My Great Arab Melancholy

Posted in illustration, research, writing on April 6th, 2024
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My Great Arab Melancholy is a beautiful, tragic and award-winning book from Lebanese writer and illustrator Lamia Ziadé. Blending the author’s years of research, personal memoir and more than 300 illustrations, this compelling history of the modern Arab world explores the major thinkers, struggles and turning points that have shaped the Middle East as we know it today.

Ziadé begins in South Lebanon, ‘land of martyrs, ruins and passion’, before taking the reader further afield, to Beirut, Jerusalem, Cairo and Baghdad. The book moves from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, tracing the Arab world’s tragedies and the derailing of dreams and possibilities caused in large part by Western imperialism and the conquest of Palestine.

Within these pages there are the blasts of explosions, blood, tears and tragedy, cemeteries, wreaths and ribbons, martyrs and paradise. Ziadé unearths the buried memory of resistance fighters and their lost ideals. In haunting prose and unforgettable images she celebrates the progressive, bold, revolutionary moments and figures of the Arab world’s recent past.

Lamia Ziadé is a Lebanese author, illustrator and visual artist. Born in Beirut in 1968 and raised during the Lebanese Civil War, she moved to Paris at 18 to study graphic arts. She then worked as a designer for Jean-Paul Gaultier, exhibited her art in numerous galleries internationally, and went on to publish several illustrated books, including My Port of Beirut, Ma très grande mélancolie arabe which won the Prix France-Liban, Ô nuit, ô mes yeux and Bye bye Babylone.

Emma Ramadan is an educator and literary translator from French. She is the recipient of the PEN Translation Prize, the Albertine Prize, two NEA Fellowships, and a Fulbright. Her translations include A Country for Dying by Abdellah Taïa, Zabor, or the Psalms by Kamel Daoud, Panics by Barbara Molinard, and The Easy Life by Marguerite Duras.

Award-winning illustrated chronicle of the modern Arab world, combining travelogue, memoir, history and gorgeous full-colour art

Author: Lamia Ziadé

Publisher: Pluto Press

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veiled_eyes. Maryna Russo.

Posted in photography, writing on March 8th, 2024
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Veiled Eyes was founded in 2015, originally as an art project against Instagram and its hashtag culture. Having to adapt to the fast-growing social media and marketing platform, Veiled Eyes was born. The concept was to hide (or veil) the subject’s eyes and show no locations. At the time the project began, users were unable to have more than one account per registered email. Over time, after updates and several iPhones later, I was blocked and locked out of the Veiled Eyes account. After many attempts to regain access, I simply gave up. In collaboration with dtan Studio, I transformed the original concept into the analog form you currently hold in your hand.

Maryna Russo

edition of 58

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(In)dependent Contemporary Art Histories. Various.  LTMKS

Posted in writing on December 22nd, 2023
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(In)dependent Contemporary Art Histories 
Artist-run initiatives in Lithuania

This is the third attempt (1st volume of the book was published in 2011, the 2nd in 2014) to compile stories about the genesis and evolution of contemporary art in Lithuania from the period of cold 1980s, Revival (1987) and the restoration of Lithuania’s Independence (1990) to this day. History unfolds in the critical texts by art critics and artists themselves, as well as in first-hand accounts – conversations with the initiators of art events. Texts are accompanied by abundant visual evidence – the documentation of forty-two years’ worth of events and works of art. The book offers a captivating kaleidoscope of subjective stories about artists’ and curators’ initiatives in Vilnius and other cities in Lithuania as well as abroad.

Tai trečias bandymas (I tomas išleistas 2011 m., II tomas – 2014 m.) sudaryti istorijų rinkinį apie šiuolaikinio meno genezę ir raidą Lietuvoje nuo šaltųjų 1980-ųjų, Sąjūdžio ir Nepriklausomybės atkūrimo iki šių dienų. Istorija skleidžiasi kritiniuose menotyrinink(i)ų bei meninink(i)ų tekstuose ir liudijimuose iš pirmų lūpų – įvykius ir meno renginius inicijavusių meninink(i)ų, kritik(i)ų ir kuratorių pasakojimuose. Tekstus gausiai papildo vaizdiniai liudijimai – keturiasdešimt dvejų metų renginių ir kūrinių dokumentacija. Knyga patraukia subjektyviomis istorijomis apie menines ir kuratorines iniciatyvas ir savivaldas įvairiuose Lietuvos miestuose ir užsienyje.

Conversations with artists, curators and art critics /
Pokalbiai su menininkais, kuratoriais ir menotyrininkais 

Česlovas Lukenskas, Rūta Drabavičiūtė-Lukenskienė, Ramūnas Paniulaitis, Arūnas Kulikauskas, Aleksas Andriuškevičius, Darius Čiuta, Redas Diržys, Sigitas Krutulys, Benas Šarka, Juozas Milašius, Audrius Šimkūnas, Armantas Gečiauskas-Arma Agharta, Vita Zaman, Mantas Kazakevičius, Tomas Danilevičius, Reda Aurylaitė, Rolandas Marčius, Skaistė Marčienė, Ignas Gleixner, Saulius Paukštys, Rytis Bartkus, Stasys Banifacius Ieva, Inesa Brašiškė, Gerda Paliušytė, Lina Rukevičiūtė, Laurynas Skeisgiela, Milda Dainovskytė, Justina Zubaitė, Tomas Lučiūnas, Simonas Nekrošius, Živilė Lukšytė, Marius Juknevičius, Vilma Fiokla Kiurė, Aistė Kisarauskaitė, Aistė Ulubey, Kristina Savickienė, Robertas Narkus, Evelina Šimkutė, Juozas Laivys, Lina Praudzinskaitė, Jurgita Žvinklytė, Tomas Karklinis, Laura Garbštienė, Elena Juzulėnaitė, Stanislovas Tomas, Gintaras Čaikauskas, Sabina Daugėlienė, Margarita Kaučikaitė, Matas Šiupšinskas, Šarūnas Petrauskas, Svetlana Šuvajeva, Ilja Budraitskis, Vytautas Michelkevičius, Kęstutis Šapoka, Karolina Rybačiauskaitė

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The Incomplete Rationalism of OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen. Roberto Gargiani. Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.

Posted in Monograph, writing on December 16th, 2023
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Die Publikation stellt die Projekte von OFFICE durch eine kritische Analyse auf der Grundlage von Archivdokumenten vor und rekonstruiert den Einfluß der kreativen Prinzipien von OFFICE auf die neuen Architektengeneration. Die OFFICE-Projekte wurde in den frühen 2000er Jahren erstmals wahrgenommenund erlangten als neue Formen der digitalen Collage mit kulturellem Engagement große Bekanntheit. Der Autor zeichnet die Entwicklung ihrer frühen Ideen, die als Papierarchitektur entwickelt wurden, bis hin zu den heutigen Gebäuden von erheblicher Größe und Präsenz nach. Das dem Buch zugrunde liegende Argument zeigt die Fähigkeit von OFFICE, in jedem Projekt den Funken einer theoretischen Konstruktion zu bewahren, die in den meisten Fällen nach einer rigorosen Ökonomie der Mittel ausgeführt wird. Selbst die neuen Denkmäler für öffentliche Einrichtungen werden weiterhin von einer kreativen Spannung radikaler Überlegenheit erhellt. ***** This book presents OFFICE projects through a critical analysis based on archive documents. It also reconstructs the influence of OFFICE’s creative principles among the new generations of architects. The OFFICE projects appeared in the early 2000s and gained prominence as new forms of digital collage with a cultural engagement. The author traces the evolution of their early ideas developed as paper architecture to the current buildings of a significant scale and presence. The underlying argument of the book demonstrates OFFICE’s ability to preserve in every project the spark of a theoretical construction, which in most cases is carried out according to a rigorous economy of means. Even the new monuments for public institutions continue to be illuminated by a creative tension of radical superiority.

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THE LINE. Atlas of Remoteness. Midwest USA. Luis Hilti; Matilde Igual Capdevila (Eds). Infinite Publication Series – Institute for Linear Research.

Posted in geography, photography, writing on November 23rd, 2023
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THE LINE – Atlas of Remoteness documents the exploration of contemporary landscapes by walking along a straight line around the Earth. The present volume focuses on a series of walks in the American Midwest, from Wisconsin to Nebraska and across the Mississippi River.

Authors: Mary Dahlman Begley, Gabriel Cuéllar, Sophie Durbin, Meg Lundquist, Jakob Mahla, Athar Mufreh, Derek Ronding, Drew Smith

Series design by: Studio Krispin Heé (Krispin Heé, Tim Wetter)

Realization by: Luis Hilti & Matilde Igual Capdevila

Atlas of Remoteness is a project by the Institute for Linear Research published by the Infinite Publication Series.

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HaFI 018 – Skip Norman: On Africa. Skip Norman. Harun Farocki Institut; Motto Books

Posted in Film, history, Motto Books, writing on November 17th, 2023
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HaFI 018 reprints a document containing the script of Skip Norman’s film On Africa (1970). Norman, born in Baltimore in 1933, had left the U.S. in the early 1960s to study German, theater, and medicine in Göttingen. In 1966 he moved to Berlin to join the newly founded German Film and Television Academy (DFFB). By 1969, he had made the films Riffi (1966), Blues People (1968), Cultural Nationalism (1969) and the graduation film Strange Fruit (1969). He shot On Africa together with Joey Gibbs after graduating from the school. The filmmaker about his film: “The starting point is the relationship between Europe’s prosperity and Africa’s poverty; Europe’s destruction of societies and cultures, and the simultaneous use of Christianity and racial theories as justification for a massive exploitation of the colonized.” On Africa was first shown at the Festival in Mannheim in 1970 and then broadcast on television by WDR in 1972.
The script is accompanied by images from the film, and followed by five short commentaries by Sónia Vaz Borges, Madeleine Bernstorff, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, Tom Holert, and Volker Pantenburg.

Das Heft enthält das Skript für Skip Normans Film On Africa (1970). Norman, 1933 in Baltimore geboren, hatte die USA zu Beginn der 1960er Jahre verlassen, um in Göttingen Deutsch, Theaterwissenschaft und Medizin zu studieren. 1966 zog er nach Berlin, um an die neugegründete Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB) zu wechseln. Bis 1969 entstanden die Filme Riffi (1966), Blues People (1968), Cultural Nationalism (1969) und der Abschlussfilm Strange Fruit (1969).
On Africa entstand gemeinsam mit Joey Gibbs nach Normans DFFB-Abschluss. In Normans Worten: „Der Ausgangspunkt dieses Films ist das Verhältnis zwischen Europas Wohlstand und Afrikas Armut; Europas Zerstörung von Gesellschaften und Kulturen, und gleichzeitiger Einsatz von Christentum und Rassentheorien als Rechtfertigung einer gewaltigen Ausbeutung der Kolonialisierten.“ On Africa wurde am 7. Oktober 1970 bei der XIX. Internationalen Filmwoche Mannheim in der „Informationsschau“ aufgeführt; 1972 lief der Film im WDR.
Das Skript wird begleitet von zahlreichen Bildern aus dem Film und kontextualisiert durch fünf Kurzessays von Sónia Vaz Borges, Madeleine Bernstorff, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, Tom Holert und Volker Pantenburg.

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Elska Issue 42 Almaty Kazakhstan. Liam Campbell (Ed.)

Posted in magazines, photography, travel, writing on November 10th, 2023
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This issue was made in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan and a burgeoning centre of LGBTQ culture in Central Asia. This is the sort of place that we expect the bulk of our readership to know little about, and before coming here we were also rather in the dark. 

‘Elska Almaty’ features ten chapters, dedicated to the following local participants: Zhassulan S, Nicholas S, Aski K, Roman P, Nurzhan T, Denis Z, Sanzhar A, Samgat A, Edward S, and Nan N.

Ten ordinary local boys from this city’s LGBTQ community, shot both in the city streets and at home, dressed in their own style and often not dressed at all. Each also contributed a personal story, written themselves in either Kazakh or Russian (and followed by English translations) on any subject of their choosing, enabling an even closer connection. These texts touch upon a variety of topics, from stories of falling in love with a closeted celebrity, to chronicles of learning to not just live but flourish as an HIV-positive person, to tales of being a dedicated cat dad who can’t stop growing his feline family. 

Extra special thanks this issue goes to: Josiah Blackmore, Frank Dalton, Joe Pinto.

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Planet A. Kati Gausmann. Textem Verlag

Posted in geography, photography, poetry, writing on November 4th, 2023
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Planet A versammelt Werkserien der letzten fünfzehn Jahre zu Bewegungen der Erde und der Elemente, die sich in äußerst unterschiedlichen Zeiträumen und Ausmaßen vollziehen und so in jeweils anderer Relation zum menschlichen Maß in Raum und Zeit stehen. Das Buch gibt einen sinnlichen Einblick in die künstlerischen Prozesse Kati Gausmanns, die natur- und geisteswissenschaftliche Studien, Atelierarbeit und in Fieldwork vor Ort eingesetzte künstlerische Mittel verbinden. Auf poetische Weise vermitteln sich die unterschiedlichen Landschaften, in denen die Werke entstanden sind, und die ihnen zugrunde liegenden natürlichen Prozesse. Ein Essay von Hanne Loreck entfaltet die Komplexität dieser künstlerischen Praxis, ordnet sie in den aktuellen Diskurs ein und zeigt Bezüge zu aktuellen Fragen des Planetaren und des Anthropozäns auf. 

Planet A presents work series from the last fifteen years that focus on the movements of the earth and of the elements which occur across vastly different scales of age and scope, thus establishing a distinct relationship with our human measure of time and space. The book provides a sensual insight into Kati Gausmann’s artistic practice, which combines studies in natural science and the humanities, studio work, and artistic methods deployed in on-site fieldwork. The various landscapes in which the works were created and the natural processes underlying them are poetically conveyed. Hanne Loreck’s essay unfolds the complexity of this artistic practice, situates it within the current discourse, and highlights topical questions related to the planet and to the Anthropocene. Fotografie: Miranda Blennerhassett, Angela von Brill, Astrid Busch, Carsten Eisfeld, Barbora Gallová, Kati Gausmann, Michael Jezierny, Katharina Pöhlmann, Eric Tschernow, Martin Zellerhoff

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Odious Rot Issue 3 Troubled Waters. Odious Rot

Posted in Fashion, lifestyle, magazines, writing on October 9th, 2023
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Coming from the fire-lit warmth of OR2 Weapons & Self Protection, Odious Rot retreat to the coolness of underground caves, tidal pools and reservoir tanks. OR3 Troubled Waters is a tribute to the damp, the dank and the wet—a titanium trove dredged up from the deep.

Odious Rot is a community-focused magazine fossilising independent creatives in print. Heavily informed by world-building, each yearly issue exists as a self-contained system, within which contributors share commentary on their own work.

Odious Rot welcomes all modes of design practice, performance, poetry, prose and cultural observation in response to a chosen theme. Devoid of big brand advertising, we prioritise the practitioner, holding space for the unsung talent we feel is owed more light. A printed relic of this moment, now.

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MISERABLE. Samuel Brzeski, Sam Riviere. TEXSTpress.

Posted in performance, poetry, theatre, writing on October 7th, 2023
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Part performance transcript, part conceptual writing exercise, this project works from an extract from Sam Riviere’s poem Miserable I hope you do too. The original text was rewritten and recombined into multiple possibilities of form and content. The variations of this text were then recited – from memory – in a semi-improvisational way over a four hour performance that took place at Black Box Theatre in Oslo. Focusing on the meditative pace and rhythmic intonation of the original poem, various alternative possibilities for the poetic narrative were imagined and explored, creating a generative palimpsest of poetic experience that was shared with the audience. Here, the text from the performance is transcribed, allowing the poem to further mutate and shift from the realm of the voice back onto the space of the page.

With an introduction by the original poet, Sam Riviere.

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