Rituals of Signs and Transitions (1975-1995)

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.

In addition, there are relevant works from The Khalid Shoman Collection on permanent display by Abdul Hay Mosallam, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Fateh al Moudarres, Himat Ali, Ismail Shammout, Rafa’ al Nasiri, and Ziad Dalloul.

Also shown is a selection edited by Emily Jacir from the salvaged rushes for Tel al Zaatar (1977), together with documentation of the 2013-2014 restoration of these rushes at the Archivio Audiovisivo del Movimento Operaio e Democratico (AAMOD) in Rome by Jacir and Monica Maurer. A Palestinian and Italian co-production directed by Mustafa Abu Ali, Pino Adriano and Jean Chamoun, Tel al Zaatar was filmed in 1976 directly following the August 1976 massacre of over 1,000 Palestinians and Lebanese at Tel al Zaatar, a UN-administered refugee camp in northeast Beirut. Abu Ali and Chamoun edited the footage in Rome for six months in 1977, and the rushes afterwards remained untouched in the archives for 36 years.

The 2016-17 Darat al Funun Dissertation Fellowship for the Study of Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World

Darat al Funun-The Khalid Shoman Foundation is pleased to announce the open call for its 2016-17 dissertation fellowship. The fellowship was established in 2011 to encourage research on modern and contemporary art of the Arab world. The fellowship provides financial support of up to ten thousand US dollars to Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences. One to two fellowships will be granted each year. The fellowship duration must range from 4-6 months of residency at Darat al Funun in Amman, Jordan.

Fellows are expected to pursue their own research, give at least one public lecture, and participate in Darat al Funun’s cultural and artistic activities. Upon completion of the fellowship, fellows are required to submit a five to seven page research report that will be made available on Darat al Funun’s website.

The deadline for applications is 15 December 2015.

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Open Call for Projects in the Lab in 2016

The Lab at Darat al Funun is an experimental space encouraging creative exploration by artists and curators from various disciplines. The Lab is now offering its space and is accepting proposals to work, produce, or curate innovative art projects and/or organize a series of talks, workshops, or film screenings. This call is open to artists, filmmakers, designers, architects, performers, curators, and all creative minds.

The deadline for applications is 15 November 2015.

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Book Launch
Emily Jacir: A star is as far as the eye can see and as near as my eye is to me

We are proud to announce the publication of Emily Jacir: A star is as far as the eye can see and as near as my eye is to me, following her eponymous survey exhibition at Darat al Funun from 4 November 2014-23 April 2015. The bi-lingual English-Arabic book is fully illustrated and includes texts by Adila Laïdi-Hanieh and Ahmad Zatari, as well as an interview with the artist by Yazid Anani, together giving profound insight to Jacir's work.

Available for sale from mid-September 2015 at Darat al Funun, and online through our worldwide distributor Idea Books, Amsterdam (www.ideabooks.nl).

Published by The Khalid Shoman Foundation, 2015. Designed by Hans Gremmen, Amsterdam. Edited by Eline van der Vlist. ISBN 978-90-821484-1-1.

What does art mean today?
Talk and Readings
Tuesday 3 November 2015 | Main Building 6:30 pm

Participants: Khaldoun Hijazin, Raed Ibrahim, Jihad al Amiri, Adnan Yahya. Presented by Dr. Faisal Darraj, and moderated by Ahmad Zatari

Jordanian Artists present their perspectives on the meaning of art today, reflecting on the questions asked by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra 20 years ago, compiled in the book “Art and the Artist” published by Darat al Funun. Selected readings from the book will follow.
Transitions in Iraqi Art
Talk and Book Launch
Tuesday 10 November 2015 | Main Building 6:30 pm

Art critic and poet May Muzaffar speaks about transitions in Iraqi art during the period between 1975 and 1995, and discusses the influence of the most prominent artists during that time. A book launch of Muzaffar on Iraqi art titled “Communication and Differentiation” will follow.
Film Screening: “Saken” followed by a discussion
with director Sandra Madi

Tuesday 17 November 2015 | Main Building 6:30 pm

Saken is an observational documentary directed by Sandra Madi (2014) set in Jordan that follows the friendship between Ibrahim, a Palestinian fedayee who was injured in Lebanon while on duty before the 1982 israeli invasion of Lebanon, leading to his paralysis, and Walid an Egyptian man who has been Ibrahim’s companion and caretaker for the past 15 years.Language: Arabic, with English subtitles.
Monthly Cultural Talk:
The Role of Image in the Media Industry
Tuesday 24 November 2015 | Main Building 6:30 pm

Talk by Dr. Jamal Al-Shalabi, Political Science Professor at the Hashemite University; introduced by Dr. Faisal Darraj

Dr. Al-Shalabi discusses the boom of the media market in the last three decades where the image becomes a news item reflecting political, intellectual and commercial dimensions, that promotes a fabricated world that does not correspond to the actual facts.

Exhibition: A Sideshow of a Sideshow
Lawrence of Arabia: Myth, War and Reality, seen through the lens of cinema and photography
Opening: Saturday 7 November| At the Lab 6:30 pm
7 - 27 November 2015

A group exhibition that explores modern day Middle-Eastern identity in relation to the Lawrence of Arabia myth as created by cinema and photography. Using archival material found in Jordan, this show explores, confuses and questions the myths that surround T.E. Lawrence and the Great Arab Revolt to create a psychedelic collage of colour, content and meanings. The works have been produced by local artists and visiting British artist Tom Hunter, through a series of ongoing workshops.

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.
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Darat al Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation

13 Nadeem al Mallah st. (main entrance)
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Jabal al Weibdeh

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Tel.: 962 6 4643251 / 2
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