Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis are artists, curators and independent publishers. Together they founded and direct Kayfa ta - an independent publishing initiative, book series and curatorial platform. During their stay at Marra.tein, they further researched and finalized How to reappear: Through the quivering leaves of independent publishing - an exhibition and public program that they curated and which was supported by and presented in the Beirut Art Center (BAC). The exhibition focused on various publishing gestures and how they seek to re-articulate and re-appropriate the right to publish and to public space. How to reappear presented a wide range of historical and contemporary works by artists, writers, publishers and booksellers. Exhibition runs from 17 July - 21 September, 2019 at the Beirut Art Center.
Vali Mahlouji worked on a major part of the research for the show he curated at Sursock Museum: Baalbek, Archives of an Eternity. it spans the history of Baalbek from the neolithic period to the modern day.
During her second stay claudia basrawi worked on a series of drawings to illustrate her view of beirut, with an emphasis on the area around marrra.tein and her old family neighborhood hamra. a summary of her insights was published in march in the german magazine “merkur-zeitschrift für europäisches denken“ and 20 of the drawings will be printed along with texts in the berlin issue of the newspaper „die tageszeitung“ as a series throughout summer and fall of 2019.
patrick pessoa, brazilian playwright, theatre critic and philosophy professor, undertook a 3 week research expedition, funded by the goethe institut, to develop his lecture performance on the history of "lecture performance" in lebanon. he expects to come back to beirut to show the outcome of his research before the end of 2020
during his digital methodologies residency, yazan kopty designed the online research platform that forms the backbone of his community-based research project imagining the holy. the conceptualization of the tool was guided by conversations he had with regional peers--in particular the arab image foundation--who were asking similar questions about the use and potential of digital technology to preserve, activate, transform, and circulate photographic collections
Rana ElNemr, a visual artist based in Cairo, worked on two of her projects in Fall 2018 during her digital methodologies residency. In her long-term work she researches various image production approaches and combines them with playful image-reading exercises. Her second project is about the economies of arts and knowledge. She has made several formal and informal conversations in Beirut about contemporary forms of collaborations and economic practices that constantly arise, develop and change with the evolving organisational forms. She also finalized a zine about the latest work session she held on the economies one month before arriving in Beirut. The zine incorporates the content of a video interview she made with a puppeteer and puppet theatre director, with reflections and discussions of the group during the work session discussing it. It raises questions about audience of the puppet theatre art in the contemporary cultural and artistic context, about collective work versus individual work, practitioners’ language versus critical language, knowledge sharing methodologies in traditional art forms, among other relevant discussions.
Detroit-based artists, Julia Yezbick and Ben Gaydos, shot Super8 footage for a film about two cities: Detroit and Beirut. It is a film about place, belonging, diasporas, and the refracted memories of places known through other lifetimes. Shooting on Super8 - a film stock that was developed for and often used for home movies - they are formally working with notions of family, time, and our connections to place across generations.
Suzy Halajian, independent curator and writer based in Los Angeles, conducted a series of studio visits during her stay. She also presented the launch of the publication for the project I can call this progress to halt at the Sursock Museum. The event included a reading by Jalal Toufic, and a screening of works by Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri, Michelle Dizon, and Christine Rebet.
Ali Eyal, during the course of his residency, developed two projects: “Painting size 80 x 60” and “Solo Exhibition of landscapes.” He spent time working on research paintings and writing on two projects about the image, painting, and idea of stolen lands. Ali was a homeworks participant at ashkal alwan during this time.
Myriam Ben Salah is a curator, writer and editor of Kaleidoscope Magazine as well as the curator of the 2018 edition of the Abraaj Group Art Prize. She conducted a series of studio visits and institutional meetings in Beirut during her stay. It was also the occasion to set the basis of a collaboration with the Beirut Art Center around I Heard You Laughing, a screening program Ben Salah organized later in December 2017. Her residency spawned an extensive feature on the Beiruti scene captured through the lens of photographer Ayla Hibri, to be published in the 2018 spring/summer issue of Kaleidoscope.
Claudia Basrawi undertook a research expedition, funded by the Berlin Senate Department of Culture, in search of the visible and invisible borders of Beirut. She explored the city, investigating its different neighbourhoods and its cultural and religious divisions. She asked what life actually looks like underneath the seemingly all-pervasive politico-religious surface. The result of her research is a document of visual journalism, recording emotions, coincidences, detours, dead ends, and distractions.
Over the spring of 2017 marra.tein hosted staff of and artists participating in Meeting Points 8: Both Sides of the Curtain, providing invaluable research and production support to the the Beirut chapter of the project, which culminated in an exhibition and series of events at the Beirut Art Center 12 April – 4 June 2017.
Meeting Points is an international multidisciplinary contemporary arts event that takes the Arab World as a starting point to pose questions of broad relevance of and to art. Meeting Points tries to imagine and interrogate models for the production and presentation of contemporary arts, developed through research in the Arab World. Meeting Points 8: Both Sides of the Curtain began in Cairo in May 2016, then moved on to Brussels in December 2016, and Beirut in 2017, and was realized with different curatorial contributions along the way. more info on the project here.
ada petiwala, an m.a. candidate at NYU's near eastern studies department, presented her paper on bollywood, india, and the egyptian imaginary at AUB as part of the "rethinking media through the middle east" conference, and to continue her search for arabic-language indian film ephemera.
Helene Kazan spent her time researching how risk, both financial and geopolitical, is articulated through the materiality of the built environment in Lebanon, particularly focusing on a precedent that was set for this condition during the Second World War. The work done during the residency will be presented as part of an exhibition in Nov/Dec 2017 at the Goethe Institute, Beirut.
sara el-adl was the annual fall resident from ashkal alwan's home workspace program. she is based in Cairo, Egypt.
Over the month of July 2016, marra.tein turned into the editorial office for the publication series “Elements for a World: Stone, Wood, Sky, Water, Fire”, edited by Ashkan Sepahvand and commissioned by curators Nora Razian and Natasa Petresin-Bachelez for their exhibition “Let’s Talk About The Weather” at the Sursock Museum. Addressing for the first time in the Middle East region the concept of the “Anthropocene” in relation to contemporary artistic practice, the exhibition project showed works of art that engage with ecology and climate change in critical and creative ways. more info on the project here
Mai Abu ElDahab and Lauren Wetmore of Mophradat, were in Beirut to host an evening of live music at the Beirut Art Center, featuring The Dwarfs of East Agouza (Alan Bishop, Maurice Louca and Sam Shalabi), Concert (Chris Evans, Morten Norbye Halvorsen and Benjamin Seror), and a project by Nile Sunset Annex. Mophradat also hosted an event at Dawawine showcasing work supported by their grants programs, including music by Tashweesh (Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme), videos by Adelita Husni-Bey and Mahmoud Khaled, and a reading by Raafat Majzoub. For more information about projects and grants programs visit mophradat
As part of a Mophradat artist residency Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier spent two weeks in Beirut. They prepared for their upcoming performance/event "The Main Attraction" which will take place in April 2017 in an underground nightclub. For the production of the event the duo collaborates mainly with Demo-Bar and the Beirut Art Center
salomé lamas and cinematographer Boris Levy were in Beirut working with local production for casting and location scouting for the project FATAMORGANA, a parody of a wax museum/hall of fame. more info here
namik mackic is an artist, urbanist, and strategic designer, currently research associate at harvard mellon urban initiative at harvard university. he was visiting beirut to participate in the launch of the publication series 'elements for a world’ accompanying the exhibit ‘let’s talk about the weather: art and ecology in a time of crisis’ at sursock museum, to which he contributed an essay, and give a presentation at the summer school ‘practices of commoning’ at the museum.
Chicago-based artist, Claire Pentecost, prepared an installation for the Sursock Museum's show "Let's Talk About the Weather" on climate change and other forms of environmental degradation
Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Collaborating with the beirut art center, were part of the event delegated voices
alia farid spent time working on a film-portrait of the rashid karami international fairgrounds in tripoli designed by brazilian architect oscar niemeyer. the film is commissioned by the fundação bienal de são paulo as part of the 32nd bienal de são paulo, which is set to open in september 2016. see more about the project here.
in conjunction with mophradat (formerly young arab theatre fund), raimundas malašauskas visited beirut, planning for the upcoming "meeting points 8."
jessika khazrik is an artist and writer currently working under the platform of "the society of false witnesses," which she founded in 2014 while re-investigating a buried trade of toxic wastes. through performance, conversation, exhibition and writing, "the society of false witnesses" probes and plays with the geophilosophy, political economy, and spectatorship of exiled matter, the undergound/undersea, and battlefields. while at marra.tein, she is continuing her research on the political power of waste in the current crises in lebanon. see more about the project here
mahdi baragithi, an artist from ramallah/palestine, is part of the 2015-2016 home works program at ashkal alwan. his work explores questions of male identity and the performance of masculinity in arab societies.
in collaboration with the beirut art center, marra.tein hosted xavier le roy for the duration of his stay in beirut for his show "retrospective."
in collaboration with collectif kahraba for their annual festival "نحنا و القمر والجيران “ (us, the moon, and the neighbors), marra.tein hosted three visiting artists for the duration of the festival in mar mikhael: raffaella giordano, an italian choreographer; arnaud ghillebaert, a french musician; and colin pip dixon, an american musician.
artist alia farid visited for a preliminary trip. she will return in the spring of 2016 to beirut in order to develop work focusing on the connections between latin america and the middle east expressed through architecture / histories of exchange & exile.
victoria lupton, oscar wood and tim bamber stayed at marra.tein for the launch of seenaryo, a participatory theatre project with two different groups of children and young adults in lebanon. the other team members lea kradokian and clara sfeir also used marra.tein as a workspace. each week, they used improvisation techniques to devise a show, featuring new songs, script and set, with 30 participants aged 11-14 and 4 trainees aged 16-25, all of them palestinian and syrian refugees living in lebanon. seenaryo partnered with two palestinian and syrian organisations - yaabad scout troupe and women now - who invited the project to take place in local schools. For more info see here.
beth stryker, co-founder of CLUSTER, during her second stay at marra.tein, undertook outreach for a shared library platform under development in cairo. PILOT (public inter-library online technology) is a bi-lingual arabic/english software platform that provides a distributed library catalogue, linking collections from independent organizations in architecture, urbanism, visual arts, film, and more. In beirut beth met with representatives from ashkal alwan, arab image foundation, arab center for architecture, and dawawine, to lay the groundwork for PILOT to become a regional network.
during their residency in july 2015, gregor huber and noha mokhtar conducted research at the arab image foundation for a book project about the photographic collection of rifat chadirji, iraqi architect and photographer. they focused their interest on the social and anthropological aspect of this collection, aiming to produce a comprehensive catalogue that functions as a visual archive of iraqi culture between 1950-1980.
natasha marie llorens (independent curator and phd candidate at columbia university) spent the better part of july 2015 in residence to begin something that was still inchoate, a long-term curatorial research project about the representation of violence. see here for more on her project, imaging violence.
this spring, ashkan sepahvand hosted his ongoing project "the technosexual reading circle" in the form of a 10-week seminar at marra.tein. the sessions were open to the public and accompanied by a facebook group page where additional materials and media could be exchanged between participants. condensing the variety of topics and themes the reading circle has covered in its past two years in berlin, the goal of this beirut iteration was to provide an introduction to "technosexuality", that is, the ways in which biopolitical capitalism effects the perceptions we have of our sexualities, bodies, and social relations...for more info see here.
laura barlow visited to research artistic practices in the city and undertake preliminary research on lebanese artist saloua raouda choucair for the exhibition saloua raouda choucair: the meaning of one: the meaning of the multiple, at mathaf: arab museum of modern art, october 2015–september 2016, curated by barlow. the visit furthered curatorial research on the circulation of ideas and forms within art movements and global histories, to articulate new associations on art production and socio-political change in the region.
suzy halajian worked in beirut in 2013 and returned to conduct research as part of her upcoming project as a recipient of a 2014 andy warhol foundation curatorial fellowship. during her time in beirut, suzy also presented a talk: how do we work?: a past project, and some notes for a conversation.
in the winter & spring, mirna bamieh ran the maskan apartment project for 10 weeks. this initiative turned the domestic spaces of an “apartment” (at marra.tein) into laboratories for artistic production and research. maskan took various rooms – kitchen, salon, balcony and toilet – and turned them over to artists who are invited to create and reproduce previous site-specific interventions, complemented by film and video screenings, performances, and discussions...for more info see here.
on her first trip to beirut, andrea thal met with artists, curators and people from various institutions, collectives, and organizations. since november 2014 thal has been the artistic director of CIC – contemporary image collective in cairo, before she ran les complices* in zurich
as part of her curatorial residency with 98weeks, rachel dedman initiated a series of small roundtable discussions at marra.tein. these conversations centered on the shifting topology of art institutions in beirut, institutionalization, gentrification, and funding and labour practices in art organizations.
fadi abune'meh, an artist from ramallah/palestine, is part of the 2014-2015 home workspace program at ashkal alwan. his work is focused on video and sound and his artistic interests mainly concern palestinian cinema and issues of representation
nile sunset annex is an artist-run art space in a room in a flat in garden city, cairo, as well as a publishing company, an art collective and an art collector, among other roles. while in beirut, nile sunset annex looked at art, met some participants of the homeworks program at ashkal alwan, and arranged an exhibition with a beirut-based artist, to be held in may 2015
recently returned to beirut, vrouyr joubanian is a multi-disciplinary designer researching ways to introduce creative problem solving methods in the MENA region and its educational practices
maha maamoun is an artist living and working in cairo. her work moves mainly between still and moving image. she also works collaboratively on independent publishing and curatorial projects. maha has a long and ongoing interest and engagement with beirut and its art production.
katherine toukhy, artist and arts educator. two-part research trip to cario and beirut in summer 2014 for ongoing mixed media exploration dealing with militarism, diaspora, and the body
mirna bamieh, an artist from jerusalem/palestine, is part of the 2013-2014 home works study program. Her current artistic and curatorial interests concern transient and liminal spaces
yasser abu shaqra is a palestinian writer and theatre maker born in damascus. his poetry has been published and translated to danish in the collection safaa yom jadeed (fine new day). he was the 2014 masrah ensemble playwright-in-residence.
gehad anwar, from cairo, is an artist in residence at ashkal alwan. her multimedia based project during this time dwells on the constitution of the self - and our relationships to objects.
hadia gana, conceptual ceramicist, is planning for the creation of the ali gana museum in tripoli, libya and is also attending the home works program with the support of AFAC. her larger ceramic work pushes against, and plays with, conceptions of insignificance.
rheim alkadhi, visual artist, assembling an inventory for viewing: restaging the city and the amorous subject within the context of digital imagery -- a commission for the new museum's online digital platform.
dominique pifarely (violinist) and virginie crouail (production manager), collaborated with collectif kahraba for the annual نحنا و القمر والجيران - nehna wel amar wel jiran - festival on the old cinema vendome stairs.
beth stryker from the cairo lab for urban studies, training & environmental research (CLUSTER) added to ongoing research from a graham foundation grant, on art in public space in the region, focusing in part on beirut.
hamdy reda, artist and founder of artellewa, preliminary research visit.
aaron hughes, visiting artist and resident at ashkal alwan. researched and developed a short film titled "the root" that explores lebanese personal relationships with u.s. marines stationed in beirut between 1982 - 1984 and the impact of u.s. involvement in the lebanese civil war
emrah yildiz, phd candidate in social anthropology, harvard university. presented at and attended sexual sovereignty: citizenship, governmentality, territory. american university of beirut march 2013.
rijin sahakian, director, sada for contemporary iraqi art. duration of stay focused on planning and implementation of the 2013 sada spring intensive, a program that invited eight young artists from baghdad to beirut to attend workshops and programs related to the home works 6 forum as well as peripheral site visits and events.
rheim alkadhi, research practices/art practices. teaching artist in association with sada during its 2013 spring Intensive in beirut for art students from baghdad, coinciding with a schedule of homeworks programs.
rijin sahakian, director, sada for contemporary iraqi art. stay focused on development of on & off-line workshops with young artists in baghdad while connecting with artists and utilizing public arts programs in beirut.
rola nashef, detroit based writer/director of the arab american romantic dramedy detroit unleaded. spent time developing her next script nadias house.
omer shah, ma candidate in near eastern studies, NYU. research during visit focused on palestinian refugees in lebanon and their access and experience of the hajj.