their cue from Slavoj Žižek as they aim to develop their own “pervert’s guide” to 21st Century cultural institutions.
With guest speakers Josh MacPhee and Rick Lowe.

 

WORKSHOP VI | Really Useful Knowledge


What, How, & for Whom / WHW | May 4 – 15, 2015

 

The notion of “really useful knowledge” originated with the rise of the workers’ awareness of the need for self-education in the early 19th century. In the 1820s and 1830s, workers’ organizations in the UK introduced this phrase to describe the body of knowledge that encompassed various ‘unpractical’ disciplines such as politics, economics and philosophy, as opposed to ‘useful knowledge’ proclaimed as such by business owners, who sometime earlier began increasingly investing in the advancement of their businesses through funding the education of workers in ‘applicable’ skills and disciplines such as engineering, physics, chemistry or math. 
Starting from research for the Really Useful Knowledge exhibition that WHW curated at Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid (October 2014), this chapter will inquire into ‘really useful knowledge’ from the contemporary perspective, looking into discussions about critical pedagogy as a crucial element of collective struggles. It will be structured along several lines of inquiry related to historical and present instances of collective utilization of existing public resources, actions, and experiments, either forgotten or under threat of eradication. 
With guest speakers Nick Aikens, Rasha Salti, Jelena Vesi and Lawrence Abu Hamdan.

 

WORKSHOP VII 


HWP Participants | May 25 – June 5, 2015

Organized by HWP 2014-15 participants Fadi Abu Nehmeh, Salwa Aleryani, Nour Bishouty, Haitham Ennasr, Walid Elsawi, Mena El Shazly, Raymond Gemayel, Iman Ibrahim, Mary Jirmanus, Dina Khouri, Ferdinand Klüsener, Eshan Rafi, Mahmoud Safadi, Merve Unsal, Tala Worrell, Elijah Yakovenko. 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3 
8 – 9:30 pm | public: Kolleg zum Bau einer imaginären Stadt (KBI) – Organized by Ferdinand Klüsener in collaboration with Ongoing Project 
With Amer Makarem, Walid Sadek,Nassib Al Solh and Nasser Ballout
* In Arabic with simultaneous translation to English. 
more info here

THURSDAY, JUNE 4 
8 pm – late | public:
 No Title – Exhibition catalogue and opening in collaboration with HWP 2014-15 participants 
more info here

FRIDAY, JUNE 5 
Dalieh: Meet and Greet – Tour and Discussion organized by Mahmoud Safadi
3 – 6 pm | by registration: SESSION 1 – Cruising: Boat tour from Ain el Mreisseh to Dalieh 
7 – 9 pm | public: SESSION 2 – Come Together: A discussion with members of The Civil Campaign to Protect Dalieh?
more info here

 

SEMINARS


Jalal Toufic | Every third Monday from October 13 – June 15

 

The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster


We live in a block universe of spacetime, where nothing physically passes and vanishes, but where occasionally things immaterially withdraw due to surpassing disasters. To detect this withdrawal, whether symptomatically or otherwise, one is well advised to look for it in messianic movements as well as in artistic and literary works. With regard to the surpassing disaster, art acts like the mirror in vampire films; it reveals the withdrawal of what we consider is still there. Following the surpassing disaster, the duty of at least some artists is to disclose the withdrawal (Duras’ Hiroshima mon amour, 1961; Godard’s King Lear, 1987) and/or to resurrect what became withdrawn (Godard’s King Lear). In normal times a nebulous entity despite the somewhat artificial process of canon formation, tradition becomes delineated and specified by the surpassing disaster: tradition is what conjointly materially survived the surpassing disaster, was immaterially withdrawn by it, and had the fortune of being subsequently resurrected by artists, writers, thinkers, and messianists. If they repeatedly prove unable to resurrect what was withdrawn by the surpassing disaster, tradition, then it can be argued that, at the end of the “season in hell,” thinkers, artists, writers, and messianists are to abolish tradition altogether: “absolutely modern” (Rimbaud). 

 

Critic Session and Open Studios

 

Organized by HWP 2014-15 participants Fadi Abu Nehmeh, Salwa Aleryani, Nour Bishouty, Haitham Ennasr, Walid Elsawi, Mena El Shazly, Raymond Gemayel, Iman Ibrahim, Mary Jirmanus, Dina Khouri, Ferdinand Klüsener, Eshan Rafi, Mahmoud Safadi, Merve Unsal, Tala Worrell, Elijah Yakovenko. 


– December 15-19, 2014: Critic Session I (with invited jury Haig Aivazian, Mirene Arsanios, Marwan Rechmaoui)


– March 23-27, 2015: Critic Session II (with invited jury Mirene Arsanios, Bassam el Baroni, Paola Yacoub)


– June 24-25, 2015: Critic Session III (with invited jury Marwan Rechmaoui, Toleen Touq, Walid Sadek)


– June 30-July 3, 2015: Open Studios (public)

Kader Attia (b. 1970) spent his childhood between France and Algeria, and studied philosophy and fine arts in Paris and Barcelona. He lives and works in Berlin and Algiers. His research in recent years has focused on the notion of repair as constancy of human nature, which the Western modern mind and the non-Western mind have always conceived oppositely. Recent exhibitions include ‘Contre Nature’, a solo show at the Beirut Art Center, ‘Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob’s Ladder’, a solo show at Whitechapel Gallery, London, ‘Repair. 5 Acts’, a solo show at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, ‘Construire, Déconstruire, Reconstruire: Le Corps Utopique’, a solo show at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Biennale of Dakar, dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel, ‘Performing Histories (1)’ at MoMA, New York, and ‘Contested Terrains’, Tate Modern, London. In 2014, he was awarded the Berlin Art Prize: Jubilee Foundation 1848/1948.

 

Joana Hadjithomas is a Lebanese filmmaker and artist. She regularly collaborates with Khalil Joreige. Together, they have directed multi awarded films that have gained wide international distribution : Documentaries such as El film el Mafkoud (The Lost Film) (2003), Khiam 2000–2007 (2008), The Lebanese Rocket Society : The Strange Tale of the Lebanese Space Race(2013) and feature films among which Al Bayt el Zaher (Around the pink house) (1999), A Perfect Day (2005) and Je veux voir/I Want to See (2008).
Their artworks and films, part of major private and public collections, have been extensively shown in museums and art centers around the world, most recently the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Guggenheim, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Ashkal Alwan, Moma, V & A, Tate Modern, SF Moma, KW Berlin, Villa Arson and many biennales among them Istanbul, Lyon, Sharjah, Kochi, Gwangju…. 
They are university lecturers and are cofounders of the production company Abbout Productions and on the executive board of Metropolis art Cinema in Beirut. 
www.hadjithomasjoreige.com 

 

Khalil Joreige is a Lebanese filmmaker and artist. He regularly collaborates with Joana Hadjithomas. Together, they have directed multi awarded films that have gained wide international distribution : Documentaries such as El film al Mafkoud (The Lost Film) (2003), Khiam 2000–2007 (2008)The Lebanese Rocket Society : The Strange Tale of the Lebanese Space Race(2013) and feature films among which Al Bayt el Zaher (Around the pink house) (1999), A Perfect Day (2005) and Je veux voir/I Want to See (2008).Their artworks and films, part of major private and public collections, have been extensively shown in museums and art centers around the world, most recently the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Guggenheim, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Ashkal Alwan, Moma, V & A, Tate Modern, SF Moma, KW Berlin, Villa Arson and many biennales among them Istanbul, Lyon, Sharjah, Kochi, Gwangju…. 
They are university lecturers and are cofounders of the production company Abbout Productions and on the executive board of Metropolis art Cinema in Beirut. 
www.hadjithomasjoreige.com

 

Walid Raad is an artist and an Associate Professor of Art in The Cooper Union (New York, USA). Raad’s works include The Atlas Group (1989-2004), a fifteen-year project between 1989 and 2004 about the contemporary history of Lebanon, and the ongoing projects Scratching on Things I Could Disavow and Sweet Talk: Commissions (Beirut). His books include The Truth Will Be Known When The Last Witness Is DeadMy Neck Is Thinner Than A HairLet’s Be HonestThe Weather Helped, and Scratching on Things I Could Disavow. Raad’s works have been shown in Documenta 11 and 13 (Kassel), Musée du Louvre (Paris), Kunsthalle Zurich (Zurich), The Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), Festival d’Automne (Paris), Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), The Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), Home Works Forum (Beirut) and numerous other museums and venues in Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Raad is also the recipient of the Hasselblad Award (2011), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), the Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2007), the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2007), and the Camera Austria Award (2005). 

 

Khalil Rabah, born in Jerusalem and currently living and working in Ramallah, has participated in a number of group exhibitions around the world, as well as several biennials, including the Sao Paulo, Sydney, Gwangju, Istanbul, Liverpool and Venice Biennials. Rabah has had numerous international solo shows and has undertaken various artist-in-residency programs in Europe. His works include United States of Palestine Airlines (2007), 50.320 Names (2007), BIPRODUCT (2010), and most recently Art Exhibition (2010–ongoing).
Rabah has taught Architecture at Birzeit University, Palestine and Fine Arts at Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem. He is the founder of The Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind, and co-founder of Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem and of ArtSchool Palestine in London. He is the Artistic Director of the Riwaq Biennial, Palestine. Rabah also serves on the advisory board of the Biennial Foundation. 

 

Lina Majdalanie has written, directed, and acted in numerous plays, including Les Chaises (1996), Ovrira (1997), Biokhraphia (with Rabih Mroué, 2002; awarded by Bansemer & Ute Nyssen Dramatiker in 2011), I Had A Dream, Mom (video, 2006); Appendice(2007); Someone Must Have Been Telling Lies About Me (video-installation, 2008); Photo-Romance (with Rabih Mroué, 2009), and 33 rpm and a few seconds (with Rabih Mroué, 2013).
Majdalanie has taught at several programs and institutions including HEAD (Geneva University of Art and Design) and IESAV (Saint Joseph University, Beirut), and has been the Mentor of the Autumn Block 2012 at DasArts (Amsterdam). She was a fellow at the International Research Center “Interweaving Performance Cultures” at the Free University in Berlin in 2010, where her research focused on the problematics of public space in Lebanon. She’s currently on vacation for one year at least. 

 

Roy Samaha is a Lebanese artist born in 1978 in Beirut and lives there. Working with video and photography since 2002, he has exhibited in numerous film and contemporary art festivals. Between 1998 and 2008, he worked in Broadcasting TV industry as part of his field research on electronic media and altered states of perception. He got his Masters degree in film studies at USEK, Lebanon. Currently, he is giving seminars on alternative video practices and film making in Beirut. His recent works include Incarnation of a Bird from an Oil Painting (2013), A Secret of Secrets (2013) and Transparent Evil(2011). His work has been presented at Disobedience Archive, SALT (Istanbul), Lebanese Film Festival, Metropolis (Beirut), Rencontres Internationales, la Gaîté lyrique (Paris) HKW (Berlin) Spanish Cinematheque (Madrid), Unpainted, new media art fair, Post-Palace (Munich), Visual Arts Damascus, ZKM (Karlsruhe), among other places. 

 

Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist and writer whose recent art projects include “Our Barricades” at Station Independent Gallery, and “Imaginary Archive” at Las Kurbas Center, Kyiv, and whose recent publications include “It’s The Political Economy, Stupid,” co-edited with Oliver Ressler, (Pluto Press, 2013) and “Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture,” (Pluto Press, 2011). A graduate of the Whitney Independent Studies Program in Critical Theory (1996), he received his MFA from the University of San Diego (1995), and BFA from The Cooper Union (1979), and served as a Board Member of the College Art Association (1999-2004). Sholette was a founding member of the artists’ collectives Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D: 1980-1988), and REPOhistory (1989-2000), remaining active today with Gulf Labor Coalition http://gulflabor.org/ as well as serving on the Curriculum Committee of Home Workspace Program, Beirut. Associate Faculty for the Art, Design and the Public Domain program of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, he is an Associate Professor in the Queens College CUNY Art Department where he co-developed and teaches in its new MFA concentration: Social Practice Queens: 


www.socialpracticequeens.org
wwww.gregorysholette.com
www.darkmatterarchives.net

 

Jalal Toufic is a thinker and a mortal to death. He was born in 1962 in Beirut or Baghdad and died before dying in 1989 in Evanston, Illinois. The second edition of his book Forthcoming was published by e-flux journal-Sternberg Press in April 2014. His books, many of which were published by Forthcoming Books, are available for download as PDF files at his website: http://www.jalaltoufic.com. He was most recently a participant in the Sharjah Biennial 11, the 9th Shanghai Biennale, Documenta 13, “Six Lines of Flight” (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), and “A History: Art, Architecture, and Design, from the 1980s Until Today” (Centre Pompidou). In 2011, he was a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD; and in 2013–2014, he and Anton Vidokle led Ashkal Alwan’s third edition of Home Workspace Program. 

 

What, How & for Whom/WHW is a curatorial collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb and Berlin. Its members are Ivet ?urlin, Ana Devi?, Nataša Ili? and Sabina Sabolovi?, and designer and publicist Dejan Krši?. WHW organizes a range of production, exhibition and publishing projects and directs Gallery Nova in Zagreb. WHW curated the festival Meeting Points 7, that took place in 2013 and 2014 in Zagreb, Antwerp, Cairo, Hong-Kong, Beirut, Moscow and Vienna under the title Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks, and the exhibition Really Useful Knowledge at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid in October 2014.

The Preface | Lina Majdalanie 

 

The Preface will be a four-week general introduction to the main theme of the year, “Setups / Situations / Institutions.” With a focus on Lebanon, the Preface will introduce the context, the different structures and institutions, as well as the artistic or intellectual initiatives (or even those of citizens), which have taken place in Beirut since the 1990s. This includes not only art practices, but also cultural initiatives dealing with other issues such as public space, archives, urbanism, NGOs, ideological and political movements, relations to the image, writing of history, among others. 

Artists, activists, journalists, authors, architects and other members of the political, social, civic and literary world will be invited to present and (re)place in their context(s) the main debates of the last decades. There will be visits to different places and guided tours of the city. In short, an immersion into the heart of Beirut’s realities, images, representations, and mythologies. 

Week One: orientation | presentation by Lina Saneh | presentations by enrolled participants | Hamra tour with Nesrine Khodr, visit to Zico House and conversation with Mostapha “Zico” Yamout | Gemmayzé and Mar Mikhael tour with Ghassan Halwani | Achrafieh tour with Tony Chakar | Burj Hammoud tour with Maxime Hourani and Jessika Khazrik

Week Two: conversation with Ahmad Beydoun | Ashkal Alwan, conversation with Amal Issa and Lina Saneh | seminar by Jalal Toufic | Beirut DC, conversation with Jad Abi Khalil | Ayloul festival and Mulhaq An Nahar (An Nahar cultural Supplement), conversation with Tony Chakar and Lina Saneh | conversation with Elias Khoury | conversation with Bernard Khoury | conversation with Waddah Charara | Arab Image Foundation, conversation with Akram Zaatari | Metropolis Art Cinema, conversation with Hania Mroué | visit to Beirut Art Center, conversation with Sandra Dagher and Lamia Joreige

Week Three: conversation with Nizar Saghieh | conversation with George Arbid | visit to Solidére, conversation with Amira Al Solh | conversation with Tarek Al Ariss | conversation with Dalal El Bizri | 98weeks, conversation with Marwa Arsanios and Mirene Arsanios | conversation with Diana Abou Abbas, Georges Azzi, and Tarek Zeidan | visit to Sursock Museum 

Week Four: conversations with Gheith Al-Amine, Marwa Arsanios, Ziad Antar, Vartan Avakian, Ali Cherri, Omar Fakhoury, Joe Namy, Tamara Al Samerraei, Sharif Sehnaoui, Corine Shawi, Nadim Tabet, Raed Yassin; moderated by Roy Samaha | Reuters, conversation with Jamal Sayideh; moderated by Roy Samaha | visit to Arab Image Foundation | visit to the National Museum

 

WORKSHOPS

 

WORKSHOP I | Traction 2: Workshopping the Riwaq Biennale


Khalil Rabah | November 17 – 28, 2014

 

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 2 is an event produced and organized by Home Workspace Program Ashkal Alwan and the 5th Riwaq Biennale in Palestine.Traction is a program proposed and organized by the 5th Riwaq Biennale in Palestine.

 

WORKSHOP II | The loudest muttering is over


Walid Raad | January 5 – 16, 2015

 

For the past seven years, Raad has been working on an art project titled Scratching on things I could disavow which proceeds from the recent emergence of new infrastructures for the arts in the MENASA region, with particular emphasis on recent developments in Lebanon, UAE and Qatar. Raad’s project engages the concepts, gestures, and forms made possible by these infrastructures as well as their ideological, economic, historical, and political frames. Raad’s workshop will parallel his own ongoing inquiry and interests and as such will include lectures, presentations, and interviews with the artists, writers, theorists, historians, activists and others who continue to inform his project.
With guest speakers Alexandre Karezouni, Maria Lind, Eungie Joo, and Andrea Salvini. 

 

WORKSHOP III | 4 thoughts among others


Kader Attia | January 26 – February 6, 2015

 

Attia’s last publication RepaiR will serve as the canvas for this workshop, in which he will explore together with participants different thoughts on four fields he developed in his multi-thought project. As an artist, Attia always finds fascinating how things that are not Art can lead to Art. Textual or visual archives have this heavy absolutism, which has to become a beyond and/or a before Art. The aim is not to teach Art, but to share unexpected experiences, souvenirs, encounters, observations, imaginations and intuitions which one day could suggest a starting point for Art.
4 thoughts among others include four subtitles:
– The anthropocene, Nature’s agency becomes institution
– Architecture, a body on both sides of the skin (or in and out of the skin)
– From the political to the intimate, music as sexual revolution
– History to do what?

With guest speakers Françoise Vergès, Jacinto Lageira, Léa Gauthier, Ana Teixeira Pinto and Doreen Mende.

 

WORKSHOP IV | Inquiries on a Common World


Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige | February 16 – 27, 2015

 

Facing certain situations, to what modes of inquiry, practices of art, but also tools and methods of sciences can we refer today? Considering their research on the construction of imaginaries and the writing of history, Joreige and Hadjithomas will work jointly with Bruno Latour and his methodologies, with members or former participants of SPEAP (the Masters program of Experimentation in Art and Politics, Sciences Po, Paris) Valérie Pihet and Sandra Terdjman, with actors in the Lebanese scene Waddah Charara and Tarek Atoui, and with participants. Presentations and workshops shall focus on the shareable public space, on the common, and on the invention of new forms of political, scientific and artistic representations. 
With guest speakers Valérie Pihet, Bruno Latour, Waddah Charara, Sandra Terdjman, and Tarek Atoui.

 

WORKSHOP V | Encountering the Counterinstitution


Gregory Sholette | April 13 – 24, 2015

 

In the aftermath of recent and ongoing mass occupations of public space around the globe, the question of collective practice and institutional formation has become paramount for artistic work. This learning unit will systematically investigate new, as well as older, overlooked ways of organizing cooperatives, cultural spaces, inter-active and public-art projects, and other DIY institutions. Over the course of two weeks a series of lectures, workshops, and assignments will draw on the history of tactical media, community organizing, Occupy, counter-globalization, as well as other related examples. Throughout this the aim for Sholette and participants will be to address a contrasting set of challenges – both critical and constructive – involving the re-thinking of institutions today by taking their cue from Slavoj Žižek as they aim to develop their own “pervert’s guide” to 21st Century cultural institutions.
With guest speakers Josh MacPhee and Rick Lowe.

 

WORKSHOP VI | Really Useful Knowledge


What, How, & for Whom / WHW | May 4 – 15, 2015

 

The notion of “really useful knowledge” originated with the rise of the workers’ awareness of the need for self-education in the early 19th century. In the 1820s and 1830s, workers’ organizations in the UK introduced this phrase to describe the body of knowledge that encompassed various ‘unpractical’ disciplines such as politics, economics and philosophy, as opposed to ‘useful knowledge’ proclaimed as such by business owners, who sometime earlier began increasingly investing in the advancement of their businesses through funding the education of workers in ‘applicable’ skills and disciplines such as engineering, physics, chemistry or math. 
Starting from research for the Really Useful Knowledge exhibition that WHW curated at Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid (October 2014), this chapter will inquire into ‘really useful knowledge’ from the contemporary perspective, looking into discussions about critical pedagogy as a crucial element of collective struggles. It will be structured along several lines of inquiry related to historical and present instances of collective utilization of existing public resources, actions, and experiments, either forgotten or under threat of eradication. 
With guest speakers Nick Aikens, Rasha Salti, Jelena Vesi and Lawrence Abu Hamdan.

 

WORKSHOP VII 


HWP Participants | May 25 – June 5, 2015

Organized by HWP 2014-15 participants Fadi Abu Nehmeh, Salwa Aleryani, Nour Bishouty, Haitham Ennasr, Walid Elsawi, Mena El Shazly, Raymond Gemayel, Iman Ibrahim, Mary Jirmanus, Dina Khouri, Ferdinand Klüsener, Eshan Rafi, Mahmoud Safadi, Merve Unsal, Tala Worrell, Elijah Yakovenko. 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3 
8 – 9:30 pm | public: Kolleg zum Bau einer imaginären Stadt (KBI) – Organized by Ferdinand Klüsener in collaboration with Ongoing Project 
With Amer Makarem, Walid Sadek,Nassib Al Solh and Nasser Ballout
* In Arabic with simultaneous translation to English. 
more info here

THURSDAY, JUNE 4 
8 pm – late | public:
 No Title – Exhibition catalogue and opening in collaboration with HWP 2014-15 participants 
more info here

FRIDAY, JUNE 5 
Dalieh: Meet and Greet – Tour and Discussion organized by Mahmoud Safadi
3 – 6 pm | by registration: SESSION 1 – Cruising: Boat tour from Ain el Mreisseh to Dalieh 
7 – 9 pm | public: SESSION 2 – Come Together: A discussion with members of The Civil Campaign to Protect Dalieh?
more info here

 

SEMINARS


Jalal Toufic | Every third Monday from October 13 – June 15

 

The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster


We live in a block universe of spacetime, where nothing physically passes and vanishes, but where occasionally things immaterially withdraw due to surpassing disasters. To detect this withdrawal, whether symptomatically or otherwise, one is well advised to look for it in messianic movements as well as in artistic and literary works. With regard to the surpassing disaster, art acts like the mirror in vampire films; it reveals the withdrawal of what we consider is still there. Following the surpassing disaster, the duty of at least some artists is to disclose the withdrawal (Duras’ Hiroshima mon amour, 1961; Godard’s King Lear, 1987) and/or to resurrect what became withdrawn (Godard’s King Lear). In normal times a nebulous entity despite the somewhat artificial process of canon formation, tradition becomes delineated and specified by the surpassing disaster: tradition is what conjointly materially survived the surpassing disaster, was immaterially withdrawn by it, and had the fortune of being subsequently resurrected by artists, writers, thinkers, and messianists. If they repeatedly prove unable to resurrect what was withdrawn by the surpassing disaster, tradition, then it can be argued that, at the end of the “season in hell,” thinkers, artists, writers, and messianists are to abolish tradition altogether: “absolutely modern” (Rimbaud). 

 

Critic Session and Open Studios

 

Organized by HWP 2014-15 participants Fadi Abu Nehmeh, Salwa Aleryani, Nour Bishouty, Haitham Ennasr, Walid Elsawi, Mena El Shazly, Raymond Gemayel, Iman Ibrahim, Mary Jirmanus, Dina Khouri, Ferdinand Klüsener, Eshan Rafi, Mahmoud Safadi, Merve Unsal, Tala Worrell, Elijah Yakovenko. 


– December 15-19, 2014: Critic Session I (with invited jury Haig Aivazian, Mirene Arsanios, Marwan Rechmaoui)


– March 23-27, 2015: Critic Session II (with invited jury Mirene Arsanios, Bassam el Baroni, Paola Yacoub)


– June 24-25, 2015: Critic Session III (with invited jury Marwan Rechmaoui, Toleen Touq, Walid Sadek)


– June 30-July 3, 2015: Open Studios (public)