Arts Collaboratory

Ashkal Alwan

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Posted on: Tuesday 13 August 2019
HOME WORKS 8 A FORUM ON CULTURAL PRACTICES OCTOBER 17-27, 2019 BEIRUT, LEBANON Ashkal Alwan is pleased to announce the 8th edition of Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices, a multidisciplinary forum taking place across Beirut every three years and featuring group exhibitions and artist projects and commissions; talks, panels, and readings; music, dance, and theatre performances; film and video screenings; and publications. Following a presumed conclusion of the civil war in Syria, global management consultancies have urged Lebanon and other regional actors to invest in the country’s industrial and urban reconstruction through their private sectors, inviting architecture studios, businesses, tech startups, and public policy think tanks to design, bid in, and scramble for its people’s futures. The human, material, and cultural devastation in Syria is being framed as a ground zero for transnational firms and necropolitical regimes to experiment in market maximization schemes—a violent disavowal of the hope to build another world, envisioned from Daraa to Rojava, and all the way to the Notre-Dame-des-Landes. These endeavors manifest amidst a global conjuncture characterized by decades of neoliberal austerity measures, rampant financialization, accelerated processes of ecological erosion, and a surge in right-wing identitarianism, prompting us to ask ourselves and one another: How do we safeguard the radical imagination from vanquishing discourses and economies of reconstruction? Where do we nourish spheres of interdependence and autonomy in this sterile night? The 8th edition of Home Works summons artists, curators, filmmakers, scholars, and writers to partake in worldbuilding. In worldbuilding processes, fabricated elements are woven into authoritative realities, forging the perceptible with the imagined, and reconfiguring dominant models of being-in-the-world. When set against the backdrop of modernity and its failed utopian propositions and legacies of cultural infrastructures, worldbuilding offers an infinite set of configurations for ways to feel, make sense of, and render the world. Communities have long confronted lived temporalities and material realities with the construction of fantastical frameworks, designing speculative paradigms for the future, and drawing blueprints for alternative modes of doing. By convoking the radical imagination and exploring imaginary worlds as forms of knowledge, we break from systematic cycles of injury, precarity, and attrition, and participate in acts of re-enchanting the social relations and "natural" taxonomies that compose our world. Featuring Chafic Abboud; Deena Abdelwahed; Khaled Abdelwahed; Yvette Achkar; Etel Adnan; Nabil Ahmed; Haig Aivazian and Jumana Manna; Fatima Al Qadiri; Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn; Marwa Arsanios; Mirene Arsanios and Maryam Monalisa Gharavi; Athena Athanasiou; Tarek Atoui and Eric La Casa; Kader Attia; Nishat Awan; Zach Blas; Merve Bedir; Daniel Blanga Gubbay; Huguette Caland; Carla Chammas and Rachel Dedman; Nazlı Dinçel; Mandy El-Sayegh; Haytham El-Wardany; Jumana Emil Abboud; Peter Eramian; Ali Eyal; Simone Fattal; Fehras Publishing Practices; Alia Farid; Charbel-joseph H. Boutros; Shadi Habib Allah; Ghida Hachicho; Farid Haddad; Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige; Ghassan Hage; Rana Hamadeh; Mona Hatoum; Maxime Hourani; Saba Innab; Geumhyung Jeong; Helen Khal; Ligia Lewis; Candice Lin; Antonia Majaca; Lina Majdalanie, Rabih Mroue, and Mazen Kerbage; Raafat Majzoub; Ahmad Makia; Sahar Mandour; Randa Maroufi; Omar Mismar; Mochu; Dala Nasser; Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira da Silva; Wong Ping; Walid Raad; Saloua Raouda Choucair; Aref Rayess; Nora Razian; Alice Ripoll; Khaled Saghieh; Mohammed Said Ezzedine; Dorothy Salhab-Kazemi; Rasha Salti and Christoph Terhechte; Roy Samaha; Mario Santanilla; Ghiwa Sayegh; Walid Siti; Jenna Sutela; Ho Tzu Nyen; Françoise Vergès; Raed Yassin; Umut Yıldırım; Ala Younis; Kathryn Yusoff; Akram Zaatari; and more to be announced. Image caption: Film still from "The Troubled Bear and the Palace" (2019), Walid Siti, 11 min. Courtesy of the artist.