June 10, 2013 - Beirut - Season Three
June 10, 2013

Season Three

Oliver Laric, Versions (still), 2012. Single channel video, 6:17 minutes. Courtesy of the artist, Seventeen Gallery, London and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.

Beirut: Season Three

Kunsthalle Lissabon, CCA Derry~Londonderry, FormContent, Art in General, Åbäke, Goldin+Senneby, Oliver Laric, Pilvi Takala, Harald Thys and Jos De Gruyter, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, Hussam Ahmed, Bassam El Baroni, Malak Helmy and Nida Ghouse, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Straub & Huillet, Johan van der Keuken, Taha Hussein, Hassan Khan, Shadi Abdel Salam, Sven Augustijnen and Katarina Zdjelar

11 Road 12 / Mahmoud Sedky
Agouza, Cairo


The flags are red. Ricordare l’impegno del movimento (sindacale). On 25 April 2013, Egypt Independent, founded in 2009, a young institution of 35 journalists and writers published its last issue. It has been forced to end. allahuma abtil sihr taa’ateel al ‘amal.

Beirut submits itself. 

What is an institution? And what can (art) institutions do? Can a multitude of institutions sing change? Can their canon of voices sound the autonomy institutional practice? What language do institutions speak? What language do they speak to money? If a school is an institution can we send institutions to school? What is an institution’s response-ability to the future? 

Kunsthalle Lissabon, CCA Derry~Londonderry, FormContent and Art in General were called on to address these questions; convening for The First Meeting (27–29 of April 2013) in Cairo and marking the launch of Season Three (26 April–30 June 2013). Marking a year since it’s founding on 1 May 2012, Beirut decides to make time for itself and others dedicating its program to its founding question: What is an Institution?

Beirut hosts FormContent‘s The Falling of the Books… (27 April–30 June 2013), a subjective reading of The Library of their current programme It’s Moving from I to It. It inspires in thinking of the role of language and of fiction, and on both when conceiving a program (and an institution). In epistolary manner, between London and Cairo, five sections are conceived, organizing a select repository of art, work(s), documents, sounds and images, that think about institutions with the help of (works by) Åbäke, Goldin+Senneby, Oliver Laric, Pilvi Takala, Harald Thys and Jos De Gruyter, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina amongst others. 

In May, Hussam Ahmed (11 May 2013) speaks about the cultural institutions of Egypt’s francophone literary and artistic circles, that sprung up in Cairo during the interwar period (1919–1939), disentangling the notions of “local” and “foreign” in context at the time. 

Bassam El Baroni (23 May 2013) imagines a conversation with Lyotard, speaking about the group exhibition, the role of the curator, positing the post-intellectual era, the faceless audience, the language and logic of funding and how these collide with the political upheavals of a place seemingly ungoverned but unable to un-rule itself from the markings of epochs past.

In June, Malak Helmy and Nida Ghouse are on-research sojourn at Beirut, erecting the foundations of Emotional Architecture, a means of addressing the social and intellectual legacies of entering and leaving collaborations (16 May–9 June 2013); they host Trial / Audit (6 June 2013)and with a screening and discussion of Hila Peleg’s A Crime Against Art produced by unitednationsplaza. 

Around the same time, Lawrence Abu Hamdan arrives to Beirut in preparation of a new narrative audio composition work focused on how a popular Islamic media form—the cassette sermon—which has transformed the political geography of Egypt. He will present his extensive inquiry into the contemporary politics of listening he is undertaking since 2010 with his Aural Contract Audio Archive (8 June 2013) in an open research environment.

To have a position there must be a location (or multiple). 

From April to June, a timely detour traversing the connections between land and territories, journeys and coincidences, affiliations and social sentiments, brings Beirut to Beirut.  A set of screenings takes place at 98weeks, Spectres Of: Part 1 (27–28 April 2013) with films by Straub & Huillet and Johan van der Keuken and Spectres Of: Part 2 (14 June 2013) with films by Sven Augustijnen and Katarina Zdjelar

An investigation into banned books, presents a narrative compiled by Habiba Effat on Fi al-Shi’r al-Jahili (On Pre-Islamic Poetry), by Taha Hussein, a text that questions the authenticity of Jahili (Pre-Islamic) poetry, aired on Our Lines are now Open: A Radio series a collaboration between 98weeks, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Nora Razian in the framework of Home Works 6

At the Beirut Art Center Beirutpresents The line at which, a program in response to Video Vintage, (12 June 2013) looking at two pivotal moments of articulation of cinematic experimentation and juncture with the visual arts in Egypt with works by Hassan Khan and Shadi Abdel Salam

In May Seasonal Selections of works by Carlos Amorales, Oliver Laric and Abbas Kiarostami are presented at Viafarini DOCVA in Milan (27 May 2013). 

In July Beirut travels with a library and exhibition to CCA Derry~Londonderry (3–20 July 2013). 

Beirut in Cairo is closed on research sojourns from Ireland to Indonesia from 1 July to 1 September 2013.  

For a full program of our events find us on Facebook at “Beirut in Cairo” visit our homepage and sign up for our monthly newsletter here.

Beirut needs your support. If you would like to donate books in exchange for Indian mangoes (they ripen in August) or write us a cheque, story or love letter please contact us at office [​at​] beirutbeirut.org

Opening hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday 12–8pm
Contact: office [​at​] beirutbeirut.org

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Lawrence Abu Hamdan is supported by the British Council. 

Beirut is made possible with the structural support of Townhouse, the Foundation for Arts Initiatives and Young Arab Theatre Fund.


Beirut: Season Three
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