Jalal Toufic, Mahmoud Khaled, Ligna: indicated by signs

Jalal Toufic

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September 23, 2009 8:00 pm

Indicated by signs is a series of residencies, exhibitions, lectures, and workshops, which revolve around the theme of appearance, that are taking place in Beirut, Cairo, Bonn, Fez, and Rabat. It is the joint effort of curators Sandra Dagher, Yilmaz Dziewior, Aleya Hamza, Abdallah Karroum, Edit Molnar and Christina Végh.

Within the framework of this project, Beirut art center is presenting artist talks by Jalal Toufic and Mahmoud Khaled and an interactive performance following a workshop led by Ligna.

Indicated by signs was initiated and is supported by the Goethe-institut.

Two or three things i’m dying to tell you about the thousand and one nights
Artist talk by Jalal Toufic

“Morning overtook Shahrazâd, and she lapsed into silence … the king thought to himself, ‘I will spare her until I hear the rest of the story; then I will have her put to death the next day.’” Borges errs when he writes: “why were there first a thousand [the apparently Persian version: hazar afsana, the thousand tales] and later a thousand and one?” it is confounding that despite all his flair Borges should miss the displacement from tale in the Persian version to night in the Arabic one: I consider that the first title refers to the stories shahrazâd tells, while the second refers to the nights, the one thousand nights of the one thousand unjustly murdered previous one-night wives of king Shahrayâr plus his night with shahrazâd, a night that is itself like a thousand nights. (Jalal Toufic)

The camouflaged nature of artworks in virtual and actual spaces
Artist talk by Mahmoud Khaled

Mahmoud Khaled will deliver a presentation on his work in a form that will attempt to examine the camouflaged nature of his work in the virtual and the actual zones along the path of some of the projects he has worked on in the last four years. Most of these projects have at their core a thorough exploration of the document, in its many variations of official, social, historical, and personal. The document, as he sees it, can be an image, a text, an event, online materials or even a space. Khaled makes use of video, found objects, and various photographic resources, to test the boundaries between the personal, the political, the historical and the social domains. His projects tend to examine the often coded and powerful socio-political trajectories that run through our daily lives.

The new man. four exercises in utopian movements interactive
Performance by Ligna

“Doing is better than feeling.”- Bertolt Brecht

The performance “the new man” builds on changes in perceptions surrounding art that developed after the First World War, as artists searched for a new relation to life and society. It explores four different positions. The poet Bertolt Brecht develops the lehrstueck for a state without classes, where gestures, social positions, and by that society as a whole come into play. The dancer Rudolf von Laban proposes bewegungschoere, choirs of movement, in which collective vibrations disperse power itself. The director wsewolod Meyerhold experiments in the young Soviet Union with biomechanical exercises for his actors to renew their bodies and by that shape a new kind of subjectivity. And the comedian Charlie Chaplin stumbles across all of these utopian visions and their promises. The audience of “the new man”, which is split up into four groups that rotate every fifteen minutes, are immersed each time into one of these positions through radio messages that also propose related gestures and movements, thereby creating varying blueprints for the new man.

Jalal Toufic is a thinker and a mortal to death. He is the author of distracted (1991; 2nd ed., 2003), (vampires): an uneasy essay on the undead in film (1993; 2nd ed., 2003), over-sensitivity (1996), forthcoming (2000), undying love, or love dies (2002), two or three things I’m dying to tell you (2005), ‘âshûrâ’: this blood spilled in my veins (2005), and undeserving Lebanon (2007). Two of his books are available for download at his website:
He currently teaches at Kadir Has University in Istanbul.

Mahmoud Khaled lives and works in Alexandria, Egypt, where he also studied painting, graduating with a BFA in 2004. He is the recipient of a number of residencies including the Funen art academy, Odense, Denmark, Gasworks, London, and the Montalvo arts center, California. Khaled’s approach to art-making is both process-oriented and multidisciplinary, producing works in video, photography, text, and site-specific installation. He has participated in a number of international group exhibitions and projects including trapped in amber (Oslo, 2009), biacs3 (Seville, 2008), photocairo 4 (Cairo, 2008), all clear (Salzburg, 2007), out of place (Beirut, 2007) and the 1st biennial of the canaries (2006).

Ligna began in 1995. The group consists of the media theorists and radio artists Ole Frahm, Michael Hueners, and Torsten Michaelson, who since the early nineties have been working at the “freies sender kombinat“(fsk), a public non-profit radio station in Hamburg. They run a program called lignas music box, which asks listeners to call in and play their favorite songs via the telephone. In numerous shows, interventions and performances, ligna has explored the effects of the dispersed radio voice as well as, more generally, radio as a means of dispersion. The work of ligna often refers to the remote possibilities of radio use in order to develop new formats of radio practices. Focusing on the reception side of radio, ligna looks for ways to turn the situation of reception into a performative intervention in a place. Listening to the radio thus becomes a collective production, which bears uncontrollable results. one of ligna’s models of media usage, the radio ballet (invented in 2002), provides radio listeners with a choreography of excluded and forbidden gestures in formerly public but now controlled spaces. They have staged performances in Vienna, Barcelona, Liverpool, Dublin, and Lisbon, among other places.