Rituals of Signs and Transitions (1975-1995)
Opening: Tuesday 19 May 2015, 6:00-9:00 PM

Rituals of Signs and Transitions (1975-1995) questions the significance history of art has in our region today, investigates the relationship between art works and political and historical transitions at the time, and looks at the exchange between art works with other forms of expression, such as literature, music, and cinema.

The period between 1975 and 1995 proved to be crucial in the formation of the modern Arab world. The period began with the Lebanese Civil War, was further marked by the first Palestinian Intifada in 1987 and the 1991 Gulf War, and ended with the signing of the 1993 Oslo Agreement and the 1994 Wadi Araba Treaty. These events marked the paths of people and nations, and encouraged various artistic practices to record the transitions that we are still living through now.

In 1994, after learning he had cancer, Syrian playwright Saadallah Wannous wrote Rituals of Signs and Transitions, which gave its name to this exhibition. This is one of the most crucial works of art confronting the use of politics in religious dialogue, and can be regarded as a prophecy today. It stands as an example of what art has the potential to reveal.

Rituals of Signs and Transitions (1975-1995) revives art, books, and visual and audio productions as an affirmation of the role of art in shaping our individual and collective histories.

Artists from The Khalid Shoman Collection: Abderrazak Sahli, Adam Henein, Adnan Yahya, Ahmad Nawash, Ali Jabri, Aziz Amoura, Chaouki Choukini, Dia Azzawi, Etel Adnan, Fouad el Khoury, Gouider Triki, Ismail Fattah, Issam al Said, Jananne Al-Ani, Jumana el Husseini, Laila Shawa, Marwan, Mohamed Kacimi, Mohammad Omar Khalil, Mona Hatoum, Nabila Hilmi, Nasser Soumi, Nedim Kufi Mohsen, Samia Halaby, Shaker Hassan al Said, Suleiman Mansour, Vera Tamari, Youssef Abdelké.

Music workshop with Tarek Al-Jundi
20 June - 15 July 2015

Continuing work that started last year, Darat al Funun invites young people between the ages of 12 - 20 to apply for a music workshop led by musician Tarek Al-Jundi. The workshop targets participants who have not had classical training in music, and includes lessons on collective and individual singing skills, musical sight reading, rhythm, playing the melodica, and music appreciation. Participants from last year will be involved in assisting the workshop and developing their music leadership skills. The workshop will culminate with a concert to be held at the end of Summer.

The workshop will take place over twelve sessions on Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays between 20 June and 15 July 2015, between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm at Darat al Funun.

To join, please send an e-mail with your name, age, phone number, home address, and a short description of your interests and reasons for participating before 10 June 2015 to: opencall@daratalfunun.org
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Darat al Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation

13 Nadeem al Mallah st. (main entrance)
9 Moh'd Ali al Saadi st. (upper entrance)
Jabal al Weibdeh

Saturday - Thursday / 10:00AM - 7:00PM

P.O.Box 5223, Amman 11183, Jordan
Tel.: 962 6 4643251 / 2
Fax: 962 6 4643253

Film Screening: Dead Man
A series of films selected by Emily Jacir
Tuesday 5 May 2015 | 6:30 PM at the Blue House

The film ‘Dead Man’ (1995; Jim Jarmusch), a "Psychedelic Western”, includes twisted and surreal elements, making it the ultimate post-modern Western. Shot entirely in black-and-white, the film follows William Blake, who ventures westward by train to the dystopian town of Machine in search of work. Forced to go on the run after murdering a man, he befriends Nobody, a Native American familiar with the works of the poet William Blake. The soundtrack was composed by Neil Young, and includes portions he improvised while watching the film footage. Language: English, with Arabic subtitles.
Film Screening: Nostalgia for the Light
A series of films selected by Emily Jacir
Tuesday 12 May 2015 | 6:30 PM at the Blue House

In ‘Nostalgia for the Light’ (2010) Patricio Guzman travels 10,000 feet above sea level to Chile’s Atacama Desert, where astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the edges of the universe. The Atacama is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact: those of Pre-Columbian mummies; 19th century explorers and miners; as well as political prisoners “disappeared” by the Chilean army after the 1973 military coup. Women, surviving relatives of these disappeared whose bodies were dumped here, are continuing to search after twenty-five years, for the remains of their loved ones and reclaim their families’ histories. Language: Spanish, with Arabic subtitles.
Monthly Cultural Talk: Does the intellectual still have a role?
Tuesday 26 May 2015 | 6:30 PM at the Blue House

Together with Dr. Hisham Bustani, Darat al Funun’s cultural consultant Dr. Faisal Darraj discusses the role of the intellectual. This is considered one of the most common and obscure subjects due to the lack of clear definition distinguishing the intellectual, the writer, the thinker, and the preacher. The term has been associated with a host of topics such as the Enlightenment, political parties, the rise of culture and cultural values​​, intellectual freedom and future social and national projects. The talk will be in Arabic.

“عقدة “ | Interactive Installation
by Haya Abdulhameed

6-26 May 2015 | At the Lab
Opening: Saturday 16 May 2015 | 6:30 PM at the Lab

Knot: A fastening made by tying a piece of string, rope, or something similar.

Knot (Complex): The thoughts and feelings suppressed in the subconscious mind affecting the individual’s behavior.

Artist Haya Abdulhameed showcases “عقدة “, an interactive installation consisting of an oversized pillow, whereby the audience is invited to sew their own “knot” onto it, symbolizing letting go of their complexes. The installation aims to provide a therapeutic process and a release mechanism to the audience interacting with it, while serving as a cushion for all our complexes.

Begun in the early eighties, the Khalid Shoman Collection is one of the earliest collections dedicated exclusively to contemporary art of the Arab world. This extensive publication brings together the voices of artists, architects, curators, art critics, and scholars to reflect on the Khalid Shoman Collection and its potential role in narrating a regional art history. The book consists of three interwoven parts: (1) academic essays by scholars from different disciplines examining a range of art historical concerns through art works from the Collection, (2) personal reflections by artists, curators, critics, and scholars who have lived the history of Darat al Funun, and (3) the works by the over one hundred and forty artists forming the Collection, reflecting the shifts and transformations in the region's artistic practices over the last four decades.

You can buy the book at Darat al Funun, or online via Ideabooks.