July 17, 2011 - Serpentine Galleries - The Bidoun Library
July 17, 2011

The Bidoun Library

Literacy expert, Dr. Frank Laubach, works late into the night on Afghan reading primers (March 1951). Here, he sits on a table to make the most of the lone lightbulb in his dim hotel room.

Edgware Road Project Presents
The Bidoun Library at the Serpentine Gallery
12 July–17 September 2011

A Focus on the Revolution in Egypt and on London Libraries


Bidoun Library Programme
Saturdays at 3pm, Free:

Hisham Matar, author, Saturday 16 July; Nawal El Saadawi, author & activist, Saturday 23 July; Samandal Comics, artists, Saturday 30 July; Slavs & Tatars, designers, Saturday 6 August; A Partial History of Magazine Diplomacy, Michael C. Vazquez, Saturday 13 August; Ahdaf Soueif, author, Saturday 20 August; UK Libraries: Struggles for the Knowledge Commons, Saturday 27 August; Sonallah Ibrahim, author, Saturday 3 September

Evening events:
Monday 18 July, 7pm
UK Premiere: Rania Stephan. The Three Disappearances of Suad Hosni
Rania Stephan presents the UK premiere of her film The Three Disappearances of Suad Hosni (2011), which recently won the Sharjah Biennial Prize. The film’s non-fiction narrative reflects on the life and death of Egyptian actress Suad Hosni, who committed suicide while living on the Edgware Road in 2001. The Gate, 87 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JZ. Tickets available from The Gate or www.picturehouses.co.uk.

Friday 22 July, 8pm
Selected texts from the Bidoun library will be read out to an accompaniment of loud music, in a celebration of unexpected and unusual pairings. Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.

Tickets available from the Gallery Lobby Desk or Ticketweb: 08444 771 000. www.ticketweb.co.uk

The Bidoun Library, a peripatetic resource of books, periodicals and ephemera dedicated to supporting contemporary cultural producers from the Middle East will be in residence at the Serpentine Gallery this summer. While in London, the Library will address the Revolution in Egypt and the swiftly changing state of UK Libraries. They will also launch a special issue of Bidoun magazine produced in and around the revolution in Egypt.

Bidoun will also be continuing their investigation into the diverse history of printed matter related to the Middle East. During July and August, Bidoun will host a series of events at the Serpentine Gallery, including talks by leading authors and artists.

The term ‘Middle East,’ by most accounts, was coined in an English newspaper at the turn of the century. Since then it has continued to exist more concretely as an object of discourse than a geographical region. The Bidoun Library is an attempt to survey this imagined territory through its manifestations in printed matter. Its strategy is in the consideration of books, periodicals and printed matter as objects; subject to the incentives of material production and beholden to complex and historically contingent objectives. It does this by collecting and arranging in one place, not the most apt or excellent materials on the Middle East, but those which are cheapest.

The Bidoun Library residency is part of the Serpentine Gallery’s Edgware Road Project, which links local and international artists with people living and working in this London neighbourhood.

Also on View at the Serpentine Gallery:
Michelangelo Pistoletto: 12 July–17 September
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2011 by Peter Zumthor:
1 July–16 October
Open daily 10am-6pm, Free

All Saturday Seminars take place at Sackler Centre of Arts Education
Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA
T +44 (0)20 7402 6075 F

The Bidoun Library is presented in collaboration with The Church Street Library
The Delfina Foundation
In association with Shubbak: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture

Projects Supported by Bloomberg

The Edgware Road Project supported by

The Heritage Lottery Fund
The Eranda Foundation
John Lyon’s Charity
The Portman Estate
Westminster Arts

In collaboration with
Ashkal Alwan: The Lebanese Association for Plastic Artists, Beirut; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo

Serpentine Galleries
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