Self-reading

Where to locate the artist's atelier? How is it informing and informed by the working method?

In the once factory space made into a shared art studio, I recollect my notes by reading them to myself, page by page. I tear off each page I read and place it on my working table. I am being recorded frontally while a stack of noted paper forms by my side. The reading and recording stop when the notebook is void of paper. 

One by one, the papers are picked up again and read aloud to the now playing version of my previously recorded self. I am reading the first page of my notebook simultaneously with the last page being read on the screen. The atelier is tentatively located in the action of self-documentation. 

Google-eye view

A Google street view render from the sunny sea-sight of Beirut Corniche in the search for a place where I only belong to myself. Images of our shared built environment are accessible on the web, curating globally communicated representations of cities.

Putain de toi:

An interior street view of an apartment in a residential high-rise in Beirut plays alongside a simulated 3D Interior walkthrough in an architectural render. Both footages primarily serve as online promotional content. In the setting of a performance lecture held in a black-box, a re-rendered version of the found footage is layered with personally recited prose and playful romantic tunes.

Pastoekerk

What are the similarities between a space of worship and a space of production? What are the similarities between industrial and artistic work? How does the spatial typology inform us on the power structures within these institutions? 

Within the presentation of my artistic research, I gather peers into the black-box situated in the southern part of the studio. From the dark space they walk into the working area, and in the direction of the main gathering table where I stand awaiting. There is chanting of the Holy Friday Maronite mass resonating from the mezzanine above the black-box. As the group organizes in a queue, I hand in a 'HKU' branded post-it to each participant with the question:

"What links a church to a factory?" 

Faces of my mothers

Antonin Artaud describes the Plague as the metaphor for Theatre. In its destructive power, it generates necessary images of and for ourselves. I reconsider his description of a necessary self-destruction by relating the action of the Plague to that of Trauma. Is the witnessing of performance comparable to Trauma? Are we not witnesses of certain formative representations of ourselves? 

Duality

A white square hangs in the center of a 9 meters square room. Natural daylight floods the space before and after being joined with blue LED light. The blue square is multiplied by appearing in front of differently lit backgrounds. Here, the multiple environments shape the singular static body.

Black box dialogue

Standing on the theatre catwalk, looking down onto the stage, a group of spectators listen to the sound of an automated speech. The voice reads the text instructions received by the guest user of a mobile phone. Having a top view of the blackbox, the spectator looks at an enlarged image of the phone screen projected behind its user.  

Al-conductor

Through live recording, I can, just like the leader of a militia, hidden in secret terrain and broadcasting live to an audience of three thousand, be performing in two places at the same time. I can seem to fit well within an image that is in fact hostile to my very existence.

The violent gestures of the man in full thrust of his discourse delivery become instructive to the movement of my body. This dance is recorded and screened to a gathered audience in a 7 square meter room. I try to question how our bodies and spaces are disciplined. In fact, one can only perform certain things in specific spaces. 

Stenographic response


How can one selectively listen and learn from another's attempt to lecture?

This year, William Kentridge alongside Faustin Linyekula are associate artists of the Holland Festival. In 2012 William Kentridge gives a lecture at Tel Aviv University as a Dan David Prize Laureate. His talk is entitled "A Natural History of the Studio", an important theorization of artistic work in the studio.

Taking the role of a biased stenographer, I selectively take note of the words used by Kentridge as he describes the artistic process. The video footage to which I respond is screened in a 7 square meter room where visitors are tightly gathered. I stand behind a curtained paravent on which part of the YouTube lecture is projected. My silhouette appears behind the curtain; typing on my laptop that sits on a podium table. Above the image of Kentridge, the text I type appears as his live speech annotation. The selected choice of words is reorganized to form a new discourse.

Taking Note of William Kentridge

William Kentridge - "Lecture for Israel" or "A Natural History of the Studio"

 

Life

Tricks

Protected space

Construction of meaning

Development of thought 

Tel Aviv

Designed

Allied

Reduced

Doing your thinking for you

Put on hold

Circling

Avoiding the issue

Avoiding the confrontation

Console myself

Given a chance

Structure

Shooting

Images start to emerge

Separated space

Outside world

Hitting the walls

Demonstration

South Africa and Israel

Reconstituted

Bombarded

News

Dismembered

Reconstructed

Deconstruction

Reconsidering

Contradictions

Ways of seeing

Unconscious prehistory

Instruct

Pretense of certainty

Open ended-ness

CONFESSION TO PALESTINE

Tel Aviv [is a] Protected space [that is] doing your thinking for you [through] Construction of meaning[.] [From its] Unconscious prehistory[,] Images start to emerge [of] Structure in South Africa and Israel[:] [the] Shooting[, the] Hitting of the walls[, the] Separated space[, the] Bombarded Life[, the] Dismembered [in] demonstrations[,the] Reconstructed Outside world [in] newspapers[.]

Development of thought [is] Put on hold[.] Tricks [are] Designed [to] Instruct Reduced ways of seeing.

 [I am] Given a chance [to be] Allied [and] Find accommodation in the space[.]

[I am] Circling[,] Avoiding the issue[,] Avoiding the confrontation [through] Open ended-ness[. I] Console myself [by] Pretense of certainty [within] Contradictions.