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

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