Tuesday, 5 May 2015

SOUND/PLACE | London | May 2015

Sound Art Group Exhibition & Events Programme 
St. James Hatcham Church

5th May - 13th May 
Private View: 5th May 6.00pm - 9pm 

The sound art group exhibition revisits the notion of “place” as a creative canvas and a platform for collaborative, critical debate and exchange. The show aims to question the problematics of displaying sonic art in a group exhibition, while utilising St. James Hatcham as a site for shared experimentation and conceptual questioning.

The artists are invited to explore the architectural layout of the space while responding to ideological discourses concerning space, place and location (sound art in relation to institutional apparatuses and political power, sociological impact of sound, senses and forms of displacement). It conceptually investigates how space as a both a physical container, and a philosophical, social and political construct, contributes to the formation, and experience of sound as art.

(De)constructing Risk | University of Applied Arts, Vienna | Apr 2015

(De)constructing Risk: A Domestic Image of the Future
Public Lecture by Helene Kazan

April 21, 2015, 19:00h
University of Applied Arts, Vienna

Strategies of analysing risk are adopted under a wide range of circumstances, and produce an image of the worst-case scenario as a complex reality fabricated by algorithms, hopes, fears, conflicting philosophies and historical precedence. Expert methods of calculating risk are employed across industry, aimed at producing the best possible forecast in order to sell a calculable danger to clientele. The domestic space, the home or the house, operates as a platform that forms a relationship between expert perceptions of risk, observed for example in the financing and insuring of houses within the real estate market, and risk felt as a tangible, bodily threat, experienced within the home. This simultaneous articulation of risk (abstract and affective) breeds a tension, which I argue is articulated and registered in the architecture of the home itself as it induces ‘alienation, distrust, and… heightened risk perception in those who are excluded from the magic preserves of its technical expertise.’ [1]

This research reads this tension through two images of the domestic space that depict the future in Lebanon. Connected on an axis, both images are speculative, as one is an image of future destruction, whilst the other is an image of perceived opportunity. Although both are uncertain, both require the viewer to not only observe and believe in the image of the future they depict, but go so far as to ask their audience to invest and gamble on it. By this process the images not only represent two different potential futures, but as a mode of production that colonises the future, they become a form of reality that is both felt in and affects the present situation.

In exposing the contradictions operating between these two images of perceived imminent or non-existent future threat within this specific context, this research intends to make present the ways in which risks’ unequal distribution contributes to constructing or deconstructing the home as a site of security. With the aim is to better understand the effects this transformative condition might create, as it impacts directly upon the sensitive and difficult nature of the territorial subject, particularly the human subject within the home.

[1] S. Jasanoff, The Political Science of Risk Perception. Elsevier Science Limited. Northern Ireland. 1998.


Friday, 3 April 2015

From Above and Below | AHRC/CHASE | Apr 2015


(De)constucting Risk | KEX Studio | Mar 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 7 pm
(De)constructing Risk: A Domestic Image of the Future
Presentation by Helene Kazan, followed by a conversation, moderated by Klaus Schafler 
KEX Studio, WUK, Vienna

Expert methods of calculating risk are employed across different industries, aimed at producing the best possible forecast in order to sell a calculable danger to clientele. Through the frame of the home or house a relationship is formed between these expert perceptions of risk, experienced for example through financial and the real-estate markets, and risk felt as a tangible, bodily threat, experienced within the home. This double articulation of risk (abstract and affective) breeds a tension which is articulated and registered in the material of the architecture of the home itself. This work examines contradictory images of an unknown future in Lebanon, produced through different methods of perceiving imminent or non-existent possibilities of future threat. In order to expose an operative condition within this specific context, to make present the ways in which risks’ unequal distribution contributes to constructing or deconstructing the home as a site of security.

Helene Kazan, Artist in Residence at KEX Studio until May 2015.
In collaboration with Atfal Ahdath art collective, Beirut and Lina Morawetz.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Interview | Hyperallergic | Mar 2015

Conjuring the Anxiety of Domestic Spaces During War by Susan Silas on March 18, 2015

I was introduced to the work of Helene Kazan when I walked into Momenta Art during a discussion for the exhibition Frames of War — titled after the book by Judith Butler and curated by Natasha Marie Llorens — and saw seated in front of me three women panelists. (I should point out that the exhibition has both female and male artists in it, and there was a later panel of all men.) I was immediately conscious of how unusual this was and reminded yet again of how little women’s voices are heard in discussions of war, how little impact they have had on the recorded history of war. In my own experience, having read extensively on the Holocaust in Europe, I have found that the history of it as both historical and personal recording is primarily written by Western white men. There are, of course, notable exceptions, but the elision of the female voice is so extreme that the history seems to me faulty and inaccurate even as it has been accepted for over half a century as the truth.

What made me curious about Kazan, who was part of the panel discussion, was that she uses a strategy to present her work that is somewhat academic, yet she is situating it an art context. I also found it interesting that she had worked previously on large-scale sculptures and films but that this work had led her to a strange hybrid between performance art and lecture.

We have all seen the many permutations of the arguments for and against political art over the years. There was a wonderful moment during the panel when Llorens was asked by someone in the audience how this kind of work could be effective when it was isolated in such a specific context, and without skipping a beat she pointed out that the art world is also part of the world. It was also clear to me that Kazan, whose projects are now “research driven” in some way, still believes that it is the visual, the image, that will convey the information she wants to get across. I was struck by the faith she has in the power of the image when we live in such an image-saturated culture; many claim the image no longer has a serious impact. Her work focuses in part on the tension between the image of a possible and perhaps desirable future contrasted with and living alongside an image of experienced past destruction and anticipated future catastrophe.

Susan Silas: In 1989, as the Berlin Wall was coming down and the shape of Europe was undergoing a dramatic transition, Lebanon was in a state of civil war. Can you talk a little bit about your early piece “Masking Tape Intervention: Lebanon 1989” and the still image that was the seed for the short film it inspired?

Helene Kazan: The still image, which reveals the everyday interior of a beige and brown tiled kitchen……

To read full interview:

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Residency | Kunsthalle Exnergasse (KEX) Vienna | Feb 2015

Beginning in 2012, the Kunsthalle Exnergasse (KEX) awards grants for artist residencies of one to three months respectively. Presently, the selection of the artists takes place in a constant cooperation with international institutions and groups from the broader field of innovative artistic practice and research.

KEX RESIDENZ 2015 one.
Artist in Residence | KEX Studio
Helene Kazan
February – May 2015
In collaboration with Atfal Ahdath art collective, Beirut and Lina Morawetz


Friday, 27 February 2015

From Above and Below | Mosaic Rooms | Feb 2015

28/02/15 12:00pm
Mosaic Rooms, 226 Cromwell Road, London 

‘From Above and Below’ is a free lecture performance event that brings together a series of artists investigations into the shifting parameters of contemporary warfare. With the intention to not only convey the position or physical viewpoint — from above — which the state apparatus utilises as part of modern day conflict, exemplified by the use of armed drones and aerial bombing. In particular this event focuses on the position — from below — mobilising the domestic arena as a platform, and as a material and human register of this perceivable external threat. By exploring this condition the presented works observe a violent interpenetration of private and public spheres, a condition that is intensified by the multi-scalar effects of war.

The proposition for the event is thus to better understand the effect of being positioned ‘From Above and Below’ and to analyse the transformations this doubled condition might create, as it impacts directly upon the sensitive and difficult nature of the territorial subject, especially the human subject within the home.

‘From Above and Below’ has been realised by artist and PhD researcher Helene Kazan as a way to reflect upon key issues that are central to her practice but also of contemporary urgency. In bringing together the participants in this event, Kazan reminds us that the violence of events that are both distant to us and that are constituted through a regime of distance, always produce their complex counter-narratives and effects on the ground.

Drone Strike Investigation. Case study no. 2: Mir Ali, North Waziristan, October 4, 2010 – Eyal Weizman
On October 4, 2010, a US drone struck a home in the town of Mir Ali, North Waziristan, in Pakistan, killing five people. One of the surviving witnesses to this attack is a German woman, who lived in the house at the time with her two-year-old boy and her husband. Together with Forensic Architecture, this witness built a digital model of her home, which no longer exists. During a day-long process of computer modeling, the witness slowly reconstructed every architectural element of her house. Placed virtually within the space and time of the attack, the witness was able to recollect and recount the events around the strike.

Following a screening of the film produced for the Drone Strike Investigation into the Mir Ali Case in North Waziristan, Helene Kazan will interview Eyal Weizman on the investigation and his recent work with MAPP.


‘Home is a 3-year shelf-stable pizza’ – Jesse Connuck
‘Home is a 3-year shelf-stable pizza’ looks at military food rations as a lens for analyzing the ways military power shapes the daily life of soldiers, and the way those soldiers’ ideas of home shape military strategy. Through an examination of the ways food operates in zones of conflict, this research outlines an interest in the politics of cultivating a sense of home and comfort at war, and the biopolitics of government-dictated nutrition.

‘Home-Image’ - Daniel Mann
Traditional ideas of home, homeland and nation have been destabilized, both by new patterns of physical mobility and migration and by communication technologies which routinely transgress the symbolic boundaries around both the private household and the nation state. By critically questioning the circulation of images that frame domestic spaces in Palestine and Israel, this research articulates a political ontology of images that depicts the home both as a shelter and as a volatile war zone. It argues that while images are traditionally understood as representations of actual places, the home, as it is theorized here, is always already a virtual image.



(De)constructing Risk: A Domestic Image of the Future – Helene Kazan
The domestic space – the home or the house – is the site where a complex range of values converge and where small-scale actions of preparedness or anticipation mediate the effects of risk and its management into a range of affective and experiential registers (realised in the form of taping or re-enforcing outer walls). This research seeks to understand the way the domestic arena forms a relationship between risk observed as an abstract calculus (experienced through the real-estate market), and risk felt as a tangible, bodily threat (experienced within the home). Exposing the contradictions operating across differing modes of risk perception in order to examine the ways in which they contribute to (de)constructing the home as a site of security.

F/EAR: Living Under Drones – Susan Schuppli and Tom Tlalim
‘It is a queer experience, lying in the dark and listening to the zoom of a hornet which may at any moment sting you to death. It is a sound that interrupts cool and consecutive thinking about peace. Yes it is a sound – far more than prayers and anthems – that should compel one to think about peace’ From Virginia Woolf ‘Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid’, October 21 1940.


Please note that the upper galleries of David Birkin’s exhibition Mouths At The Invisible Event will not be viewable during this event.


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Frames of War | Momenta - New York | Jan 2015

OPENING RECEPTION: Sunday, January 18, 6-8pm
SCREENINGS + DISCUSSION: Friday, February 6, 7-9pm & Saturday, February 7, 3 -7pm

January 18 - March 23, 2013
Curated by Natasha Marie Llorens
Artists: Ala Eddine Slim, ismaël and Youssef Chebbi, Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani
Helene Kazan, Chelsea Knight, Jeewi Lee, Lina Selander, SITU Research

* The website was created by the curator and artists in conjunction with the exhibition.

How do we recognize a photograph of war? Is it possible to make an image of the trauma that lingers in its wake? “Frames of War” proposes that picturing war’s reverberations, and not only its sensational moments of acute crisis, is crucial. This exhibition takes its title and its premise from Judith Butler’s eponymous book, in which she argues for the need to widen our range of recognition both of war and of the vulnerable bodies, populations, and histories that war produces. We need to see more, not less. This does not mean that we need to see the violence of war in more graphic detail. It means we need to understand the breadth of violence more clearly, to acknowledge it even in its most excruciatingly banal manifestations.

The artists in “Frames of War” suggest that this violence marks urban life far beyond the moment when actual explosives and shelling have ceased to be part of the everyday. Helene Kazan presents two short videos that investigate the impact war has on our ability to imagine coherent domesticity. Lina Selander’s silent film was shot in Hebron, in the West Bank, as a record of war’s architectonics: a military checkpoint trying to adapt to its historic (Islamic) architectural surroundings, a chain link fence above a busy commercial street. Jeewi Lee’s performative drawing of soldiers on the walls of an abandoned building in what was Berlin’s Jewish Ghetto is meant as an analogue to the Stolpersteine, individual cobblestones marking the place of Jewish residents persecuted by the Nazis. Both are insufficient to the task of memory, and necessarily so, yet both testify to how the past persists in the space of the city. Babylon is the filmic portrait of an informal city, one constituted almost overnight in the border zone between Libya and Tunisia. Ala Eddine Slim, ismaël, and Youssef Chebbi capture the informal economies and violent language games of a place forcibly suspended from time, a humanitarian zone.

If war today is inescapably urban, it is also obsessed with the flow of information. The debate about contemporary media coverage and the almost instantaneous global distribution of violent images focuses on one aspect of this flow, but its importance is also—more subtly, perhaps—constituted by the distinction between stories that are told and stories that are erased, withheld, and obscured. Mariam Ghani and Chitra Ganesh photocopy heavily censored national security documents that have been “released” to the public. They make images of war’s conspicuous absence from it’s own documentation. Chelsea Knight juxtaposes scenes of military interrogation with domestic negotiation, drawing parallels between the ambiguous forms of (rhetorical) power deployed in each instance. Her film seems to asks, ‘what do you need to do/say to get the story you want?’ Brad Samuels from SITU Research will speak about the Left to Die Report, which includes trajectory visualizations of a boat that was allowed to drift in the Mediterranean without rescue for days and on which 63 migrants eventually died. The report also reconstructs the paths of various French and UN vessels that claim not to have encountered the stranded ship. In all three projects, the underlying motivation is in part to remind the viewer of the body that information describes, controls, makes invisible.


Ala Eddine Slim (Sousse, 1982) is a video artist and filmmaker based in Tunis. He has directed three short films, L’automne, Une nuit parmi les autres and The Stadium. ismaël makes video art and experimental films, working in conceptual and documentary photography as well as installations. He is also a poet, with a published collection entitled, Letters to death (Toulouse, 2009). Youssef Chebbi is a director, writer and composer. He directed two short movies, Heading North and The Depths, both in 2012. Their joint project, Babylon, won the Grand Prix at the FIDMarseille International Film Festival in 2012 and the Universities Price at the DocLisboa International Film Festival, also in 2012.

Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani have collaborated since 2004 on Index of the Disappeared, which is both a physical archive of post-9/11 disappearances and a mobile platform for public dialogue. Ganesh was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where she currently lives and works. Her drawing, installation, text-based work, and collaborations seek to excavate and circulate buried narratives typically excluded from official canons of history, literature, and art. Ghani was born in New York and lives in Brooklyn. Her research-based practice spans video, installation, performance, photography, and text, and operates at the intersections between place, memory, history, language, loss, and reconstruction.

Helene Kazan is a multidisciplinary artist who uses research and archival material in her practice to generate moving image and multimedia installations. Kazan recently participated in Urban Encounters 2014: Movements / Mobilities / Migrations at the Tate Britain in London, Forensis at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Exposure at Beirut Art Center, Lebanon and It’s Always too Late: Archiving the Anthropocene at the Showroom in London. Kazan is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Chelsea Knight was born in Vermont and lives and works in New York. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Knight completed residencies at the Whitney Independent Study Program (2010) and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2008), and was a Fulbright Fellow in Italy (2007). Solo exhibitions and performances include: The St. Louis Art Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, Aspect Ratio Gallery (Chicago), Momenta Art (Brooklyn), and Night Gallery (with Elise Rasmussen). Knight has exhibited and screened her work in group shows including Nouvelles Vagues at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Anti-Establishment at Bard CCS Hessel Museum, the Young Artists' Biennial (Bucharest), and the 10th Annual Istanbul Biennial. Knight will be a Spring 2015 Artist in Residence at the New Museum (NYC).

Jeewi Lee is an artist based in Seoul and Berlin. She graduated from Universität der Künste with Fine Art and completed her Meisterschueler degree. She is currently seeking her MA in post-graduat study called “Art in Context”.  Lee works with different mediums such as painting, video, installation, and performance. Her works are thematically focused on social phenomenon, and visual perceptions. Representative motifs in her works are various and camouflage patterns. Her works have been exhibited in group exhibitions in various cities and two solo exhibitions Spurenlauschen and Abrieb in Berlin in the past years.

Lina Selander works mainly with moving images in film and video, but also with photography, text and sound. Her works are often installations where these different media and components converge. She is interested in the image’s ability (or lack thereof) to reproduce time, experience and memories, and in exploring the transformation of narrative forms. Selander’s work has been shown at Index, The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Moderna Museet and in international group shows, biennales and festivals, for example in the Seoul Media Art Biennale 2014, Manifesta 9-European Biennal of Contemporary Art 2012, and the Bucharest Biennale 4, 2010. She will represent Sweden to the Venice Biennial in 2015.

Bradley Samuels is a Partner at SITU Research - an interdisciplinary practice working in design, visualization and spatial analysis. Focused on developing innovative strategies and new tools, SITU Research leverages a strong foundation in architecture, materials and digital instrumentation to collaborate with and contribute to a diverse array of fields. A core value of SITU Research is the applied nature of its work – the studio seeks to address challenges grounded in urgent contemporary spatial issues – be they social, scientific or artistic.

Natasha Marie Llorens is an independent curator and writer based in New York. In 2014, she curated Prove It To Me, at REVERSE Gallery in Williamsburg, and co-curated Failing to Levitate with Kerry Downey at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space in Manhattan. Upcoming exhibitions include Threshing Floor, at the Cuchifritos Gallery. She teaches art history and theory at The Cooper Union and curation at Eugene Lang. She is a graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and a Ph.D. candidate in art history at Columbia University. Her academic research is focused on violence and representation in the 1970s and 1980s.

Image credit: Lina Selander, video stills from Around the Cave of the Double Tombs, 2010


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Urban Encounters 2014 | Tate Britain | Oct 2014

Paul Halliday, from the Series Close to Nowhere (forthcoming) 
Courtesy of the artist

Urban Encounters 2014: Movements / Mobilities / Migrations

Tate Britain, Clore Auditorium
Friday 24 October 2014, 10.30 – 17.00
Saturday 25 October 2014, 10.30 – 18.00
£30, concessions available
A drinks reception follows Friday’s programme

This year’s Urban Encounters symposium looks at the visual manifestations and effects of movement, mobility and migration on the historic and contemporary city. Over two days, an international line up of artists, academics, and researchers reflect on the nature of flow and flux through and between city spaces with a variety of topics including economic mobility, labour movements, borders, and the migration of things and people.

In addition to a series of panels and presentations, this year’s symposium features half a day of workshops, seminars and walks, led by speakers and organisers. Participants will be contacted closer to the event to select from these activities.

The series of panels focuses on the experiences of people and communities, built and architectural environments, urban landscapes, performativity and how material cultures reflect the possibilities and challenges that redefine how we understand the changing faces of everyday urban life. The workshops, seminars and walks provide a more intimate context through which to directly explore and discuss the ideas and themes of the symposium.

This symposium is of particular interest to photographers, artists, film-makers, architects, sociologists, geographers and social researchers whose work addresses notions of social change and the decentring of urban life within an age of expanding globalisation and changing geographic boundaries.

Event schedule
Friday 24 October

10.30 - 12.20
Introduction by Nora Razian, Curator of Public Programmes
Tate Keynote by Xavier Ribas: Nitrate
Lia Chavez: On the Art Material of Consciousness: Movement, Duration and the Choreography of Flow
Bill Marshall: Parkour and the
Still Image
Ben Gidley: Another London: Encountering the Metropolis from the Migrant's Perspective
Panel discussion with all speakers and keynote chaired by Junko Theresa Mikuriya

14.00 - 15.00 Screening & Discussion
This will be an open session with no need to register

Simon Robinson: Estuary England
Estuary England is a short film exploring the area around the Queen Elizabeth 2 Crossing at West Thurrock. It is the first part in a wider project exploring the Thames Gateway region and the pull of the contemporary ‘empire of London’ in its surrounding satellite towns.

Helene Kazan: Masking Tape Intervention: Lebanon 1989
Masking Tape Intervention: Lebanon 1989' is entirely generated from a single archive photograph taken in 1989 using a Kodak Instamatic camera, following news of a War of Liberation against occupying Syrian forces during the Lebanese Civil War.

The image was taken not just as a keepsake of the home, but as a record which bears witness to a moment of insecurity regarding the future.

Sunara Begum: Ara’s World (excerpt)
Ara is a young woman who grew up in East London and born between two identities of her homeland and the land of her lived experiences, her memories and her present. She questions how she came to be here and asks where her future lies. Somewhere within the milieu of this social, cultural and poetic journey, she finds her inner voice.

14.00-16.30 Walk to Pimlico District Heating Undertaking and Accumulator Tower led by Bradley Garrett.

On this urban tour, we are going to be opening out an imagination of the vertical city that we often ignore. At first glance, what appears to be a monotonous council estate is in fact a project in experimental urbanism. We ascend an accumulator tower as part of thePimlico District Heating Undertaking and talk about how this estate is connected to one of the most iconic buildings in London, Battersea Power Station. From this height, we are able to watch the behemoth chimneys of Battersea being chewed away as Dr Garrett tells you the story of their final unsolicited ascent.

14.00-16.30 River Walk led by Peter Coles.
From Tate Britain to London Bridge. This riverside walk offers the challenge of photographing some iconic tourist sites from a new angle, as well as the people (tourists, trades people and locals) along the way, looking for the unexpected, the unfamiliar and the ephemeral. We finish at London Bridge, with the possibility of spending time in Borough Market.

14.00-16.30 Parkour walk led by Bill Marshall
Practioners of parkour lead an exploratory walk around Pimlico and Vauxhall encountering buildering and parkour along the route.

15.20-16.50 Seminar on Migrating Architecture with Adam Kaasa, Manton Studio
This seminar looks to several examples where architectural ideas travel, move, circulate, migrate - the housing estate, the Olympics, the contemporary urban ferris wheel, for example - to ask questions about those other elements that migrate: aspiration, labour and capital.

15.20-16.50 Seminar led by Jennifer Bajorek, River Room.
This seminar focuses on the history of art and spatial practice in urban Africa, looking at changing infrastructures connected with visual and spatial practice in late colonial and postcolonial cities.

15.20-16.50 Seminar led by Xavier Ribas, Duffield Room
Nitrate is a photographic exploration of the legacies of sodium nitrate, a mineral used in the fabrication of fertilisers and explosives that was at the centre of the relationship between Chile and Great Britain in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It takes the form of a visual essay that traces the route of Chilean nitrate from natural mineral state processed in the oficinas of the Atacama desert through transported commodity and stock market exchange value to become, ultimately, part of the material and symbolic inheritance of mansions and estates in London and the surrounding countryside. Nitrate is part of the AHRC funded research project 'Traces of Nitrate. Mining History and Photography between Britain and Chile'

15.00-17.00 Open Call Crit led by Paul Halliday, Clore Auditorium.

More information available at:

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Book Launch of The Architecture of Public Truth | The Showroom | May 2014

Launch of Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth
Edited by Forensic Architecture
Published by Sternberg Press, 2014

Researchers from the Forensic Architecture project will host a guided tour through the recently published volume FORENSIS: The Architecture of Public Truth.

Speakers include Eyal Weizman, Susan Schuppli, Shela Sheikh, Francesco Sebregondi, Godofredo Periera, Helene Kazan, and Lorenzo Pezzani.

Forensis is Latin for 'pertaining to the forum' and the root of the term forensics. In excavating the origins of the term, the volume seeks both to expand the scope of contemporary forensics, and to challenge its popular role in articulating notions of public truth.

At the heart of the book is a methodological experiment in which the architects, artists, filmmakers, lawyers, and theorists who worked together on the Forensic Architecture project at Goldsmiths, University of London, employed new technologies and spatial research methods to investigate critical contemporary issues such as border regimes, urban warfare, and climate change.

These investigations—undertaken in Pakistan, the Amazon basin, Yemen, Chile, Bangladesh, the United States, Palestine, Guatemala, the former Yugoslavia, and the Mediterranean Sea, amongst other places—generated evidence of state or corporate violence on behalf of prosecution teams, civil society organizations, activist networks, human rights groups, and the United Nations.

By presenting investigative reports on this work together with critical essays situating contemporary forensics within its broader historical, theoretical, political, and aesthetic contexts, this collection suggests ways in which new engagements with the materiality of the world can expand our political imagination, open up alternative forums for civic dispute and practice, and articulate new claims for justice.


Archives for the Future | mnemoscape | Mar 2014

ARCHIVES FOR THE FUTURE: An Art and Visual Culture Conference

Saturday 29 March 2014, University of Westminster (309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW).

The conference is organised by Mnemoscape (Elisa Adami and Alessandra Ferrini) with the support of the University of Westminster, the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture and The International Association for Visual Culture. Moreover, it has been specifically supported by:

Dr Uriel Orlow (artist, writer, lecturer and senior research fellow at University of Westminster – click here for his website).

Dr Marquard Smith (Research Leader and Head of Doctoral Studies in the School of Humanities at the Royal College of Art; Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Visual Culture)

Dr David Cunningham (course leader for the MA Cultural and Critical Studies at the University of Westminster; member of the editorial collective of the journal Radical Philosophy and part of the editorial advisory boards of both CITY and the Journal of Visual Culture)

For futher information please email mnemoscape@gmail.com


Mnemoscape is an online platform and network dedicated to contemporary art practices exploring issues of memory, history and the archival impulse.


The University of Westminster is a diverse and dynamic international education institution situated in the heart of London.


The Institute brings together creative, critical, and committed researchers and postgraduate students from around the world, and functions as a community for its students and staff, as well as a hub for both cross-School collaboration and external partnerships at Westminster.


The International Association for Visual Culture means to foster communication and exchange among individuals and institutions engaged in critical analyses of and interventions in visual culture.


Monday, 10 March 2014

Forensis | Haus der Kulturen der Welt | Berlin | Mar 2014

2014, Mar 15, Sat - 2014, May 05, Mon

Whereas the twentieth century could be viewed as the "age of the witness", the current "forensic turn" is inaugurating nothing less than a new cultural imagination. The exhibition excavates the notion of forensis - Latin for things pertaining to the forum - to designate the role of material forensics in articulating new notions of public truth. Its condition is one in which aesthetic practices, new technologies, and architectural research methodologies bear upon the legal implications of political struggle, violent conflict, and climate change. Forensis is based on public presentation and argumentative narrative with the aid of material and spatial objects and structures in the juridical-political sphere. It is about "producing" and "attesting" facts through narrative demonstration. The projects by artists, filmmakers, and architects shown in the exhibition investigate a range of human rights violations, environmental crimes, and man-made and natural disasters in order to reflect on the new - technologically induced - political agency of matter. A broad spectrum of spatial analyses, mappings, and forms of representation are used both to interrogate political issues through forensics and at the same time the very assumption of contemporary forensics. The case studies and investigations include f. i. forensic reconstructions of drone strikes in the shadow war in Pakistan and of the failure of NATO ships to render assistance to refugee boats; investigations into resource exploitation and environmental destruction, taking examples such as Chilean and Indonesian copper mines, and historic case studies, including the identification of Joseph Mengele’s remains in Brazil.

How do mortal remains, DNA samples, and satellite images become forensic evidence? What role do imaging techniques and methods of representation play in the investigation of crimes or political acts of violence? How are objects made to speak?

The exhibition FORENSIS and the accompanying conference will explore the procedures, tools, and spatial arrangements used in forensics, as well as the potential of a new aesthetic-political practice. With this exhibition, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt devotes itself to the rapidly expanding field of artistic research and knowledge production and, through diverse examples, examines the interleaving of science, media, and the political sphere.

With contributions by: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Nabil Ahmed, Maayan Amir, Anthropocene Observatory (Anselm Franke, Armin Linke, Territorial Agency/John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog), Jacob Burns, Gabriel Cuéllar, DAAR (Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal, Eyal Weizman), Forensic Oceanography (Charles Heller, Lorenzo Pezzani), Grupa Spomenik (Damir Arsenijević, Ana Bezić, Pavle Levi, Jelena Petrović, Branimir Stojanović, Milica Tomić), Ayesha Hameed, Samir Harb, Helene Kazan, Thomas Keenan, Steffen Kraemer, Adrian Lahoud, Model Court (Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Lorenzo Pezzani, Oliver Rees), Modelling Kivalina (Andrea Bagnato, Daniel Fernández Pascual, Helene Kazan, Hannah Meszaros Martin, Alon Schwabe), Gerald Nestler, Godofredo Pereira, Nicola Perugini, ScanLAB Projects (Matthew Shaw, William Trossell), Susan Schuppli, Francesco Sebregondi, Shela Sheikh, SITU Research (Robert Beach, McKenna Cole, Therese Diede, Akshay Mehra, Charles-Antoine Perrault, Bradley Samuels, Xiaowei Wang), Caroline Sturdy Colls, Paulo Tavares, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss/NAO, Eyal Weizman and Ines Weizman.

Curated by Anselm Franke and Eyal Weizman.

FORENSIS is a co-production by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, funded by the Capital Cultural Fund, and by Forensic Architecture, ERC-funded research project based at Goldsmiths, University of London.



Image: Forensis | The DNA-identification room at Clyde Snow Laboratory (“Laboratorio Clyde Snow”), Guatemala City, November 2011. | Photo: Paulo Tavares/Eyal Weizman

Spring Lecture Series | UAL: Wimbledon College of Arts | Mar 2014

UAL: Wimbledon College of Arts
Spring Lecture Series on the 11th of March 

5 - 6pm Tuesday 11th March 2014

Helene Kazan is a multidisciplinary artist, who across her practice uses research and archival material to generate moving image and multimedia installations looking at risk analysis and the ‘future ruin’. She has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally, including most recently in 'Exposure' at the Beirut Art Center in Lebanon, 'It’s Always too Late, Archiving the Anthropocene' at The Showroom in London and 'Forensis' an exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.

Kazan did a BA in Fine Art Painting at Wimbledon School of Art, and recently completed an MA at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Art Against War | The Mosaic Rooms | Feb 2014

British-Lebanese artist Helene Kazan will talk about her work at the Mosaic Rooms gallery in Earls Court, a cultural space dedicated to showcasing contemporary art focused on the Middle East.

Helene Kazan is a multidisciplinary artist, who across her practice uses research and archival material to generate moving image and multimedia installations looking at risk analysis – and the 'future ruin'. She has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally, including most recently in Forensis, a major exhibition at the House of World Cultures in Berlin.

Please note this event is for Stop the War members, who may bring up to 4 guests. Non-members considering becoming a member or who have further questions are also welcome. This is an excellent opportunity to find out more about Stop the War in an informal setting. Local Stop the War reps and national officers will be happy to speak with you.

EXPOSURE 2013 | Beirut Art Center | Nov 2013

November 7.13 - January 11.14

Shirin Abu Shaqra • Monira Al Qadiri • Pedro Barakat • Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh & Rozenn Quéré • Yasmina Haddad • Inaya Fanis Hodeib • Maxime Hourani • Maha Kays • Helene Kazan • Christine Kettaneh • Wael Kodeih • Randa Mirza  • Camila Salame • Lara Tabet

About the exhibition

For the fifth year in a row, Beirut Art Center (BAC) is organizing Exposure, its only annual exhibition, dedicated to emerging artists in and from Lebanon.

With the aim of encouraging every eligible artist to apply, Exposure is conceived as an open and flexible exhibition that is only defined by the characteristics of each project, as well as the diversity of the media and themes in the show. Like every year, BAC invites a new jury to make the selection. Gregory Buchakjian (art historian and artist), Fares Chalabi (philosopher), Tarek Abou El Fetouh (curator), and Rania Stefan (filmmaker/artist) formed this year’s jury; as it is customary the board of BAC had one voice. For the sake of presenting an exhibition that is rich in content, fourteen artists were selected from a pool of a hundred applicants, making Exposure 2013 the largest edition to date.

Exposure 2013 presents the occasion to reflect on several ideas and themes. The following description is by no means exhaustive, but is meant to give an idea of some of the concerns and practices of each artist. Although working with different media, Camila Salame, Christine Kettaneh, Helene Kazan, Inaya Hodeib, and Maha Kays express particular impressions of memory and home. The inescapable longing for an impossible home is the impetus behind the poetic imagery in Salame’s sculptures. Kettaneh’s interest lies in language, but also in the access to the home, that is in the key, and especially in what has been cut to make it. Kazan’s multimedia installation sets the ordinary image of the domestic space against a complex conceptual framework of pre-emption, a strategy learned in times of war. Hodeib’s work also has references in the Lebanese Civil War. She seeks to take the portrait form to new terrains by drawing on her light-hearted memories from childhood, and setting them against a backdrop of ‘pop culture’ products, signifiers from the war period.  Also reminiscent of war, a sound unexpectedly emerges allowing a story to be told in Maha Kays’ video installation.

A personal story is the starting point in the works of Yasmine Eid Sabbagh and Rozenn Quéré, Lara Tabet, Pedro Barakat, and Yasmina Haddad. Eid-Sabbagh and Quéré deal with exile, memory and fiction, exploring different possibilities offered by reading images and biographical narration. Tabet also works with family photographs; only it is a therapeutic gesture of understanding and coping with loss. To investigate the past and present of a homeland he never saw as a child, Barakat begins his journey by looking at his father’s objects and diaries. Starting at what used to be her father’s gallery and furniture factory in Beirut, Haddad revisits Art Deco using a cross-thematic approach.

The body is a broad theme that connects the works of Shirin Abu Shaqra, Randa Mirza, and Wael Kodeih. Abu Shaqra meditates on the pathological body as a laborious rite of initiation. The body is questioned in Mirza’s photography installation, as she addresses gender performance and sexuality. Kodeih’s intrigue in the phenomenon of a censored and defaced female body led him to research the topics of activism, Internet security, and surveillance.

Images and events from the contemporary history of our region inform the works of Maxim Hourani and Monira Al Qadiri. Hourani comments on the forms and causes of dissent, and actively involves the viewer in the creation of spaces of protest. From a different perspective, at a time when apocalyptic theories are gaining popular momentum in the region, Monira Al Qadiri recreates the latent nostalgic likeness of doomsday by juxtaposing paradisiacal poetry with amateur VHS footage of the burning oil fields in Kuwait at the end of the First Gulf War in 1991.

Lastly, like previous editions, Exposure 2013 is not a curated exhibition, because of a consensus not to exclude a promising artist on the basis of a theme or an artistic approach. Yet this year BAC put emphasis on discussing the projects with each artist, aiming to accompany them in the process of making their works for the exhibition.

A wide range of media and forms characterize this edition, from photography and video, installations and sculptures, to texts and a painting. And while it is completely arbitrary, it is striking that most of the exhibiting artists live abroad.

An exhibition catalogue featuring the works of all participants will be produced and launched on the opening night. In addition to the possibility of keeping a record of this edition, the catalogue is also a platform for the artists to present ideas and materials around the works on display, as well as insights into their artistic practice as a whole.


It's Always Too Late: Archiving the Anthropocene | The Showroom | Sept 2013

Eight MA projects developed at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, attempt to map a specific trace of humanity's impact on the environment. Throughout the exhibition a printing press will perform the archival process, culminating in a publication to be launched on Friday 13 September.

The projects work collectively on calculations of risk, the production and reproduction of error, colonisation and decolonisation, social displacement, the production of urban voids and the structure of the archive itself, through a programme of actions that leave behind a printed mark in the gallery.

Centre for Research Architecture is an MA programme in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. This innovative research centre brings together architects, urbanists, filmmakers, curators and other cultural practitioners from around the world to work on expanded notions of architecture that engage with questions of culture, politics, conflict and human rights.

It’s Always Too Late: Archiving the Anthropocene includes work by Andrea Bagnato, Doron von Beider, Jane Brake, Selman Çelik, Helene Kazan, Bhavika Patel, Marilou Sakellariou and Alon Schwabe.

Launch Party
Fri 13 September, 6–9pm

Conversations on Risk
With Helene Kazan and guests
Mon 9–Thu 12 September, 1–2pm

Terra Infecta
Installation by Andrea Bagnato
Tue 10 September, 3–6pm

Performance by Alon Schwabe
Wed 11 September, 5pm

SWIPE: Sonic Works in Passing Edgware
Performance by Jane Brake and Marilou Sakellariou
Thu 12 September, 4–5pm

Never Too Late for Tea
Join us for a cup of the blend of the day
Daily, 5pm

The Showroom

‘The Public Image’ | International Visual Sociology Conference | July 2013

The International Visual Sociology Association 2013 Annual Conference will take place from 8 to 10 July 2013 at Goldsmiths, University of London. The conference will be hosted by CUCR - Centre for Urban and Community Research gold.ac.uk/cucr

Inspired by Michael Burawoy’s concept of “public sociology,” we dedicate the 2013 IVSA conference to the concept of the “public image”, and the ways that visual sociology can meet Burawoy’s challenge to bring a sociological understanding of social life to a vibrant, active and diverse public. Public sociology endeavors to bring sociology into dialogue with audiences beyond the academy, an open dialogue in which both sides deepen their understanding of public issues.

Panel: Forensic Futures
Susan Schuppli
Shela Sheikh
Steffen Kraemer
Helene Kazan

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A Domestic Image of Preemption | Lubomirov-Easton | Apr 2013

A Domestic Image
of Preemption

Helene Kazan

Enclave 8, 50 Resolution Way, Deptford SE8 4AL

Private View: Friday 26 April, 6-9.30pm
Artist's Performance Lecture: Saturday 4 May, 4pm
Exhibition Dates: 26 April to 24 May, Wednesday to Saturday, 12-6pm

‘A Domestic Image of Preemption’, a multimedia installation by Helene Kazan, sets the ordinary image of the domestic space against a complex conceptual framework of preemption. Bringing together under one roof a sequence of interacting moving images made using a unique methodology of extracting visual information found in a set of photographs, the space depicted in each is reproduced, with the films revealing the potentially catastrophic breaking point under which each photograph is generated. Here, the architecture of the home is shown to transform, through a set of overarching conditions, from a space of shelter to a space of potent threat.

Whilst preemptive action has been etched into our collective consciousness through its application as a strategy of war, Kazan’s claim is that there is no less at stake when such measures are applied to the domestic context. Rather a reproduction of scale is performed, bringing into focus actions of a necessary fortification that take place within the domestic realm: for instance, the use of tape to prevent glass windows shattering when exposed to violent force during natural disaster or armed conflict. As such, the focus for this exhibition is image production – above all photography – as a preemptive act.

Exploring the conditions that provoke such actions, Kazan draws on the idea that any potential threat to the assumed security of this environment creates a situation that reconfigures the relationship between past, present and future. Rather than preventing future catastrophe, preemptive action becomes a driving force inducing it into the present. This proposition is unfolded from two standpoints: a series of photographs taken of Kazan’s own home during the Lebanese Civil War in 1989 and a set of images produced as a home insurance inventory in the UK in 2013.

Operating through the potential of these visual objects and unlocking the information harboured within them, Kazan utilises the elasticity and fluidity of time that is brought to light by this conceptual framework. The tensions of a limited futurity are activated through the use of filmmaking processes to trick time, capture it and then playfully traverse through it. Revealing to the viewer a narrated dialogue formed between the independent, yet interconnected scenarios. Illustrating the dissemination of sovereign power through these conditions, and therefore how domestic space is re-fabricated within the parameters of its control.

Helene Kazan is a multidisciplinary artist who has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally. Across her practice, she uses research and archival material to generate moving image and mixed media sculptural installations. She is currently completing a Masters at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. 


Curated by Iavor Lubomirov and Bella Easton. Text by Helene Kazan.


Images of Terror, Narratives of (In)security | University of Lisbon, Portugal | Apr 2013

Images of Terror, Narratives of (In)security:
Literary, Artistic and Cultural Responses

23rd and 24th April 2013
Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, Portugal

One of the greatest paradoxes of the 21st century is the fact that, even though western societies have reached an outstanding scientific and technological development, fear and insecurity continue to be very much alive in public discourse as well as in our private life. Concerns about terrorism, urban criminality, global epidemics, computer piracy and organized crime and, more recently, about the outcomes of the financial and economic crises circulate widely in the media and their highly politicized representations shape much of our everyday life.

To what extent are many of these (in)securities real, exaggerated or constructed? What explains the disparate amount of attention paid to different sources of insecurity? Why do certain forms of “terror” achieve the status of “spectacles” and “memorable events”, while others receive comparatively little attention by the media and popular discourse?

In this conference we aim to examine how literature, art and culture have dealt with notions of insecurity and to what extent they have provided significant challenges and responses to hegemonic discourses.  

Panel: Preemptive Images
Susan Schuppli - The forensic futures of the image
Goldsmiths University of London

Shela Sheikh - Terror on loop
Goldsmiths University of London

Helene Kazan - A domestic image of preemption
Goldsmiths University of London

Social Structures | Batroun Projects - Lebanon | Mar 2013

Batroun Projects presents:

Social Structures
An event including works by Rehana Zaman and a montage of video material screened by Helene Kazan.
30th March 18.00 – 22.00

Accompanying the event will be a Bar, BBQ and Dj’s (tbc).

Rehana Zaman
Throughout March London based artist Rehana Zaman has been in residence at Batroun Projects and Mansion, Beirut. During her residency Zaman has temporarily relocated her practice that encompasses performance, video and text, to Lebanon. Using the Lebanese context to extend her interest in how narrative abstraction and composition might relate to particular socio-political experiences, for this presentation Zaman will be using the space at Batroun Projects to present an expanded ‘open form’ artist talk.

Zaman’s work was recently presented in a solo exhibition at Studio Voltaire, London. She has also appeared in group shows at The Showroom, Limoncello, the Whitechapel Gallery, The Royal Academy, London and Scaramouche, New York.

Helene Kazan
‘A Domestic Image of Preemption – Film Montage’ by Helene Kazan sets, the ordinary image of the domestic space against a complex framework of preemption. The montage extracts aspects from a series of films to bring together as a whole, a view of the everyday architecture and activities that fill our lives. Showing in juxtaposition the architecture of the home as it transforms through a set of overarching conditions, from a space of shelter to a space of potent threat.

The montage will comprise of inter spliced clips of:
Chantal Akerman’s portrayal of domestic life in ‘Jeanne Dielman 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.’
‘Protect and Survive’ a public information series on Civil Defence produced by the British government during the late 1970s to inform British citizens on how to protect themselves during a nuclear attack.
Kazan’s short films, which use a unique methodology, taking preemptive image production and generating from it stop motion films recreating spaces and events, to include ‘Living the Edge’ 2013.

Helene Kazan is a multidisciplinary artist who has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally. Across her practice, she uses research and archival material to generate moving image and mixed media sculptural installations. She is currently completing a Masters at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.