Videoprogramma samengesteld door Nat Muller

“Perfect Present Continuous” was a wry reference to a grammatical tense (present perfect continuous), which indicated an unspecified time between 'before now' and 'now', wherein there is both an interest in the process as well as the result. This process may still be going on, or may just have been finished. By placing the word ‘perfect’ at the beginning, an impossible – and at times ironic – utopian project was articulated. The selected works presented us with visions bordering on the ideal and the flawed. They designated the moment between the potential of perfection and a preconceived failure, or the porosity between beauty and horror, present and memory, across the brink of time, geo-political space and place.

Featured by a special live performance of Lebanese artist Raed Yassin.

Tonight’s Special

A VIDEO & MUSIC PERFORMANCE BY RAED YASSIN,Tonight’s Special, (LB),20’, 2007-2008.
During the civil war period in Lebanon, the electric current was changing between 110v and 220v for unknown reasons. Once Raed plugged the VCR machine into the electricity and started to smell something strange. He plugged it out immediately and didn’t tell anybody about the incident. Since that time he has a feeling of guilt because nobody from the family members could watch night an Egyptian movie entitled “Tonight’s Special” featuring Mahmoud Yassin. Raed Yassin was born in Beirut in 1979, and works as a video, sound and visual artist, as well as a musician (double bass, tapes and electronics). He graduated from the Theatre Department in the Fine Arts Institute in Beirut. His work is based on themes related to the media, the city, the history of contemporary art, Arabic cinema, disasters, and archives. At the time of the exhibition he lived and worked in Amsterdam as a resident at The Ateliers.

Lamia Joreige (LB) Full Moon, 23’, 2007
The video and series of prints Full moon presents a few attempts over years to capture a poetic moment which happened once: A traveling with an extraordinary full moon while driving to Raouché crossing “the Ring”, then back home. The same traveling is repeated each time in a different way, the recordings which are each a diagnosis of our « present » in Beirut, constitute as many fragments of history. Is it possible to capture an instant? Aren’t we always beneath or beyond reality? Here, repetition becomes the reflection of a vain desire to capture beauty and at the same time a mean of renewal. It reflects on the process of creation.

Oraib Toukan (JO), Remind me to remember to forget, 2006, 2’50”
Remind me to remember to forget is a video that posits Middle Eastern memory as a memory that has somehow been 'made-to-forget,' a 'memory' that has become accustomed to being raped, eradicated, and disposed of right before it shifts from present to past. Entranced by the absurd US media coverage of the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, Oraib Toukan obsessively wrote and re-wrote the phrase ‘remind me to remember to forget,’ until the words and their meaning were eventually explored in a video. In a split screen format, Remind me to remember to forget depicts two separate but synchronized performances. On one half of the screen, the phrase is frantically written in gold glitter and then inhaled through a red, white, and blue nozzle. On the other half of the screen is a close up shot of a throat that concurrently breathes in and out. Set to the mind-numbingly hypnotizing sound of stifled breathing, the artist is suggestively seen remembering to forget...to erase all that she recollects…even the phrase that reminds her to do so.

Yane Calovski (MK) & Fos (DK), An Early Lost Play, 2006, 11’42”
Early Lost Play is comprised of series of public actions performed by a character - a young woman, Tanja - dealing with her own indifference in the wake of the current political situation in Denmark. They are recorded on video and produced as 8 short episodes understood as interventions in the media. As the real situation evolves and progresses, the character's existential connection to reality, built upon a certain kind of social idealism, devalues and she loses the constraints as an individual submitted to accepted codes of social behaviour. The work attempts to deconstruct these existential codes and bring up and provoke issues of social morality, escapism, non-compliance and humanity. The actions performed by the character are linked to, and hint of, demystifying social ideology, through individual demonstrations against the conservative and liberal norms and standards.

Larissa Sansour (PS/DK), SBARA, 8’30’, 2008
Heavily referencing the 1980 cult classic The Shining by Stanley Kubrick, the video piece SBARA explores the castigation of Arabs in contemporary Western dialogue. By adding an audio montage combining historical and current quotes on the Middle East to footage paraphrasing scenes from the original film, SBARA seeks to expose the cyclical nature of Middle Eastern rhetoric and policies and emphasize the psychological terror inflicted upon those at the receiving end of this repetitively stagnant political discourse.

Nat Muller (NL)
Is an independent curator and critic based in Rotterdam. She has held positions as staff curator at V2_, Institute for Unstable Media (Rotterdam) and De Balie, Centre for Culture and Politics (Amsterdam). Her main interests include: the intersections of aesthetics, media and politics; (new) media and art in the Middle East. She has published articles in off- and online media; is a regular contributor for Springerin and Bidoun, and has given presentations on the subject of (new) media art (inter)nationally. Her latest projects include The Trans_European Picnic - The Art and Media of Accession (Novi Sad, 2004), DEAF_04: Affective Turbulence: The Art of Open Systems (Rotterdam, 2004); INFRA_ctures (Rotterdam, 2005), Xeno_Sonic: a series of experimental sound performances from the Middle East (Amsterdam, 2005), DEAF07 (Rotterdam, 2007), the workshop 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place? Negotiating Artistic Practice, Audiences, Representation and Collaboration within Local and International Frameworks' (Amman, 2007). She has curated video screenings for projects and festivals in a.o. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin, New York, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Grimstad, Lugano, Dubai and Beirut. She recently co-edited the Mag.net Reader2: Between Paper and Pixel with Alessandro Ludovico (2007), and is working on Mag.net Reader3: Processual Publishing, Actual Gestures, based on a series of debates organized at Documenta XII. She is co-initiator of the Upgrade! Amsterdam, and has taught at the Willem de Kooning Academy (NL), ALBA (Beirut), the Lebanese American University (Beirut), and A.U.D. in Dubai (UAE). She serves as an advisor on Euro-Med collaborations for the European Cultural Foundation (ECF). This year she was a jury member for the prestigious Berlin-based media festival Transmediale. She will be curator-in-residence at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo from April 2008 to April 2009.

Aanvang 20.30 uur
Entree 3,50 (2,50 studenten)