Lebanese artist Mounira Al Solh talked us through her artist practice, wherein she addresses issues of identity and aesthetics by weaving together matters related to Lebanese politics, diaspora, immigration, and the condition of the art world. Mounira showed her work and talk a.o. about her much acclaimed video Rawane’s Song (which was shown at the Venice Biennial’s Lebanese Pavilion and at the Né à Beyrouth Festival)), and two works-in-progress: A Cat in the Hippodrome and The Sea is a Stereo.
Paul Keller treated us to his idea of “collateral knowledge” by ways of a nice old-fashioned slide show (with a twist) of his travels through Dubai, Lebanon, Amman, and Damascus.
And last but not least, Tarek Atoui ended the evening with a performance dedicated to the ones who have been suffering from the latest political and military events striking Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq. He performed two abstract electronic compositions in which he used sound material collected during recent travels and during Israel's 2006 July war on Lebanon.
Mounira Al Solh (LB)
Born in Beirut in 1978, Mounira Al Solh works with video, painting and photography. She lives between Beirut and Amsterdam, where she is currently a resident artist at the Rijksakademie. She has participated in various exhibitions and festivals around the world, among them the Biennale of Venice in the Lebanese Pavilion, 2007.
Tarek Atoui (LB/FR)
Was born in Lebanon in 1980. He moved to Paris in 1998, where he started composing music on his computer and studied at the French National Conservatoire. He describes himself as an electro-acoustic musician, although he works primarily digitally, creating a uniquely abstract sound world with his experimental approach. Using patches and composed electronic music with his laptop (MAX/MSP) he makes soundscapes, often with beats, subject to breaks and asymmetries. He builds new software for each project that he works on. Together with Uriel Barthelemi he is the founder of the Asa Djinnia Collective. In 2007 he worked with the Steim Studios in Amsterdam, and on several multidisciplinary projects and workshops in Lebanon and the Middle East.
For more information, go to this website.
Paul Keller (DE/NL)
Has headed the Public Domain program of Waag Society in Amsterdam till June 2007. In the same year he also worked as senior project leader at Kennisland in Amsterdam. Since 2004 he is public project lead for Creative Commons in the Netherlands and since August 2005 he serves on the board of iCommons. He holds a masters degree in Comparative Political Science (University of Amsterdam 2002), and has been active as a bicycle messenger (Berlin, Amsterdam, New York), web developer, festival editor (next5minutes4, incommunicado05, wsis, we seize!), political activist (noborder.org, temporary association 'everyone is an expert'). He generally likes places that start with the letter 'B'. Visit his website here.