Saturday, November 30, 2013

OuUnPo at ZKM Center for Arts and Media Karlsruhe, January 18, 2014

All the Worlds that you Word..

Reading, listening and speaking sessions by artists Mounira Al Solh and Lawrence Abu Hamdan.
All the Worlds that You Word... is the closing act of Quantum Fluctuations in a Synecdochic Universe.

As a response to the ZKM exhibition Global Activism, OuUnPo has invited Mounira Al Solh and Lawrence Abu Hamdan to enact and perform two ongoing research projects that poke and investigate the liaisons between language and power.

Mounira Al Solh will present her NOA (not only arabic) magazine. NOA, whose third issue is currently in the making, is a series of collaborative and performative gestures recollected under printed form. Addressing sensitive subjects such as “Treason” (1st issue) and “Arrest” (2nd issue), NOA can normally only be viewed and read individually by arranging an appointment with the artist. For the event at the ZKM though the artist will arrange a special reading of NOA for the first time. The magazine becomes thus a tem- porary object-shape, which is not definitive and enclosed but acts as a further trigger for a dialogic and performative dimension with the reader.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan will instead organize a collective listening session and discussion stemming out of Aural Contract, a project about the rela- tionship of listening to politics, borders, human rights, testimony, truth and international law. Throughout his Aural Contract project Abu Hamdan has built up a sound archive, containing audio extracts of his works together with specific moments of juridical listening and speaking gathered from a wide range of sources such as the trials of Saddam Hussein and Judas Priest,

UK police evidence tapes, films such as Decoder and readings from texts including Italo Calvino’s “A King Listens.” For this event the components of this archive are mixed together live, generating a performance/ seminar and collective listening session that intends to immerse its audience in the heart of a discussion about the fundamental ways in which we speak and listen today.

In both Al Solh’s NOA and Abu Hamdan’s Aural Contract the word is embedded in different manifestations as well as approached through diverse angles, and yet it emerges as a generator of worlds and subjectivities. With this respect the word is a synechdochic device per se, always carrying along the weight of invisible semantics.

OuUnPo members Sara Giannini and Fatos Üstek, together with Mounira Al Solh and Lawrence Abu Hamdan invite the Karlsruhe audience to collectively speculate on the unspoken, unheard and unwritten implications of the language we speak and write. Paraphrasing media theorist and philosopher Vilem Flusser, we try to control the language only to be controlled by it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


 04-08 December 2012

DAY 1 – 04 December 
Contextualisation and Sampling

10.00 - 18.00

On Progress, Intuition and Process
A day at Villa Fleming with Mounira El Solh, Chaza Charafeddine and Karine Wehbe.
 *Private OuUnpo working session.
DAY 2 – 05 December 

11.30 - 13.30

Performance by Natasha Rosling.
*Open to the public

19.00 - 20.00

... In Fact More Imagined Than Real
A reading performance on sexual magic, myth and misunderstanding. The intervention is a free association between seven masks by Raffaella Della Olga and a text by Marco Pasi - both specially created for the session in Beirut. 

* Open to the public

20.30 – 21.30
A Thousand Tapes
Launching of a series of film screenings based on a collection of a hundred of VHS copies of Egyptian films organized by Raed Yassin and Amanda Abi Khalil (In Arabic).
* Open to the public – OuUnPo attendance is welcome

DAY 3 – 06 December 
Literary Fictions

11.00 – 13.00

Guided tour organized by Per Huttner and Klas Eriksson in downtown. 
*Private OuUnPo working session

19.00 – 20.00  

Yes we do, we believe in mirages
A series of readings selected by Jacopo Miliani through 5 rooms, 2 big terraces, 2 small terraces and 98weeks.
*Open to the public


DAY 4 – 07 December 
Firm Evidence
09.00 - 13.00
Rani Al Rajii presents Green Line Tour and The Lost Room

From the Flaneur to Prostitution and Gambling
Visit to the archeological collections of Beirut National Museum and interactive performance by OuUnPo members organized by Per Huttner and Sara Giannini.
*Open to the public

 15.00 - 17.00
Visit to the UMAM-archives and the Hangar together with the director Monika Borgmann. 
*Private OuUnPo working session

21:00 – 21:30 RADIO BEIRUT
A 2’’ Act Speech
OuUnPonians will engage in a conversation while broadcasted through Radio Beirut: A Manifesto akin to cadaver exquisite will be at play. *Open to the worldwide public

DAY 5 – 08 December 

10.00 - 11.30
Visit of the old city of Byblos and of the archeological sites where are conserved the traces of the first alphabet.

12.00 - 17.00
Barbecue & Sonic Performances.
Sonic pieces:
Seth Ayyaz, Batroun Concrete;
Samon Takahashi, Circonference des Oiseuax.
*Open to the public

The First Day in Beirut...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The time has come...

“In a mapped configuration of time-space, OuUnPo lands at a temporary shift 
in the magnitudes of entropy and gravity. It is one in a multitude and finds itself when the unknown starts. It is a twofold encounter, one contemporary with its participants, the other with an inhabitant of age, which you would call a distant future. What happens is only possible to seize in its aftermath.
Recurrence of places is a possibility yet there will be no repetition. Guided by the uncertainty principle the encounters will unfold as moderate conditions are at hand.

The synecdoche is your key to access a tropic space. The figure of speech involves an intermitted yet visionary perception. You speak as you articulate silence, as you subvert absence and presence. One part may stand in for the whole under circumstance as well as the whole can fit into the most modest detail. You presume what is real from that which that glances at you. The fictional is a reality and a posterior is already in there. It is a journey of wonders, where one cannot expect to trust all that is visible. You are on your own to collect resonances as you go along, to reconstruct a meaningful universe from a discontinuous landscape of fragments. Coincidences,
recurrences, déjà vus. These are your way to a simultaneous understanding in the moment of life where time comes into place. You call it now, they call it history, we call it future.”

Sara Giannini & Fatos Üstek.

OuUnPo is a European research network made up of artists, curators and researchers. Together they travel to different cities and investigate a given problem in dialogue with local creators, nmuseums, art organisations, research centres, residency programs, and informal groups. With the enactment of Quantum Fluctuations in a Synechdochic Universe in Beirut, OuUnPo launches a 2-year itinerant research project on “Catastrophe & Heritage”. OuUnPonians and local participants will investigate how a catastrophe and a situation of crises embrace potentiality for creation, how architectural and cultural heritage contains the seeds for future developments. The diverse and multiple interactions of these notions will be witnessed, experienced, supposed, analyzed, contemplated, performed, discussed, contested, negated, emphasized in Tokyo (Spring 2013), Sweden (Fall 2013) and Sao Paulo (Spring 2014).

With OuUnPonians Yane Calovski, Klas Eriksson, Sara Giannini, Per Hüttner, Jacopo Miliani, Marco Pasi, Natasha Rosling, Claudia Squitieri, Samon Takahashi, Fatos Ustek, Stephen Whitmarsh; and Amanda Abu Khalil, Mounira Al Solh Mirene Arsanios, Marwa Arsanios, Seth Ayyaz, Monika Borgmann, Chaza Charafeddine, Lawrence Abu Hamdan,  Sandra Iché, Ilaria Lupo, Ghassan Maasri, Jean-Marc Nahas, Nora Razian, Karine Wehbe, Raed Yassin & many others...

With the generous support of

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Impressions of Beirut

A morsel of Sara's and Fatos' research trip.
06.09 - 11.09.2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

OuUnPo goes اَلْجُمْهُورِيَّة اَللُّبْنَانِيَّة

In late 2012 Ouunpo will hold a meeting in Beirut, Lebanon. OuUnPo is an international exercise in democracy and self-organisation. It has no rules, no hierarchy, no permanent members or written program. These are negotiated and renegotiated by the members for each session. It is a research network made up of artists, curators and scientists who meets at regular intervals to interact and to investigate a given problem. It often does so in places of crises (Athens, Porto) or where historical conflicts (Belgrade/Skopje) marks the political and human landscape. This strategy is devised to instigate and retain a meaningful discussion about democratic processes.

In the wake of the last years’ events, the network feels that it needs to move beyond its European birthplace and to investigate what can be learned from events of the Arab Spring and how these can be reintegrated into Nordic democratic and artistic processes. OuUnPo has therefore taken the first steps to develop its ties with artists, curators, scientists and institutions in Lebanon. These will be develop during the year and activities will lead up to a week-long work session in Beirut in December 2012. We will use the urban landscape as a starting point and investigate the traces of past and present political and activist history in the city and how these are integrated into everyday life.

Following the outbreak of the so-called Arab Spring in Egypt and Tunisia in 2011, the whole Middle East area has been invested in a renewed propulsion towards democracy and collective participation. In a time when European representative democracy has been facing the turbulence caused by a global financial power, it is important that cultural agents from all European countries start to actively contribute to investigate and renovate the notion of democracy. Lying on the shore of the Mediterranean, Beirut is a city whose past and recent history is intertwined with international geopolitical interests. Due to her strategical position in the heart of the Mediterranean, Beirut has always been an attractive pole for ancient empires and populations, as the unearthed layers of Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader and Ottoman remains testimony. The city offers a complex and multi-layered urban tissue that acts as a proxy for the exercise of collective memory. Today's Beirut is in fact also the result of the wounds caused by decades of war and destruction since the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) and the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War. In the present days, Beirut still plays a central role in the ongoing redefinition of "democratic regime". Its geographical and cultural vicinity to Syria pushed us to directly question the position of the artist -or more in general the cultural agent- within a certain political horizon. As a transnational, non- hierarchical European network of artists, curators, scientists and scholars we will cope with the uncomfortable question of taking responsibility and assuming a position towards the development of a cultural policy between the formal European Union and the Middle-East area. The OuUnPo project will be an occasion to confront international artists and academics with the city of Beirut, its past and present, its institutions, museums, architecture and communities, in order to foster dialogue on the local history of cultural encounters.

The project is going to operate on two interconnected levels:

1. OuUnPo will make interventions in museums their exhibitions and collections. The goal is to activate the temporary exhibitions and permanent collections with creative guided tours, walks, performances, sound-interventions, readings and lectures. These can also take place at a given place in the city in order to emphasize a give aspect of the exhibition or collection. The latter is carried out to create a link between the everyday lives of the citizens and the displayed artwork –to highlight and affect the exhibition without necessarily being part of it.

2. The group is going to carry out investigations in the urban landscape of Beirut. We take the starting point in the Lebanese cityscape and carry out performances, sound-interventions and smaller installational activities. These will be private, public or sometimes for a smaller invited group.

Publication Launch:

The International workshop will offer an occasion to officially launch the first OuUnPo publication at the Batroun Projects. The long-lasting activities of OuUnPo have been collected and edited in a book designed by Åbäke in London and published by Dent-de-Leone. The book documents in an artistic manner the development of the specific OuUnPo working methods with focus on how they have been implemented to stimulate new outlooks on democracy, self-empowerment and new ways of collaborating transnationally. The book is characterized by a trans-disciplinary approach dealing with issues of contemporary culture, with particular attention to new concepts between visual art, performance, cultural identity, sociology and critical studies.

The events will be organised by Fatos Üstek and Sara Giannini in collaboration with Rayya Badran and Ghalya Saadawi. Confermed partners in Beirut are Batroun Projects and Ashkal Alwan.

For the the meeting in Beirut, OuUnPo will join forces with the international research project "GAM – Global Art and the Museum". GAM is a research program initiated by Hans Belting and Peter Weibel at the ZKM – Centre for Art and Media Karslruhe in 2006. Its aim is to spark a debate on how the globalization process changes the art scene and to undertake a critical review of the development 20 years after its onset. In light of the undiscussed and year-long expertise in the field of global contemporary art, and especially in relation to art institutions, the GAM research team led by Andrea Buddensieg and Hans Belting will be acting as advisory board concerning the issues of inter-cultural dialogue and exchange in the visual arts. Following the week-long events in Beirut, the GAM project will invite some of the participants for a public event in February 2013. During the conference, both OuUnPo members and temporary guests will share their experiences and activities in Beirut with the GAM team and the general public. The presentations will serve as a moment for speculation and confront on the Beirut meeting, but most important as a source for a more general debate on the notions of democracy and art in present day Europe.

Funded by

The European Cultural Foundation