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Meeting Points 6

April 28, 2011 - May 7, 2011 11:00 am

adel abdessemed · jumana emil abboud · omar abu saada · saâdane afif · mohammad al attar · doa aly · omar amiralay · tarek atoui · sammy baloji · tony chakar · stan douglas · hafiz dhaou & aicha m’barek · ahmed el attar · mounir fatmi · oussama ghanam · fakhri el ghezal · joana hadjithomas & khalil joreige · david hare · mona hatoum · samah hijawi · lamia joreige · bouchra khalili · sandra madi · basim magdy · rima maroun · radhouane el meddeb · selma & sofiane ouissi · omar rajeh · tino sehgal · laila soliman · jalal toufic

from april 27 to may 7, 2011, beirut art center will be hosting an exhibition within the framework of meeting points 6. meeting points 6 is a biennial event comprising contemporary art, film, theater, dance, and performance. curated by okwui enwezor, and organized by the young arab theatre fund (yatf), in collaboration with regional and international partners the project of meeting points 6 will take place across a number of historic cities in the middle east, north africa, and europe over a one-year period between april 2011 and march 2012.

locus agonistes: practices and logics of the civic, the principal conceptual enquiry of meeting points 6, is a cultural project conceived as a response to the various scenarios of rupture between antagonistic political camps and civic critical cultures that are presently unfolding in contemporary arab societies. the responses to these transitional challenges, which have distinct cultural dimensions, cover a broad spectrum of activities, practices, positions, institutions, and social forms that can be felt in diverse pressure points. at the core of these pressure points, at once local and national, global and transnational, secular and theological, regional and geo-political is what may be characterized as a rising dimension of civic imagination. artistic practices and logics as modes of constructing and constituting civitas constantly induce fresh demands for emancipatory civic techniques that advocate the obviation of the simplistic dichotomy between progressivist assumptions of political forums and the seemingly conservative institutions of national cultures that oppose them. in this way civic techniques also take to task strategies of activism and oppositionality around which so-called radical practices have been traditionally perceived within institutional settings.

at a basic level, locus agonistes: practices and logics of the civic is a project shaped by processes of unraveling, as well as conjunctions. its immediate forms of enunciation are constituted by a network of unfolding actions, interactions, aesthetic proposals, performances, and public responses by artists, choreographers, dancers, playwrights, filmmakers, and performers. through the active interaction of the participants, the project endeavors to explore locations of reasoned dissent and reflection, in which it is possible to imagine sequences of activities that are rooted in agendas of struggle, which become spaces of becoming, and possible spheres of global civitas. however, such agendas are neither invested in utopian and progressivist ideals of reformist modernity nor are they inured to the seeming conservatism of fundamentalist cultural politics.

however, locus agonistes is not only premised on the analysis of the cultural and political topography of contemporary arab societies. in the present geo-political entanglements, locus agonistes is equally, a response to the momentous historical forces and the emancipatory logics that are currently reshaping debates on civic identities, political subjectivities, cultural strategies, and artistic practices both in contemporary arab societies, and localities adjacent to them, for example in europe. locus agonistes is deliberately located in the multiple fault lines between these spaces and is therefore conceived as three distinct flash points (middle east and levant, north africa, and western europe).

over the coming months, meeting points 6 will present updates of the development of the project as it continues to unfold.