Rabih Mroue’s I, the Undersigned – The People are Demanding

Rabih Mroue’s I, the Undersigned – The People are Demanding

Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts)

March 30, 2011

Rabih Mroué:
I, the Undersigned – The People are Demanding

23 March–14 May 2011

Iniva at Rivington Place
London EC2A 3BA


Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) presents the first solo exhibition in the UK by Lebanese artist, theatre director, playwright and actor Rabih Mroué at Rivington Place. A last minute intervention by the artist directly responds to current political events, the original title I, the Undersigned has been replaced with The People are Demanding and a new work produced. The exhibition explores politics, conflict and the relationship between personal responsibilities and the wider narratives of Lebanon and the region.

The striking slogan ‘The People are Demanding’ is being heard in cities across the Middle East where a revolution is unfolding, and becomes the title of a new installation for the window space. This slogan, coupled with a long list of possible demands, ranging from the political to the mundane, is an ambivalent acknowledgement of the extraordinary revival of a sense of popular unity and action but also a comment on the fragility of the individual under the totalising ‘people’.

Other installations in the exhibition pose questions concerning historical narration, memory and forgetting. Mroué’s approach merges critical theatre and performance art, incorporating video footage, photographs, found documents and newspaper clippings.

In On Three Posters. Reflections on a video-performance, 2004, Mroué analyses the different film takes rehearsed by one of the first suicide bombers in Lebanon. Grandfather, Father and Son, 2010, brings together material from the library of Mroué’s grandfather, a religious scholar turned Communist; a treatise written by his father during 1982, the year of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, and a story by Rabih Mroué himself in 1989.

Je Veux Voir (I want to see), 2010, is based on Mroué’s experience of co-starring with French actress Catherine Deneuve in a feature film (2008). She went to see the aftermath of the 2007 Israeli attack on the South of Lebanon with Mroué for what was his first visit back to his native village.

A programme of talks and events includes an exhibition tour with curator Francesco Bernardelli on 7 April, a panel discussion chaired by TJ Demos on The Politics of Fiction and Post-Civil War Memory Culture in Lebanon on 20 April and presentations by artists Reem Charif and Mohamad Hafeda on 28 April.

The Inivators (Iniva’s Youth Advisory Board, aged 18–25), in collaboration with artist Tania El Khoury, are presenting their collective response to Rabih Mroué’s work with an exhibition and archive on the recent student protests in the Education Space.

The exhibition, curated by Cosmin Costinas, is a project by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst in Utrecht, where it was on view in spring 2010. A new iteration is presented in collaboration with Iniva (23 March–14 May 2011) and includes a new commission by the artist. The project will continue to travel to a number of international venues in 2011 and 2012.

Possible Damage: The Inivators in collaboration with Tania El Khoury
23 March–14 May 2011, Iniva’s Education Space
Thu 12-9pm, Fri/Sat 12-6pm
Responding to Rabih Mroué’s work, the Inivators and artist Tania El Khoury investigate the construction of social memory and its consequent realities and have formed a collective archive on the recent student protests.

Visitor information
Rivington Place opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 11am – 6pm, Late Thursdays: 11am – 9pm (last admission 8.30pm), Saturday: 12noon – 6pm, closed Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays, open Good Friday and 29 April. Admission free. Nearest Tubes: Old Street/Liverpool Street/Shoreditch High St. For further information about Rivington Place contact: +44 (0)20 7749 1240 info@rivingtonplace.org, www.rivingtonplace.org/ www.iniva.org

For further information and images please contact:
Clare Roebuck, Head of Communications croebuck@iniva.org or tel 020 7749 1247
Sheena Balkwill, Press & Marketing Co-ordinator sbalkwill@iniva.org or tel 020 7749 1246

About Iniva
Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) engages with new ideas and emerging debates in the contemporary visual arts, reflecting in particular the diversity of contemporary society. We work with artists, curators, creative producers, writers and the public to explore the vitality of visual culture. Iniva programmes at Rivington Place, off-site and virtually.

Rabih Mroue's  I, the Undersigned - The People are Demanding
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Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts)
March 30, 2011

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