Beirut Art Center – December 2009

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Born in Flames

Born in Flames

Around America VI

Born in Flames by Lizzie Borden – Film Screening

Wednesday December 2, 2009 at 8 pm – Entrance: 3 000 LL

Born in Flames

1983, 80 minutes, color, sound, English

Courtesy of First Run Features

Set in America ten years after the Second American Revolution, Born In Flames is a comic fantasy of female rebellion. When Adelaide Norris, the founder of the Woman’s Army, is mysteriously killed, a seemingly impossible coalition of women- crossing all lines of race, class, and sexual preference- emerges to blow the System apart. In a series of thrilling and often humorous encounters between groups of women ranging from militant black lesbians to white punk feminist musicians, Born in Flames covers a wide range of radical feminist ideas.

Nabil Mroueh

Nabil Mroueh

From Bach to Varese

A Solo Flute Concert by Nabil Mroueh

Wednesday December 9, 2009 at 8 pm – Entrance: 15 000 LL

Program: Bach: Partita in A minor, Telemann: Fantasy no. 6, Debussy: Syrinx, Honegger: Dance de la chevre, Varese: Density 21.5, Jolivet: Incantaion, Gelalian: Quatre Jeux,Piazzola: Tango-Etudes no.3 & 4

Akram Zaatari

Akram Zaatari

Akram Zaatari: Earth of Endless Secrets

Book Launch

Wednesday December 16, 2009, from 7pm to 9pm

Earth of Endless Secrets refers to Zaatari’s ongoin research project, unearthing and examining a wide range of documents that testify to the current cultural and political conditions of Lebanon. Zaatari’s artistic practice involves the study and investigation of the way these documents straddle, conflate, or confuse notions of history and memory. By re-contextualizing audiotapes, videos, photographs, journals, personal collections of artifacts, objects, and interviews, Zaatari explores the “dynamics that govern the state of image-making in situations of war,” more precisely in territories subject to military invasions and withdrawals. With an almost archeological eye, he reveals the intimate layers of history contained in records of everyday experience.

Edited by Karl Bassil and Akram Zaatari

Essays by: Rasha Salti, Hannah Feldman, Laura U. Marks, and Kaelen Wilson-Goldie.

Published by: Portikus (Frankfurt), Sfeir Semler Gallery, and Beirut Art Center.

With the generous support of The Prince Claus Fund, Hessische Kultur, and 53 dots.

381 pages. Color. Dimensions: 28 x 24 cm. Hard cover.

Tania Bruguera

Tania Bruguera

Around America VII

Just a question

A Performance by Tania Bruguera

Wednesday December 16, 2009 at 7pm

“Just a question” was created during the last election campaign in the United States, one where the first African American candidate was racing for a real possibility to be elected president. The ghost of white supremacists, of political violence, and of ideological extremism reappeared and increased during the last days of the race in an open matter that shocked the public view. These visceral reactions confronted the image of a country that preaches itself as the land of opportunity. A week before and a week after the election, this piece was presented in the aim of portraying the contradictions and the elements that generated such reactions. For the first version, the piece was located in the street and the passing audience was invited to sit and answer the question: “this campaign season has been wrought with political hatred; how do we ensure that political violence doesn’t lead to physical violence?”. For the second version, the piece was located inside a building where an African American guard, veteran of two wars, randomly picked audience members to follow him to a room where some images of violent acts generated by racism were projected on the wall while he was asking the person: “As you know there has been a lot of talk about the possibility of assassinating Barak Obama. What do you think generates such feelings?.” For the third installment of this piece, the same set up will prevail but the question will be: “As we have seen in the news, some extremists have appeared at events where the president of the United States is talking with guns and other means for physical violence. Why do you think people see the death of a leader as an option for implementing their ideas?”.

Around America VIII

Video Screening

Wednesday December 30, 2009

Entrance: 3 000 LL

An American Stroll in Flanders

An American Stroll in Flanders

8 pm

Jacques Lœuille

An American stroll in Flanders

2009, 43 minutes, color, sound, video, French with English subtitles

An American stroll in Flanders is a documentary essay composed of portraits of adepts of the American myth in the north of France and Belgium.

I read in Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks that “every part tends to find its whole to compensate for its own imperfection.” This aphorism touches me because it expresses the loss of an original unity; it testifies to a sensibility for dispersion and estrangement. I wanted to envisage these “Flander Americans” as the little islands da Vinci talks about, and to see myself in them. To try to discover what we want so much from America and what is missing in us; what America says about us that we have shut out from what we can say about ourselves.

Break: 15 minutes

Stranded in Canton

Stranded in Canton

9 pm

William Eggleston

Stranded in Canton

1974, 77 minutes, black and white, sound, video, English

Courtesy of Twin Palms Publishers (www.twinpalms.com)

William Eggleston’s pioneering video work, “Stranded In Canton,” has been restored and is finally available, almost thirty-five years after it was made.

“Shot in 1974 with a Sony Porta-Pak, the crazily careering Stranded in Canton documents a cast of hard-drinking Southerners with the intimacy, ease and instability of a seasoned participant. Whiffs of Southern Gothic are not new to Mr. Eggleston’s work, but here they rise to the surface–fierce, tragic and proud.” –The New York Times

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