01.28.2008

Videos from Lebanon [Part 2] — Curated by Christine Tohme — [Maher Abi Samra+ Ali Kays+ Rima Kaddissi+ Akram Zaatari]

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Date/Time: 28/01/2008 12:00 am


Monday 01.28.08 — Videos from Lebanon [Part 2] — Curated by Christine Tohme
[Maher Abi Samra+ Ali Kays+ Rima Kaddissi+ Akram Zaatari]
Contents:
1. About This Monday 01.28.08
2. About the videos and the artists:
2.1- Merely A Smell / Maher Abi Samra
2.2- Nothing Matters/ Ali Kays
2.3- As I Recall / Rima Kaddissi
2.4- In This House / Akram Zaatari
3. About Christine Tohme
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1. About This Monday 01.28.08
What: Screening/ Discussion with Lamia Joreige
When: 7:30pm
Where: 16beaver, 4th Floor
Who: Free and Open to all
Please join us this Monday for part 2 of 3 of the Lebanese artists Videos, curated by Christine Tohme.
Last week we screened the first session, for more info:

http://www.16beavergroup.org/monday/archives/2008_01.php

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2. About the videos in the Second Session:
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2.1- Merely A Smell / Maher Abi Samra
On a boat bringing aid to a besieged Beirut, a loudspeaker lauds the passengers for their courage in coming to the rescue of the afflicted. From under the rubble of destroyed buildings, relief workers pull the bodies of the dead. Moving between light and darkness, life and its extinction, bodies redraw the boundaries of other bodies, the smell of death cloaking all.
[Video, 7 minutes, 2007, Arabic & English with English & Arabic subtitles]
Bio
Born in Beirut in 1965, Maher Abi Samra studied theatre at the Lebanese University, and majored in audiovisual studies at the Institut National de l’Image et du Son in Paris. He worked as a photographer for Lebanese newspapers and for Agence France Press and Reuters. He wrote and directed several documentaries, including Mariam (2006), Rond-Point Chatila (2004), Women of Hezbollah (2000), and Building on the Waves (1995).
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2.2- Nothing Matters/ Ali Kays
Mohammad abandons his passion for music, his sisters, his friends Helmi and Tawfiq, architecture school, and later Mary, his first love. He leaves everything behind, moved by an obsession with the idea that his social duty is to be politically active.
[Video, 20 minutes, 2005, Arabic with English subtitles]
Bio
Ali Kays was born in Beirut in 1978. He studied fine arts at the Lebanese University and the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA). He has worked in painting, video and installation. Kays’ video, Nothing Matters (2005), was shown in 2006 at NOMAD’s screening program, Conscious in Coma in Istanbul, at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, and the Festival International de Film et Vidéo de Création, Beirut. It was also featured in 2005 at Le TARMAC Festival, Paris, and at the Lebanese film festival “..né.à Beyrouth”. His last video work is Raafat al Hajjan the Third, shown in VidéoAvril in 2007.
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2.3- As I Recall / Rima Kaddissi
While recounting their memories of their late friend Hussein, Jaap Pieters and Ahmad Shaaban’s narratives construct, in counterpoint, a portrait that twists and alters. [Video, 13 minutes, 2007, Arabic & English with English & Arabic subtitles]
Bio
Born in 1978, Rima Kaddissi studied theatre directing at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Lebanon, and performing arts at DasArts in Amsterdam. She has worked in performance, video, and sound installation. Her installations include Let’s Pretend that the Plastic Body Bleeds (2005), and An Unfinished Shower (2004). Her performances include Ac-tress (2006), and Post(er)-Body (2004). Her video works include Maquette (2006), Monologue (2004), and Five Minutes (2002). She has also made the web-based project, Download the Flesh and Blood (2004). She currently teaches performing arts at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA).
Break
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2.4- In This House / Akram Zaatari
Following the Israeli withdrawal from Ain el Mir in 1985, the village became the frontline. The Dagher family was displaced from their home, which was occupied by a radical resistant group for seven years. When the war ended in 1991, Ali Hashisho, a member of the Lebanese resistance stationed in the Dagher family house, wrote a letter to the Dagher’s family justifying his occupation of their house, and welcoming them back home. He placed the letter inside an empty case of a B-10, 82 mm mortar, and buried it in the garden. In November 2002, Akram Zaatari headed to Ain el Mir to excavate Ali’s letter.
[Video, 30 minutes, 2005, Arabic with English subtitles]
Akram Zaatari is an artist who lives and works in Beirut. Author of more than 30 videos, and video installations, Zaatari has been exploring issues pertinent to Lebanese postwar condition, particularly the mediation of territorial conflicts and wars through television, and the logic of religious and national resistance such as in his documentary All is Well on the Border (1997), the circulation and production of images in the context of a geographical division of the Middle East, such as in his feature length This Day (2003) and In This House (2005). Zaatari has also been exploring representations of male sexuality particularly in Crazy of You (1997), and
later in How I love you (2001).
Co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation (Beirut), he based his work on collecting, studying, and archiving the photographic history of the Middle East notably studying the work of Lebanese photographer Hashem el Madani (1928-), as a register of social relationships and of photographic practices. His ongoing research was the basis for a series of exhibitions and publications such as “Hashem El Madani: Studio Practices” (with Lisa Lefeuvre) “Mapping Sitting” (collaboration with Walid Raad).
He has text contributions in scholarly journals such as Third Text, Bomb, Framework, Transition, and Parachute. He is a regular contributor, writing on video, in Zawaya.
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3. About Christine Tohme
Christine Tohme is a Beirut-based curator. In 1994 she was one of the founding members of Ashkal Alwan (The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts), a non-profit arts organisation, which she has since directed. From the outset, Ashkal Alwan has been committed to fostering and developing artistic endeavours across a wide range of disciplines and media, including installation art, video art, photography, performance and publication. In 2001, she conceived of, and initiated Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices, with three editions so far. This multidisciplinary event is intended as a public arena for artists, students, curators, intellectuals and cultural practitioners from Lebanon and abroad to engage in critical reflection and debate.
In 2006, Tohme was the recipient of the annual Prince Claus Award. She is currently completing an MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths College, London.

http://www.ashkalalwan.org/

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