October 12–November 12, 2011

98weeks at ISCP

In October 2011, ISCP launched an annual residency for an international contemporary art organization. This residency was initiated in the same spirit as ISCP’s residency program, to support cultural exchange by bringing an international perspective into a local context. Currently in residence at ISCP is 98weeks, a non-profit, artist-run space in Beirut. 98weeks operates within an expanding arts infrastructure and addresses a new generation of artists living in Beirut. Their activities are collaborative and research-based, combining both theoretical and practical forms of inquiry. 98weeks’ projects take multiple forms such as workshops, community projects, seminars, video screenings, reading groups and publications. Every 98 weeks, a research topic is outlined and worked on for that same time period. 98weeks’ first topic addressed spatial practices in Beirut, and their current subject focuses on publications. Activities, ideas and projects often stem from ongoing discussions and conversations with the community of artists living in Beirut.

To translate this singular configuration into another city, and to transpose 98weeks’ project space into an institutional one, poses different challenges, such as how to re-present the immaterial, process-based nature of 98weeks’ activities. In order to address this, 98weeks presents A Program, which is being hosted by ISCP to accompany Open Studios, and which reflects on operating strategies and structural differences. A Program will have autonomous opening hours and will host a series of events to gather the audience at a given time and space. These events will introduce the public to 98weeks through the group’s first two research topics.

98weeks A Program Schedule

November 4-6th, 3-7pm: On the city, a selection of videos and works that disclose urban narratives on contemporary Beirut, revealing aspects of the city and its history that have not yet been subsumed under dominant narratives or popular clichés. Artists include Marwa Arsanios, Vartan Avakian, Mounira el Solh, Siska and Karine Wehbe. Most of the works could be considered as detours, circumventing what is most visible and overwhelming: traces of war destruction, sensationalist reportages, or the commonplace representation of a city standing between the East and the West. Most works are concerned with following material remains – architecture ruins, which stand as witnesses to anecdotal histories, still to be narrated. In her work Marwa Arsanios researches the history of the beach resort Acapulco which stood as an autonomous living pocket promising a dolce vita amidst political turmoil and radical urban transformations. Mounira el Solh’s work, the Sea is a Stereo queries our perception of Beirut’s swimmers, which everyday, swim in Beirut’s public beach located along the city’s main pedestrian walkway. Siska’s video E.D.L portrays Lebanon’s National Electricity building as homage to a once modernist project linked to the very construction of Lebanon’s modern state. On Publications revisits historical publications from the Middle East, reinterpreting their present potential for our understanding of the history of literary and publishing production. A selection of books by artists close to 98weeks’ activities will be available for the public to read by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Mirene Arsanios, Rayya Badran, Mounira el Solh, Rana Hamadeh, Hatem Imam, Samandal Magazine, Jana Traboulsi and Karine Wehbe.

Saturday, November 5th, 5pm: On Publications Suneela Sunbula and Mirene Ghossein will read two poems, by Sargon Boulos and Adonis, respectively, and both published in Shi’r, an avant-garde poetry magazine (1957 – 1970) created by the Lebanese poet Youssef el Khal and known for introducing the prose poem in Arabic.

Sunday, November 6th, 3pm: Text Tasks: Roles and Relations in Artistic Research, a roundtable conversation with Mirene Arsanios and Sidsel Nelund addressing a series of physical and dialogical tasks challenging the relation between thinking and doing, theory and practice. These tasks have been developed through an ongoing conversation between Arsanios and Nelund on the conditions of knowledge, its performance and its spaces of production. At ISCP they will enact three ‘text tasks’ that explore and expand the possibilities of the text by performing its different usages.

98weeks A Program is organized by Mirene Arsanios.

ISCP thanks ArteEast for their valuable cooperation on 98weeks at ISCP.

ISCP thanks the following contributors for their generous support: Brooklyn Arts Council, The Greenwich Collection, National Endowment for the Arts and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

October 11, 2011

Salon: Vasil Artamonov & Alexey Klyuykov and Beli Sladoled

For their Salon, Vasil Artamonov and Alexey Klyuykov will present early work. Artamonov and Klyuykov are Russian artists living in Prague. Their authorial teamwork was initiated in 2006 and they have since realized multi-component installations, mixing various media including sculpture, painting, objects and photography. The work of Artamonov and Klyuykov often deals with traumas related to the history of leftist politics and political art in 20th century Europe. Typically, they approach the events and problems represented with a mixture of fidelity and ironic distance.

For Beli Sladoled’s Salon, Leon Zuodar will present paintings and drawings from their residency. Beli Sladoled (white ice cream) is an artist collective consisting of  two “academic painters,” Miha Perne and Leon Zuodar. Beli Sladoled experiment with drawing and work on the principle of the “Kinder egg”, where each exhibition is a surprise on its own. The collective considers the broader meaning of drawing, not just a framed picture, but rather as a part of every day life, engaging in various opportunities and situations. Their drawings are living forms that set off visible reactions among viewers, mostly laughter. Beli Sladoled play with casualness and humor in their practice, approaching drawing as far more than a sterile fine art medium. Besides their permanent collection of drawings, they have released an independent experimental comic strip album, a book compilation of drawings from different European artists, and many other book projects. Beli Sladoled have also collaborated on various artistic events, exhibitions and publications.

Offsite Project
October 6–October 6, 2011

Tang-Wei Hsu: Constellations

Over the course of three weeks this fall, eleven Brooklyn Preparatory high school students including Claudius Copeland, Alexis Franklin, James Garcia, D’Anna Gregory, Khadejah Halliday, Edwin Ramirez, Chelimar Tavarez, Liana Vasquez, Aaron Villalobos, Andre Woodley, and Brittany Young, collaborated with International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) artist-in-residence Tang-Wei Hsu (based in Taiwan) to create a cosmos-inspired installation for Brooklyn Prep. Contributing students gained insight into contemporary art practices while creating a twenty-foot site-specific work with Hsu along the corridors of their school. The completed landscape is composed of the students’ collective symbols of spaces and objects based on their current, future and imagined lives.

Brooklyn Preparatory High School, 257 North 6th St, Basement Level, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Participating Residents