May 11, 2015 - Council - 2015 program
May 11, 2015

2015 program

Joscelyn Gardner, Hibiscus esculentus (Sibyl), 2009. Hand-colored stone lithograph on frosted mylar, 36 x 24 inches.

Council’s 2015 program

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Founded in 2013 by Grégory Castéra and Sandra Terdjman, Council fosters the composition of knowledges—artistic, scientific, and social—in aim to propose new political representations. Council unites pluridisciplinary groups of researchers around inquiries related to societal issues, which are developed over several years. Council equally favors the production of works and awards an annual fellowship to cultural actors in support of their social engagement.

Developed at the Sharjah Biennial in 2013 and MoMA PS1 in 2014, Council’s first inquiry, Tacet, or the Cochlear Vertigo explores sound perception among profoundly deaf persons by taking into account the potentialities and politics of listening. Published in the form of an online essay, ongoing from November 2014 until fall 2016, this inquiry will provide the basis for the production of a choreographic piece by Noé Soulier with designer Jeffrey Mansfield, and for a new project by artist and composer Tarek Atoui.

From May 14–16, 2015, a second inquiry, The Manufacturing of Rights, will manifest as a pluridisciplinary colloquium at Ashkal Alwan (Beirut). Initiated in 2014, this project accompanies the actions of Lebanese NGO Legal Agenda to investigate the concept of Nature in the context of the law, as it is still invoked to criminalize sexual orientation and gender identity for being “against nature” in Article 534 of Lebanon’s Penal code, as well as in more than 50 countries across the world. During the colloquium, participants will unfold a series of new arguments to show how the concept of Nature is imbued with multiple, contradictory meanings used to regulate societal norms. The inquiry will result in an online data platform that seeks to equip judges and lawmakers with cultural understandings for reinterpreting such penal statutes; it will also originate the production of a video by artist Carlos Motta, in collaboration with anthropologist Maya Mikdashi, as well as a co-written intervention by artists Marwa Arsanios and Lawrence Abu Hamdan.  

On November 21, at the Musée de l’Homme (Paris), in the frame of the Climate Change Conference, Council and Mobile Academy (Berlin) will launch the 18th Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge, “On Becoming Earthlings: Exercises in shrinking and expanding the being-formerly-known-as-man.” In order to map the bio-geo-chemical as well as the imaginary and affective state of things between the earth and the earthlings in the era of the anthropocene, 100 experts from science and humanities, prosthetics, garbology, entomology, agri- and counterculture, arts and religion will partake in a series of parallel dialogues to offer a portion of their knowledge that can be told, betrayed and learned in 30 minutes. The dialogues present exercises for daily use in setting humankind into new proportions.

Council’s 2014 Fellowship was awarded to Lia Rodrigues and Zanele Muholi in support of their social and artistic engagement in the Maré favela of Rio de Janeiro, and in Soweto near Johannesburg, respectively.

Credits: The Cochlear Vertigo is conducted with Bassem Abdel Ghaffar (educator, Sharjah), Tarek Atoui (sound artist, Paris), Hansel Bauman (architect, Washington), Desiree Heiss (designer, Paris/Berlin), Wendy Jacob (artist, New York), Jeffrey Mansfield (designer, Boston), Noé Soulier (choreographer, Paris), Inigo Wilkins (philosopher, London); initiated with Sharjah Art Foundation and Al Amal School for the Deaf (Sharjah); and supported by MoMA PS1 and French Embassy of New York. The Manufacturing of Rights is conducted with Marwa Arsanios (artist, Beirut), Lawrence Abu Hamdan (artist, Beirut), Youmna Makhlouf (lawyer, Beirut), Maya Mikdashi (anthropologist, New York), Carlos Motta (artist, Bogota), Karim Nammour (legal researcher, Beirut), David Kim (curator and legal researcher, New York); initiated with Ashkal Alwan and Legal Agenda (Beirut); supported by Heinrich Böll Stiftung – Middle East Office, DiCREAM, Institut Français de Beyrouth and Foundation for Arts Initiatives. On Becoming Earthlings is initiated with Musée de l’homme, supported by Région Ile-de-France and NA!Fund.

Council’s fellowship is supported by the Tsadik Foundation.

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Press contact: info [​at​] houseofcouncil.org

 
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