Online and NYC: two early Michel Khleifi Films

Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35th Ave
Queens, NY
Wednesday, May 8
7 pm

Join us on Wednesday, May 8 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria where we will be co-presenting a screening of Michel Khleifi’s Fertile Memory (1981) for the opening night of the Prismatic Ground Festival. Recently restored by the Royal Belgian Film Archive, Khleifi’s first film is a visceral, poetic glimpse of everyday life in the occupied West Bank.

The screening will be preceded by a reading from poet Hala Alyan and followed by a discussion with researcher/writer/curator Adam HajYahia.

Khleifi’s second film, the short documentary Ma'loul Celebrates Its Destruction (1984), will be free to stream for the duration of the festival (May 8–12) on

Michel Khleifi
Fertile Memory
1981, 99 min, DCP
Arabic with English subtitles

The first feature length film to be shot in the West Bank, Fertile Memory is a portrait of two Palestinian women whose individual struggles both define and transcend the dispossession that heavily determines their lives. Romia Farah — the director’s aunt — is a widowed grandmother working in an Israeli garment factory. Her tenacious personality fuels a decades-long legal battle to reclaim her expropriated land. Sahar Khalifa is a feminist writer teaching at Birzeit University; she struggles with the double oppression of Israeli occupation and the gendered ostracization and loneliness she experiences after seeking a divorce. Fertile Memory marks a distinct shift in Palestinian filmmaking, from a unified revolutionary cinema, to a capacious reflection of Palestinian society and its many contradictions, landscapes, and temporalities.

$20 General Admission
Tickets available on the Museum of the Moving Image website

Michel Khleifi
Ma'loul Celebrates Its Destruction
1984, 32 min, streaming in HD
Arabic with English subtitles

Once a year, on “Israeli Independence Day” — also known as Nakba day — the former residents of the destroyed Palestinian village of Ma’loul are permitted to enter the ruins of their birthplace. The village, like countless others, was previously a mixed agrarian community of Muslims and Christians. Today, the churches are used to house cattle and garbage for a nearby kibbutz; the military has built a base; and commemorative plaques and trees planted through the Jewish National Fund obfuscate the landscape for those who once knew it intimately. Ma’aloul intercuts scenes of the villagers communing in remembrance with archival footage, along with a depiction of a Palestinian teacher presenting the history of the creation of the state of Israel to his students, as mandated by Israeli curriculum.

Streaming May 8–12 on

Screening: Borhane Alaouié's LETTER FROM A TIME OF EXHILE and Akram Zaatari's ALL IS WELL ON THE BORDER

Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave, New York
Thursday, April 18
7:30 pm

Join us next Thursday for the seventh installment of our ongoing film series at Anthology Film Archives where we will be screening two documentary-adjacent films about the Lebanese civil war, its aftermath, and its mediation. Borhane Alaouié’s Letter From a Time of Exile, though scripted, is shot like a documentary and often confused for one. While Akram Zaatari’s All is Well on the Border deftly deconstructs the genre of post-war resistance hagiography.

Borhane Alaouié
Letter From a Time of Exile
1988, 52 min, 16mm-to-digital
Arabic and French with English subtitles

Scripted by Najwa Barakat and shot in a pseudo-documentary style, Letter From a Time of Exile presents the stories of four Lebanese men whose lives have taken unexpected turns due to the Civil War: Abdallah, a former militia member; Karim, an unemployed journalist living in Paris; Rizkallah, a car salesman in Brussels; and Nessim, a surgeon who has settled in Strasbourg. Narrated with subtle humor, Letter From a Time of Exile is both a portrait of people in exile, and the cities in which they currently reside.

Akram Zaatari
All is Well on the Border
1997, 44 min, video
In Arabic with English subtitles

Focusing on the Israeli occupation of the South,_ All is Well_ is an early example of Zaatari’s explorations into postwar Lebanese memory culture through the collection of testimonies and documents. Working at Rafic Hariri’s Future TV at the time, Zaatari was particularly interested in the ways in which histories of resistance were mediated and exploited in their dissemination; Zaatari centers his own mediation by having genuine testimonies and letters from imprisoned fighters read by actors, revealing their teleprompters and script pages on screen. All is Well is an incisive meditation on the propagation of resistance stories.

$12 General Admission / $9 Seniors and Students
Tickets available at the box office or at the Anthology Film Archives website


Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave, New York
Thursday, March 28
7:30 pm

Join us Thursday for the sixth installment of our ongoing film series at Anthology Film Archives where we will be screening two documentaries from Omar Amiralay: A Plate of Sardines (1998), in which Amiralay and Mohammad Malas visit the ruins of the Golan village of Quneitra, destroyed by the Israeli army in 1974, its only remaining building a former cinema; and The Man With the Golden Soles (2000), where Amiralay wrestles with both self and subject in his precarious portrait of billionaire Lebanese statesman Rafic Hariri, five years before his assassination.

The films will be introduced by writer, editor, and film programmer Hicham Awad.

Omar Amiralay
A Plate Of Sardines (or the First Time I Heard of Israel)
1998, 17 min, digital
Arabic and French with English subtitles

“The first time I heard of Israel, I was in Beirut, the conversation was about a plate of sardines. I was six years old, Israel was two.” In the company of filmmaker Mohammad Malas, Omar Amiralay revisits the ruins of the destroyed village of Quneitra.

Omar Amiralay
The Man With the Golden Soles
2000, 54 min, digital
Arabic and English with English Subtitles

Amiralay’s portrait of billionaire Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri was by his own admission a failure: “What I feared would happen had indeed happened…Hariri was now in complete control.” His leftist peers had tried to warn him (“You know very well that power is pernicious”) but Amiralay nevertheless enters into a dialectical struggle with Hariri in a series of one-on-one interviews. Unable to circumvent his subject’s charisma, Amiralay’s adverserial intentions slowly give way to familiarity as Hariri—often referring to himself in the third person—increasingly appears to be directing from in front of the camera. Featuring Elias Khoury, Fawwaz Traboulsi, and Samir Kassir.

$12 General Admission / $9 Seniors and Students
Tickets available at the box office or at the Anthology Film Archives website

In Converation: Kaveh Akbar and Anahid Nersessian

Saturday March 9, 6pm
264 Canal Street, 3W
New York, NY 10013

Please join us on Saturday, March 9th, for a reading by poet Kaveh Akbar, author of the acclaimed new novel Martyr!, followed by a discussion with critic Anahid Nersessian.

The painful absurdities and insoluble contradictions that attend the life of the immigrant provide the occasion for Akbar’s debut novel. Martyr! is the story of Cyrus Shams, a young man born in Iran and raised in Indiana by his father. When Cyrus was an infant, his mother was killed aboard Iran Air Flight 655, a passenger flight brought down by a pair of surface-to-air missiles fired by the USS Vincennes, an American Navy cruiser, on July 3rd, 1988. Cyrus, now an alcoholic in recovery, is desperate for his own life to matter. He becomes obsessed with the idea of martyrdom, constantly adding to a file on his computer called BOOKOFMARTYRS.docx…

For an amuse-bouche, consider this earlier encounter between Kaveh and Anahid, which appeared in Bidoun some weeks ago.

With thanks to Triple Canopy for hosting.

Screening: Merzak Allouache's THE MAN WHO WATCHED WINDOWS

Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave, New York
Thursday, February 22
7:30 pm

Join us Thursday for the fifth installment of our ongoing film series at Anthology Film Archives, where we will be screening The Man Who Watched Windows (1982), a rarely seen early work from Algerian director Merzak Allouache. A singular and underappreciated film, The Man Who Watched Windows is a tightly-calibrated portrait of a man who does not wish to understand the changing world around him.

Merzak Allouache
The Man Who Watched Windows
1982, 85 min, 16mm
In Arabic with projected English subtitles.

Merzak Allouache’s third film, The Man Who Watched Windows is the story of Rachid, an austere bureaucrat who has just been transferred without warning from the National Archives to the cinema library. The constant motion of post-post-independence 1980s Algerian society displeases him, as does cinema; worse yet, books on cinema—the very idea of which disturbs him. Having dedicated his life to the state, Rachid is so agitated by his transfer that he is driven to paranoia and, ultimately, an act of violence. Print courtesy the CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée).

$12 General Admission / $9 Seniors and Students Tickets available at the box office or at the Anthology Film Archives website

Screening: Khaled Jarrar's INFILTRATORS and Jumana Manna's FORAGERS

Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave, New York
Thursday, January 18
7:30 pm

Join us Thursday for the fourth installment of our ongoing film series at Anthology Film Archives, where we will be screening two artist-made documentaries about survival and resistance in occupied Palestine. Khaled Jarrar’s Infiltrators (2012) captures the myriad ways West Bank residents attempt to circumvent the so-called separation wall, while Jumana Manna’s Foragers (2022) examines Israel’s use of ecological legislation to further alienate Palestinians from their land, food, and culture.

Khaled Jarrar
2012, 70 min, digital

Artist Khaled Jarrar shadows West Bank residents as they search for ways to bypass the highly militarized Israeli apartheid wall that separates them from Jerusalem. Over, under, or through, with great difficulty and risk, the infiltrators are by turns people who wish to visit relatives in hospitals, religious women trying to reach Al Aqsa, teenage boys tasked with “smuggling” bread, and, most often, construction workers; Palestinian men whose labor will be used to build up the city they are not permitted to enter. Alternating between cigarette breaks, detours, waiting, climbing, escaping, and confrontation, Infiltrators depicts the constant struggle to both survive and resist captivity and occupation.

Jumana Manna
2022, 64 min, DCP

Shot in the Golan Heights, the Galilee, and Jerusalem, Foragers employs fiction, documentary, and archival footage to demonstrate the impact of Israeli nature protection laws on Palestinian foraging practices. The restrictions prohibit the collection of wild ’akkoub and za’atar, and have resulted in fines and trials for hundreds of people, exclusively Arabs. While Israel insists the laws are necessary to protect native plants from extinction, for Palestinians they constitute an ecological veil for carceral legislation that alienates them from their land and culture. Though singular in its focus, Foragers illuminates the links between land, food, indigeneity, law, and the quotidian defiance necessitated by life under occupation.

Total running time: ca. 140 min.

$12 General Admission / $9 Seniors and Students Tickets available at the box office or at the Anthology Film Archives website

Screening: Youssef Chahine's CAIRO, AS TOLD BY YOUSSEF CHAHINE and Jocelyne Saab's EGYPT, CITY OF THE DEAD

Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave, New York
Thursday, October 26
7:30 pm

Join us Thursday for the third installment of our recurring film series at Anthology Film Archives, where we will be screening two documentaries about Cairo and its denizens: Youssef Chahine’s wry love letter to his adopted city, Cairo, as Told by Youssef Chahine (1991), and the US premiere of a new restoration of Jocelyne Saab’s Egypt, City of the Dead (1977).

The screening will be followed by a discussion with journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous and writer Hussein Omar, both of whom have family buried in the City of the Dead.

Proceeds from the screening will be donated to Medical Aid for Palestine.

Youssef Chahine
Cairo, as Told by Youssef Chahine
Egypt, 1991, 23 min, 35mm
In Arabic with English subtitles

Commissioned by French television to make a documentary about Cairo, iconic Egyptian director Youssef Chahine chose to mix observational footage with scripted vignettes to produce a mischievously meta film, marked by his characteristic humor, eroticism, and incisiveness. Despite its brevity, Cairo sensitively captures the dusty, chaotic beauty of city life, setting its numerous injustices—poverty, overcrowded living quarters, greedy real estate developers, and the violence of globalization—against the backdrop of the first Gulf War. Refusing the mock-objectivity of reportage, Chahine presents a portrait of the city through his love for its inhabitants.

Jocelyne Saab
Egypt, City of the Dead
Lebanon, 1977, 38 min, 16mm-to-digital
In Arabic and French with English subtitles

In recent years, the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has begun to raze large swaths of Cairo’s historic necropolis, a sprawling series of cemeteries where hundreds of thousands of the city’s poorest have taken up residence, squatting inside and around the centuries-old mausoleums, in an emphatic confluence of poverty and death. The destruction of the area, known as the City of the Dead, is both a mass eviction and the latest in Sisi’s assault on Egyptian life in the service of rapid development. Jocelyne Saab’s 1977 film documents the community living inside the necropolis alongside other members of Cairo’s toiling classes. Featuring music from Sheikh Imam and commentary from other leftists, including Lutfi el-Kholi, the screenwriter of Chahine’s The Sparrow (1972). US premiere of 2k restoration completed in 2023 in France and Lebanon by the Jocelyne Saab Association.

$12 General Admission / $9 Seniors and Students Tickets available at the box office or at the Anthology Film Archives website

Screening: Nadia El Fani’s BEDWIN HACKER

Anthology Film Archives 32 2nd Ave, New York Thursday, August 3 7:30 pm

Join us for the second installment of our recurring film series at Anthology Film Archives, where we will be hosting a screening of French-Tunisian filmmaker Nadia El-Fani’s low-budget hacker drama, Bedwin Hacker (2003).

In this campy millennium cyber-thriller, culture-jamming hacker Kalt, AKA “Bedwin Hacker,” hijacks European television stations from her Tunisian mountain hideout. With the help of her motley crew of freedom-loving poets, queers, and musicians, she broadcasts cryptic political messages delivered by a cartoon camel. Meanwhile, a French intelligence agent named Julia relentlessly pursues the elusive pirate, with whom she shares multiple romantic entanglements, past and present…

$12 General Admission / $9 Seniors and Students Tickets available at the box office or at the Anthology Film Archives website

Meriem Bennani: Life on the CAPS Book Launch

B7L9 Art Station
Bhar Lazreg
La Marsa, Tunisia
June 22, 6:30 PM

On the occasion of Meriem Bennani’s exhibition Life on the CAPS, to open this week at Tunis’s BL79 Art Station / Kamel Lazaar Foundation, we will be launching a publication of the same name.

The book is the artist’s first comprehensive monograph and includes essays by writers Emily LaBarge and Elvia Wilk, alongside conversations with Omar Berrada, Fatima Al Qadiri, Amal Benzekri, Aziz Bouyabrine, and Bidoun.

The opening and book launch will be followed by a conversation between Meriem Bennani, Negar Azimi, Tiffany Malakooti, and Myriam Ben Salah.

Life on the CAPS, the book, is co-edited by Bidoun’s Negar Azimi and Tiffany Malakooti, and published by The Renaissance Society and Bidoun.

Screening: Tahani Rached’s FOUR WOMEN OF EGYPT and Heiny Srour’s THE SINGING SHEIKH

Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave, New York
Thursday, June 15, 2023
7 pm

Join us for the first in an ongoing series of Bidoun-curated screenings at Anthology Film Archives that privilege rare and/or underappreciated films. For the inaugural installment, we’ll be presenting the cult favorite documentary Four Women of Egypt from Egyptian-Canadian director Tahani Rached. Her film will be preceded by The Singing Sheikh, a short by Lebanese director Heiny Srour on the iconic dissident Egyptian folk musician, Sheikh Imam.

The screening will include:

Tahani Rached
Four Women of Egypt
1997, 89 min, digital
In Arabic and French with English subtitles

A portrait of four friends in Cairo (Wedad Mitry, Safinaz Kazem, Shahenda Maklad, and Amina Rachid), all born under colonial occupation, and all former political prisoners under Sadat. Despite ideological differences, the women maintain their friendships – sustained by their humor, warmth, commitment to politics, and shared ideals of social justice. Four Women of Egypt is a testament to both friendships and politics that have endured the violence and disappointments of 20th-century Egypt.

preceded by:

Heiny Srour
The Singing Sheikh
1991, 11 min, digital
In Arabic with English subtitles
A rarely-seen documentary on Sheikh Imam, the legendary and frequently imprisoned Egyptian folk musician whose political songs fearlessly indicted the ruling classes.

Total running time: ca. 105 min
$12 General Admission / $9 Seniors and Students Tickets available at the box office or at the Anthology Film Archives website

Artists Against Apartheid, Bidoun, and Shasha Movies at Anthology Film Archive

Still from Here & Elsewhere (1976). Dir. Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin & Anne-Marie Miéville

Godard, Miéville, Hatoum, and Yaqubi at Anthology Film Archives
New York
February 23, 2023
7:30 PM

Artists Against Apartheid, Bidoun, and Shasha Movies present Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Marie Miéville’s Here and Elsewhere (1976), alongside Mohanad Yaqubi’s Off Frame (2016) and Mona Hatoum’s Measures of Distance (1988).

It has been 45 years since Godard and Miéville made Here and Elsewhere, a filmic essay that has exercised a talismanic power over generations of artists and audiences with its stark, self-critical meditation on cinema’s limitations in representing faraway realities, in this case, the ongoing Palestinian resistance movement of the 1970s.

Screened alongside, Mona Hatoum’s elegiac and epistolary Measures of Distance (1988) and Mohanad Yaqubi’s Off Frame (2016) provide a Palestinian counterpoint, as filmmakers of different generations offer up inspired explorations of word, image, and narrative.

Proceeds from the screening will go toward Medical Aid for Palestinians.

The screening will be followed by a conversation between critic and curator Ed Halter & filmmaker Zeina Durra.

Nicolas Moufarrege at CCA Berlin

Nicolas Moufarrege, Title Unknown, 1985

Nicolas Moufarrege
Mutant International
CCA Berlin
February 9 - March 19, 2023

Bidoun and CCA Berlin are pleased to announce Mutant International, an exhibition featuring a selection of works by Egyptian-born Lebanese artist Nicolas Moufarrege (1947-1985) – his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany.

A prodigious visual artist, writer, and curator, Moufarrege made wry, sophisticated, and exuberant work over a ten-year career that spanned Beirut, Paris, and New York. His practice rethought the Western art canon and Levantine weaving traditions through irreverent engagements with painting and sewing, graffiti and collage, Pop and the esoteric. Having launched himself in Beirut in the 1970s, Moufarrege left shortly after the calamitous beginnings of the long civil wars and moved to Paris, where he started producing large, tapestry-adjacent works. He arrived in New York’s East Village in 1981, just as an art scene was coming together amid a handful of crumbling tenements. In that city, he curated unusual, much-talked-about exhibitions, penned high-stakes essays and manifestos, and showed his own unclassifiable artworks. New York is also where he died of AIDS-related complications at the age of 37.

Moufarrege’s sui generis, shape-shifting work remains largely absent from the annals of art history — missing in Lebanon, as well, despite all the illustrious efforts of the last 15 years to make sense of art from the broader Arabic-speaking region. But it is missing, too, from most retrospective looks at American painting in the 1980s or The Pictures Generation. As for the East Village scene which he was so intimately tied to, he has tended to appear as a footnote, a curiosity with a foreign-sounding name.

The concise selection of works — tapestries, embroidered paintings, and drawings — as well as archival documents and ephemera on view as part of Nicolas Moufarrege: Mutant International draws a rich trajectory of artmaking informed by diasporic yearning and queer jouissance, and shaped through a delirious hodgepodge of references spanning Islamic calligraphy, superhero comics, cultures of advertising, and gay erotica.

While Moufarrege’s name all but disappeared following his too-early death, Bidoun and CCA Berlin are committed to bringing attention to his largely unknown body of work, while also using it as a springboard for a broader discussion about art and erasure, queer aesthetics in 20th-century art, and the cultural legacies of the AIDS epidemic.

On March 12, a public symposium organized by Bidoun featuring contributions by Nick Mauss, Michael C. Vazquez, Xandro Segade, and others will offer multiple lenses through which to view Moufarrege’s idiosyncratic oeuvre, in part by speaking to and about the cities in which he lived and worked — storied cosmopolitan enclaves, from 1950s Alexandria to 1960s Beirut, 1970s Paris to 1980s New York.

The works on view as part of Nicolas Moufarrege: Mutant International were selected by Negar Azimi (Bidoun) and Edwin Nasr (Associate Curator CCA Berlin). The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Mohammed Fakhro, Raghida Ghandour, Ranya Husami Ghandour, Maria Sukkar, Tony Tamer, and Sultan Al Qassemi. Special thanks to Nabil and Hanan Moufarrege, as well as Dean Daderko.

Fereydoun Ave and the Laal Collection at the 58th Carnegie International

Ashurbanipal Babilla, Untitled, 1976. Mixed Media on paper. Courtesy Laal Collection

Organized by Negar Azimi and Sohrab Mohebbi

Carnegie Museum of Art
September 24 - April 2, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA

Over the past five decades, the artist Fereydoun Ave has assembled a singular collection of modern and contemporary Iranian art inflected by personal history, friendship, sensibility, and circumstance.

On returning to Iran in 1970 after years of education abroad, Ave worked as a curator and designer at Tehran’s Iran-America Society Cultural Center, where he organized groundbreaking exhibitions of Iranian and international artists. Around the same time, he began collecting art with money borrowed from his grandmother. Ave continued to collect over the years, while he moved on to positions at consequential Tehran arts institutions, including the avant-garde Kargah-e Namayesh (Theater Workshop), where he worked as a resident designer, and the Zand Gallery, where he served as Artistic Director.

After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Ave stayed behind as his compatriots left the country in droves. In the early 1980s he launched 13 Vanak, an independent art space for Iranian artists in a disused garden shed in an iconic Tehran square. The nimble and irreverent exhibitions at 13 Vanak attracted diverse audiences, including, on occasion, befuddled agents of the state. Though 13 Vanak closed in 2009, Ave has continued to mentor successive generations of artists both in and outside Iran.

The relationship between art and life, like history, is messy, impossible to tame. Ave, who is an accomplished artist himself, serves as both subject and cipher of this presentation, a vantage onto the fascinating—and contested—cultural history of 20th- and 21st-century Iran.

The Laal Collection presentation is curated by Bidoun’s Negar Azimi and Sohrab Mohebbi, Bidoun Contributing Editor and the Kathe and Jim Patrinos Curator of the 58th Carnegie International.

The 58th Carnegie International is on view at the Carnegie Museum of Art from September 24, 2022 through April 2, 2023.

Artists: Shirin Aliabadi, Yaghoub Amaemehpich, Nazgol Ansarinia, Fereydoun Ave, Haydeh Ayazi, Ashurbanipal Babilla, Sadra Baniasadi, Leyly Matine-Daftary, Davood Emdadian, Parvaneh Etemadi, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Raana Farnoud, Shahab Fotouhi, Ali Golestaneh, Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Arash Hanaiae, Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Sirak Melkonian, Yashar Samimi Mofakham, Ardeshir Mohasses, Houman Mortazavi, Farhad Moshiri, Nikzad Nodjoumi, Iman Raad, Behjat Sadr, Bijan Saffari, Mostafa Sarabi, Mamali Shafahi, Reza Shafahi, Shideh Tami, Cy Twombly, Manouchehr Yektai, Hossein-Ali Zabehi.

A comprehensive book on Fereydoun Ave, edited by Negar Azimi, Aria Kasaei, and Sohrab Mohebbi, is in progress.

Negar Azimi and Sohrab Mohebbi would like to thank those who helped make this presentation possible: Aria Kasaei, Ali Bakhtiari, Rochanak Etemad, Omid Bonakdar, Shaqayeq Arabi, Hormoz Hematian, Alireza Fatehi, Balice Hertling Gallery, Dastan Gallery, Farhad Moshiri, Sohrab Mahdavi, and Roya Khadjavi-Heidari.

Maria Golia Reading in NYC

Square Diner
33 Leonard Street
New York
Thursday, May 19
6:30 PM

Bidoun & The Colloquium for Unpopular Culture Present:

The Ornette Effect: Coleman Biographer Maria Golia in conversation with Sukhdev Sandhu and Michael C. Vazquez. Introduced by Negar Azimi

Maria Golia, a long-time friend of Bidoun, will read an excerpt from her biography of the great American saxophonist and free jazz innovator Ornette Coleman (Ornette Coleman: The Territory and the Adventure, Reaktion Books). To be followed by a discussion on and around tomb-raiding, photography, and objects that fall from the sky.

About Maria Golia: Author of sundry nonfictions, Golia was born in New Jersey prior to the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Marylyn Monroe’s suicide, and the first lunar landing, Former student of neurophysiology, Texas nightclub manager, and tutor of Islamic art and architecture to Kuwaiti royalty. Fellow of the London Institute of Ecotechnics and non-driver. Lifetime interest in the quandaries of a discontinuous reality, singularities, and the exploration of urban and inner space. Residing in Egypt since 1992.

Book Launch: Neïl Beloufa's People Love War Data & Travels

François Ghebaly
391 Grand Street
New York
Sunday, November 14, 2021
2-4 Pm

François Ghebaly, Bidoun, and After 8 Books invite you to the New York launch of Neïl Beloufa’s People Love War Data & Travels at François Ghebaly NY on Sunday, November 14th from 2 to 4 pm.

Neïl Beloufa’s first book-length monograph culls the artist’s zigzag work from 2007 to the present. Beloufa’s commitment to making visible the conditions of his art-making is well-known and this book is no exception; it is as generous, transparent, experimental and chaotic as he is.

With readings by Ruba Katrib, Negar Azimi, and a conversation between the artist and Myriam Ben Salah.

Reza Abdoh Book Launch

Green Oasis
370 East 8th Street, NYC
Sunday, September 26th @ 7 PM

Readings by:

Morgan Bassichis
Juliana Francis-Kelly
Tobi Haslett
Jennifer Krasinski
Nick Mauss
Elizabeth Wiet

+ music and drink

Screen Talk & Content Conundrum

Neïl Beloufa & Meriem Bennani in conversation with Myriam Ben Salah

Friday, May 29 at 11 AM PST, 2 PM EST, 8 PM CET

Artist project… Confinement diary… Quarantine questionnaire… Playlist… Recipe? With museums, galleries, and sundry cultural centers shuttered amid our ongoing pandemic present, artists are increasingly being called upon to become providers of digital content cum entertainment. It’s hard not to be cynical about these appeals, as commissioning institutions scramble to justify their continued existence even as their physical spaces disappear. (Of course, Bidoun does not exempt itself from this legitimate querying of content production in the age of Corona.)

This Friday, May 29 @ 2 PM EST Bidoun presents a live conversation between the artists Neïl Beloufa and Meriem Bennani about the perks and pitfalls of centralized digital platforms for making and experiencing art. Beloufa has long been thinking about the manner in which art is made, circulated, seen. His current project, Screen Talk, is at once a surreal mini-series and a zigzag alternative distribution network. Could the internet, with all its concomitant liberties and limitations, provide a generative platform divorced from stifling vertical hierarchies and institutional agendas? Adapted from a film originally shot in 2014, Screen Talk the mini-series adopts a vaudevillian tone and posture in depicting a world turned topsy-turvy by a strange pandemic. Screen Talk is accessible via an interactive website whose design has been conceived as an artwork.

Launched in March and first circulated via Instagram, Bennani’s ongoing animated series 2 Lizards (made with Orian Barki) offers up a moody and hypnotic DIY portrait of how art might begin to make sense of this moment. Each episode follows the humanoid lizards, voiced by the artists, as they slowly absorb the reality—both surreal and true—of life in New York City under quarantine: a land of Zoom birthdays, distracted porn consumption, over-stressed medical heroes, errant gloves, an eerily deserted Times Square.

The artists will be joined in conversation with Myriam Ben Salah, newly appointed Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Renaissance Society in Chicago.

To attend the talk, click here.

Presented in collaboration with Francois Ghebaly Gallery.

Nicolas Moufarrege Symposium at the Queens Museum

International Mutant:
Nicolas Moufarrege in Time and Space
Queens Museum
Saturday, February 15
1-5 pm

“The International is a nomadic wanderer, on land and in mind.”
—Nicolas A. Moufarrege, “The Mutant International,” Arts Magazine, September 1983

Bidoun hosts a day devoted to the lost-found work of the Egyptian-born Lebanese artist Nicolas Moufarrege (1947-1985). A wildly prodigious visual artist, writer, and curator, Moufarrege made work that remains at once wry, sophisticated, and exuberant in its pursuit of the “idiosyncratic/universal.”

Contributors will speak to and about the cities in which Moufarrege lived and worked—distinct cosmopolitans enclaves, from 1950s Alexandria to 1960s Beirut, 1970s Paris to 1980s New York. These presentations will offer a lens through which to view Moufarrege’s emblematic engagements with painting and embroidery, graffiti and collage, Pop and the esoteric.

The afternoon begins with a talk by artist Nick Mauss, presented with Visual AIDS, and concludes with a conversation among friends and associates from the five-odd years Moufarrege spent at the epicenter of New York’s East Village art scene.



Nick Mauss
Hala Halim
Robyn Creswell
Bella Meyer
Alanna Heiss
Carlo McCormick
Sur Rodney (Sur)


Dean Daderko, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Larissa Harris, Queens Museum; Negar Azimi, Bidoun; Michael C. Vazquez, Bidoun; Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, Bidoun; Esther McGowan, Visual AIDS; Kyle Croft, Visual AIDS; Blake Paskal, Visual AIDS; Lindsey Berfond, Queens Museum

Reza Abdoh: The Blind Owl & Short Films at ICA London

ICA London
Tuesday, July 2 at 6:30 pm
Wednesday, July 3 at 6:30 pm

As part of the exhibition I, I, I, I, I, I, I, Kathy Acker at the ICA London, Bidoun and the ICA present a two-part program of screenings and discussions centered on the moving-image works of theatre director and filmmaker Reza Abdoh (1963–1995).

Working between Los Angeles and New York in the 1980s and early 90s, Abdoh was a contemporary of Kathy Acker at a time of metastasizing moral panic in the US. Both artists’ work share a particular fascination with taboo (sexual, psychological and societal) and abjection.

On July 2nd, a screening of Abdoh’s only completed feature film The Blind Owl is followed by a discussion between scholar Dominic Johnson and artist Ron Athey, moderated by Bidoun Senior Editor Michael C. Vazquez.

On July 3rd, a screening of short film and video works by Abdoh is followed by a discussion between scholars Elizabeth Wiet and Daniel Mufson, moderated by Bidoun Senior Editor Negar Azimi.

Read more about the program on the ICA website.

Book launch: Sophia Al-Maria, Sad Sack; in conversation with Michael C. Vazquez

Sophia Al-Maria, Sad Sack (Book Works, 2019). Photo: Laura Cugusi

311 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 7pm

Join Bidoun Contributing Editor Sophia Al-Maria and Senior Editor Michael C. Vazquez in reading and conversation on the occasion of the publication of Sad Sack (Book Works, 2019), a book of Al-Maria’s collected writing. Taking inspiration from Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1986 essay “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction” in its nonlinear mode, Sad Sack’s essays encompass, among other things, the author’s fateful coining of the phenomenon known as “Gulf Futurism,” (zigzag) personal essays that offer up the seeds of her “premature” memoir, The Girl Who Fell From Earth, as well as Al-Maria’s experiments in fan-letter fiction – “Dear Tayeb” (Salih), “Dear Kurt” (Cobain), and “Dear Britney (Axis Mundi)” (Spears), among others. New and previously unpublished pieces sit with others originally commissioned by Artforum, Bidoun, e-flux journal, Creative Time Reports, and Serpentine Galleries.

Read Al-Maria’s writings in Bidoun here, as well as her curated collection from our archive, entitled “We are TMI.”

Sophia Al-Maria is an artist and writer living in London. She is contributing editor of Bidoun, and guest editor of The Happy Hypocrite – Fresh Hell, issue 8 (Book Works, 2015). Al-Maria’s memoir, The Girl Who Fell to Earth (Harper Perennial, 2012), was translated into Arabic and published by Bloomsbury Qatar in 2015. In 2016 Al-Maria presented Black Friday, her first US solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and was nominated for Film London’s Jarman Award. In 2018, Al-Maria exhibited ilysm at Project Native Informant, London, and was Whitechapel Gallery’s Writer in Residence — her exhibition BCE (Whitechapel Gallery, January – April 2019), draws on a year of performances and readings presented with Victoria Sin. Forthcoming exhibitions include Tate Britain, London (2019), and Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf (2020).

The Berlin Sessions: Reza Abdoh, Here and Now

Reza Abdoh and Michael Casselli, 1993. Photo: Thomas Fuesser

The Berlin Sessions:
Reza Abdoh, Here and Now
10 April, 7pm
Venue: Café Oscar
Mitte, Berlin

Who was Reza Abdoh (1963-1995), and how does his “urgent regurgitant mission” speak to European performance today? Daniel Mufson, editor of the Reza Abdoh anthology, and Ehren Fordyce, former professor of directing and contemporary performance at Stanford University, will engage with Abdoh’s challenging, kinetic corpus in the context of contemporary European and American performance, three decades after Iranian-born theater director’s too-early death from AIDS-related causes. Leaning on documentation of Abdoh’s plays, Mufson and Fordyce will discuss the novel confluence of formal approaches and thematic concerns that make Abdoh’s theater distinctive—and distinctly relevant—today.

Reza Abdoh is on view at KW Institute until May 5.

Reza Abdoh at KW Berlin

Twenty-five years after his final European tour, KW Berlin presents an exhibition devoted to the life and work of Reza Abdoh (1963-1995), the late Iranian-born theater director, writer, and artist, whose work spanned theater, film, and video. Abdoh’s earliest productions, mostly staged in Los Angeles, will be presented alongside the dense and intense yet brisk multimedia plays he created after learning he had HIV in the late 1980s, including Bogeyman, The Law of Remains, and Tight Right White.

On the evening of February 11, actors Tom Fitzpatrick, Tom Pearl, and Tony Torn will present readings from Abdoh’s oeuvre at the Volksbühne, followed by a discussion with fellow members of Abdoh’s dar a luz theater company, including Michael Casselli, Sandy Cleary, Brenden Doyle, Raul Enriquez, and Ken Roht, moderated by critic Daniel Mufson.

Reza Abdoh is curated by Negar Azimi, Tiffany Malakooti, and Babak Radboy of Bidoun with Krist Gruijthuijsen. The original iteration of the show was staged at MoMA PS1 this past summer. A comprehensive monograph edited by Azimi, Malakooti, and Michael C. Vazquez is forthcoming.

Reza Abdoh: Radical Visions

Reza Abdoh: Radical Visions
Screening series at The Museum of Modern Art
July 14–23, 2018

A polymath and self-described member of “a TV generation,” pioneering Iranian-American theater artist Reza Abdoh voraciously incorporated varied references to music videos, variety shows, film, dance, classical texts, BDSM, and more into his work, with equal parts poetry and rigor. Moving images played an essential role in the artist’s large-scale, interdisciplinary productions beginning in the mid-1980s. In his final working years he also turned to the cinematic form; his second feature remained unfinished at the time of his 1995 death from AIDS-related complications. In conjunction with the retrospective Reza Abdoh, currently on view at MoMA PS1, this series offers insight into the artist’s profound creative energy—films he directed and videos created collaboratively for productions—along with a recent documentary.

Across disciplines, Abdoh confronted themes of transgression, violence, and abjection to speak to social and political upheaval and marginalization in America and around the world—with a demanding yet transcendent effect on cast members, audiences, and future scholars and followers of his work. While his media output was largely envisioned in the context of theatrical mise en scène, experiencing Abdoh onscreen is vital to the rediscovery of this essential creator, whose urgent anger, clarity of vision, and unique voice resonate two decades on.

Organized by Sophie Cavoulacos, Assistant Curator, Department of Film; with Negar Azimi, Tiffany Malakooti, and Babak Radboy, Bidoun; and Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1, and Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art


Saturday, July 14, 6:00
The Blind Owl
Introduced by Tony Torn
Repeats Thursday, July 19

Sunday, July 15, 1:30
Reza Abdoh-Theatre Visionary
Introduced by Adam Soch and Sandy Cleary

Sunday, July 15, 4:00
Introduced by Adam Soch
Repeats Sunday, July 22

Wednesday, July 18, 7:30
Peep Show Videos
Reading by Tom Fitzpatrick
Repeats Saturday, July 21

Bidoun Presents Nicky Nodjoumi at The Third Line

May 12 – July 31, 2018
The Third Line

We are pleased to announce Fractures, Nicky Nodjoumi’s first solo exhibition at The Third Line gallery in Dubai, curated by Media Farzin for Bidoun.

Nicky Nodjoumi’s paintings explore the emotional dynamics of contemporary politics. The brushwork is quick, loose, and expressive, although the compositions are carefully worked out well in advance. His protagonists are often men in suits — the uniform of authority — painted against spare backgrounds.

His recent work focuses on breaks, ruptures, and the layering of objects and bodies. He uses found photographs to create collages that repeat the same image with small shifts in scale. A selection of his working sketches and collages, drawn from his personal archive, is also on view. In the final work, bodies are crisscrossed by sometimes violent slicing and fractures — vivid traces of a social reality that has caught up with them.

REZA ABDOH: THEATRE VISIONARY Documentary Screening in Los Angeles

Reza Abdoh (1963-1995) was a renown Iranian-American director and playwright known for his large-scale, experimental theatre productions. When he died of AIDS in 1995 at the age of 32, he was already one of the most compelling figures in American theater. Plays like Bogeyman, Quotations from a Ruined City, and Tight White Right were known for their hallucinatory dreamscapes, ferocious energy, and sheer sensory overload. Abdoh’s aesthetic language borrowed from BDSM, raves, talk shows, and the history of avant-garde theater. Twenty years after his passing, his company members, collaborators, friends, and family have come together to create a filmic tribute to his theatrical genius.

Directed by Abdoh’s long-time friend and collaborator, filmmaker Adam Soch, this feature-length documentary incorporates rare live performance footage and interviews, providing unprecedented insights into Abdoh’s life and his idiosyncratic creative process. Join the filmmaker and original members of Abdoh’s company, Dar A Luz, for a discussion preceding the screening.

Click here to read an interview with Abdoh’s brother, Salar, from Bidoun #27.

Wednesday, April 12, 7PM
356 Mission Road
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Dear Jane: A Celebration of Jane Bowles at Artists Space

On the occasion of her centenary, an evening in honor of Jane Bowles


A puppet play by Jane Bowles, staged by Nick Mauss, starring Deborah Eisenberg and Lynne Tillman


Gini Alhadeff
Negar Azimi
Yto Barrada
Lidija Haas
James Hannaham
Fran Lebowitz
Tiffany Malakooti
Nick Mauss
Ariana Reines
Christine Smallwood
Pamela Sneed
Emily Stokes

The writer Jane Bowles passed away too early—in 1973 at the age of 56 after having spent two decades in the Moroccan port city of Tangier. At Tennessee Williams’ urging, The New York Times gave her a proper obituary, quoting John Ashbery: “Few surface literary reputations are as glamorous as the underground one she has enjoyed.” And yet despite her cultish following, she remains unknown to swathes of readers. The occasion of the Library of America’s publication of her collected works offers up a chance to look at her astonishing, antic work anew.

Organized by Bidoun with Negar Azimi, Pati Hertling, Tiffany Malakooti, and Lynne Tillman.

Copies of Jane Bowles: Collected Writings (Library of America, 2017), edited by Millicent Dillon, will be available in the bookshop.

Monday, January 23, 2017, 7pm
Artists Space Books & Talks
55 Walker Street, New York
$5 Entrance

Bidoun Booth at Frieze New York

Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Passport

Bidoun Projects Presents: Hal Foster’s Breath Mints, Lawrence Weiner’s Gold Tooth, Cindy Sherman’s Eyeliner, Tala Madani’s Body Lotion, Yto Barrada’s Third Grade Report Card, Wade Guyton’s Nikes, Jeremy Deller’s iPod, Tony Shafrazi’s Pain Killers, Anicka Yi’s Brain, Julie Mehretu’s Golf Ball, Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Passport, Bjarne Melgaard’s Christmas Card From a Serial Killer, Laura Owens’ Bus Pass, Shirin Neshat’s Kohl, Darren Bader’s Junk Mail, an ongoing Poster Series by Taryn Simon, and much more.

Frieze New York
Booth A16
May 13-17, 2015

Signed limited edition posters of Taryn Simon’s portraits of Wade Guyton and Lawrence Weiner will be available Saturday and Sunday at the fair.

For a full inventory of auction material and to bid, see Auction runs through Wednesday May 26 and all proceeds will support Bidoun’s not-for-profit activities.

Items are available for auction via

Bidoun Singles at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair

Los Angeles Art Book Fair
January 30 – February 1, 2015
Bidoun Singles Launch Event: Saturday January 31, 6-7 pm
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Please join us for an eclectic reading session celebrating the launch of BIDOUN SINGLES, a new series of limited edition books featuring original commissioned artworks paired with new & old essays drawn from the Bidounisphere. For this first iteration, Los Angeles-based artist Tala Madani has prepared unique covers for classic Bidoun essays by Gary Dauphin (on American Jihadi John Walker Lindh), Anand Balakrishnan (on the Zionist vegetable and other allegories) and Sophia Al-Maria (on losing her virginity, again).

Stay tuned for future iterations of Bidoun Singles!

Bidoun is Ten Years Old!

Thanks to all of you who celebrated the last decade with us this past October at glorious Shishawy in London.

Special thanks to our generous host committee: Mohammed Afkhami, Sara Alireza & Faisal Tamer, Aarthi Belani, Brian Boylan, Claudia Cellini and Sunny Rahbar, Iman Dakhil, Zeina Durra and Saadi Soudavar, Maryam Eisler, David Elghanyan, Lisa Farjam, Dana Farouki, Coco Ferguson, Raghida Ghandour, Tala Gharagozlou, Fati Maleki, Shirin Neshat, Maya Rasamny, Rana Sadik, Dania & Kareem Sakka, Alia Al Senussi, Andree Sfeir, Maria Sukkar, Nayrouz Tatanaki, Burkhard Varnholt, Sheena Wagstaff

And our readers: Knight Landesman, Maryam Eisler, Sunny Rahbar, Andree Sfeir, Dana Farouki, Stuart Comer, and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

More photos
Purple Magazine coverage
Artforum scene & herd
New York Times T Magazine
Vogue Frieze diary

The Authoritarian Turn: On The State of the Egyptian Intelligentsia

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 7pm
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
19 Washington Square North, New York

On the occasion of New Directions ’ publication of the writer Sonallah Ibrahim’s Stealth (Al Talassus), Bidoun and the legendary publishing house bring together a distinguished group of writers and scholars to reflect upon the predicament of the Egyptian intellectual in the year since President Mohamed Morsi’s dramatic fall. From Ibrahim himself to the bestselling author Alaa Al Aswany, countless writers and artists–many of them of historically contrarian bent–have expressed their support for a military-backed government whose abuses and excesses have on occasion surpassed those of the Mubarak era. How to begin to understand the role of the public intellectual in such times? Khaled Fahmy (American University in Cairo), Mona El Ghobashy (independent scholar), and Robyn Creswell (Yale University and poetry editor at The Paris Review) reflect on a year in which moral compasses have been cast hopelessly askew.

To be moderated by Negar Azimi.

Tehran vs. Tehrangeles: A Special Screening of Maxx

Wednesday August 27, 2014 at 8pm
Ooga Booga 2
356 S. Mission Road, Los Angeles

The cultural wars between Iran and its left coast diaspora have long been played out in the realms of cinema, television, and music—from pre-revolutionary films such as Mamal Amrikai to the lyrics of pop songs such as Sandy’s Talagh. State television vs. satellite; aging divas vs. youthful rappers; parkour vs. the Shahs of Sunset: the Tehranis have historically portrayed the diasporic Iranian as effeminate, gaudy and morally loose, while the Tehrangelenos see the the Iranians as illiterate, perverted, obscurist bumpkins—that is, if they even acknowledge them at all! Maxx (Saman Moghadam, 2005) is an artifact from the Khatami-era of cross-cultural dialogue, where old stereotypes get some new clothes. The film was a domestic success in Iran, and one of the earlier instances of a non art-house film finding an audience within the diaspora. Can Tehran and Tehrangeles learn to love each other?

Post-screening discussion will be led Bidoun editors and accompanied by Armenian arak and ice cream generously provided by MILK.

Maxx, Saman Moghadam, 2005, 110min, in Persian with English subtitles

LA Art Book Fair + Etel Adnan Readings + Screening

Bidoun Presents Etel Adnan: To look at the sea is to become what one is

Bidoun at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair
January 31– February 2, 2014
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Bidoun presents Etel Adnan: To look at the sea is to become what one is
Sunday, February 2, 2014, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Democracy Forum at the Japanese American National Museum
Across the courtyard from the Geffen Contemporary

Stop by our booth this week at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair and join us Sunday morning for a special screening and reading event to celebrate the forthcoming anthology To look at the sea is to become what one is: An Etel Adnan Reader (Nightboat Books, 2014) starring Bruce Hainley, Hedi El Kholti, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Rijin Sahakian, and Noura Wedell.

The Otolith Group‘s film I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another (2012), shot largely in Adnan’s Paris apartment, centers on a reading of the first chapter of the renowned Lebanese-American artist’s poem, Sea and Fog. The sound of Adnan’s gentle voice, and the quiet but ever present ambient noise in her apartment, create a powerful, meditative atmosphere. If poetry can be understood as a study in constraint, the film, I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another, can be understood as an experiment in concentration and a study of gestures, that speaks of the mobility of language and the movement of the ocean.

Bidoun Launch in Los Angeles!

Bidoun Launch Los Angeles
Sunday August 25, 2013 at 3pm
Ooga Booga 2, 356 S. Mission Road, Los Angeles

Join us for a celebrity-Bidouni-studded event with readings and performances and music and ice cream. Show begins promptly at 3!

Bidoun at 'Paper Weight — Genre-defining Magazines 2000 to Now' at Haus Der Kunst, Munich

Paper Weight — Genre-defining Magazines 2000 to Now
July 7 – October 27, 2013
Haus Der Kunst, Munich

Bidoun is pleased to be part of the exhibition ‘Paper Weight — Genre-defining Magazines 2000 to Now’ at Haus Der Kunst, Munich. Curated by PIN-UP editor Felix Burrichter and designed by Athens-based artist and architect Andreas Angelidakis, the exhibition features BUTT, Candy, 032c, and Sang Bleu among other publications.

Bidoun and Dirty Looks Present Pedro Almódovar's Labyrinth of Passion

Still from Labyrinth of Passion, Pedro Almodo, 1982

Labyrinth of Passion, Pedro Almódovar, 1982
Saturday July 27, 2013 at 2pm
El Charro Espanol
4 Charles Street, New York

Bidoun and Dirty Looks present an afternoon screening of Pedro Almodovar’s second feature film at the legendary Village restaurant El Charro Espanol. Labyrinth of Passion follows scantily disguised but heavily camped-up members of the Iranian royal family in their famous period of limbo following the revolution of 1979 as they are thrust into extravagant plot lines that weave hilariously between historical accuracy and ribald fantasy. “Toraya,” the disgruntled ex-empress is desperate to fertilize herself with royal seed via the young Crown Prince “Riza.” Riza, meanwhile, is busy attempting to cure himself of his homosexuality after falling in love with a nymphomaniac pop star named Sexilia, but his former lover Sadec (played by a young and nubile Antonio Banderas) is secretly a pro-Khomeini guerilla belonging to a group attempting to kidnap him. Plus: full body plastic surgery, doctors, laxatives, and other culturally appropriate themes.

The film’s elliptical Iranian historical connection has been tragically overlooked ― at worst misunderstood to be about a fictional Arab monarchy, and at best, mentioned in passing. Bidoun and Dirty Looks are pleased to host this absolutely essential revisiting of this deliciously queer retelling of an important moment in Iranian history.

BubuWeb at NYU Abu Dhabi


May 1, 2013
NYUAD Downtown Campus, Abu Dhabi
Free and open to the public

Kenneth Goldsmith, founder of UbuWeb, and Bidoun’s Tiffany Malakooti will be presenting an evening of experimental work from the Bidoun-o-sphere, including a variety of historical and contemporary films, music, and radio plays.

NYU Abu Dhabi

Full Moon Afternoon with Bidoun at PS1

Full Moon Afternoon with Bidoun at PS1

Sunday, January 27 at 4pm
4601 21st Street, Long Island City, NY 11101
Free with museum admission
Join the Facebook event

A screening of Jack Kevorkian’s public access television program The Door (30 min); presented by Anna Della Subin
A screening of Shridhar Bapat’s video feedback fantasia Aleph Null (12 min, 1971); presented by Alexander Keefe
Sex talk and group consciousness exercises;presented by Conner Habib
Plus: Transcendental listening in the dome

Jack Kevorkian
Dr. Jack Kevorkian — also known as Dr. Death — was a pathologist, euthanasia activist, poet, composer and instrumentalist. In Bidoun #27 (Diaspora), Anna Della Subin told the profoundly strange story of this child of genocide survivors through his curiously compelling paintings. Here, Subin will introduce_ The Door_, a public access TV show on the nature of consciousness and some “very hazy realms of human existence,” which Kevorkian produced, wrote, and hosted in California in the early 1980s.

Shridhar Bapat
In the late 1960s Shridhar Bapat was a key figure in the emerging video scene. The first video curator at The Kitchen in its most freewheeling period and the “finest feedback camera turner in New York City,” Bapat worked on the New York Avant Garde Festivals, the first Women’s Video Festival, Shirley Clarke’s TeePee Video Space Troupe, and many of Nam June Paik’s major installations before falling out of the scene to live underground; he died, homeless, in 1990. Alexander Keefe reconstructed Bapat’s story in Bidoun #27 (Diaspora). Keefe will be presenting a rare screening of Aleph Null, one of Bapat’s original video compositions — “all these mandalas going all over the place,” in Bapat’s words — created with Charles Phillips in 1971. First shown at the Whitney Museum’s 1971 “Video Tape Special,” Aleph Null was last screened at the Mudd Club in 1981.

Conner Habib
Conner Habib is a writer, philosopher, sex advice columnist, and gay porn star, based in San Francisco. An adherent of Rudolph Steiner’s Anthroposophy, Habib lectures on the Western esoteric tradition. He has been featured in such films as Man Up, Night Maneuvers, and Arabesque 2: From Tales of the Arabian Nights; his essay, “The Virtues of Being an Object,” appeared in Exploring the Edge Realms of Consciousness, edited by Daniel Pinchbeck & Ken Jordan. Anna Della Subin’s conversation with Habib is forthcoming in Bidoun #28 (Interviews).

Iranian-American B Movies at the V&A

Amir Shervan, Hollywood Cop, 1987

Friday Late: Record, Reframe, Resist
Friday November 30, 2012 from 6:30 – 10pm
Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

This Friday evening at the V&A in London, as part of its ongoing investigation of lost and/or neglected cultural artifacts, Bidoun will be presenting a selection of trailers from the little known genre of Iranian-American “B Movies.” Produced mainly in Los Angeles in the years after the revolution, these resolutely un-canonical (and often un-watchable) low budget films feature mainly American casts with a few Iranian actors. They are the direct descendents of filmfarsi, the vernacular B Movie genre that dominated popular Iranian cinema before 1979, and which employed many of the same directors. Of course, with their new locale, language, and themes, much was lost in translation. These films — unlike their Iranian predecessors — have very limited potential for popular appeal.

And yet some of these films were exported to the Third World; others have become cult hits among pulp connoisseurs. Seen together, they shape a bizarre picture of what these diasporic directors once imagined the formula for a successful Hollywood action film to be — including confusing representations of self (ambiguous Middle Eastern villains, terrorists, and belly dancers in varying states of veiling) and hilariously outmoded and offensive representations of others (Arabs, Japanese, African Americans, women).

Watch trailer on youtube
Cat in the Cage
Tony Zarindast

Directed by Tony (Mohammad) Zarindast, this film stars the undisputed leading man of Iranian film, Behrouz Vossoughi, in his first non-Iranian production. Vossoughi, whose accent must have been too thick for American audiences, is the only actor in the film to have his voice dubbed. The film co-stars Playboy cover girl Sybil Danning (August 1983) and Samson the Cat.

Watch trailer on youtube
Treasure of the Lost Desert
Tony Zarindast

Another Zarindast film, this time starring himself as “Eagle,” a freedom fighter from an ahistorical Dubai who must defeat a heroic US Army Green Beret, “Claude Servan,” in order to reach the hidden desert booty he intends to barter for weapons…

Watch trailer on youtube
Hollywood Cop
Amir Shervan

The first American production from the legendary trash director Amir Shervan, Hollywood Cop was followed by Samurai Cop, Killing American Style, Gypsy, and Young Rebels. Peter (Petros) Palian, who produced Bidoun favorite An Esfehani in New York (1972), acted as Director of Photography on all of Shervan’s American films, as well as John S. Rad’s Dangerous Men.

Watch trailer on youtube
Terror in Beverly Hills
John Myhers

Produced by Moshe Bibiyan and written by his brother Simon, Terror in Beverly Hills also stars Behrouz Vossoughi, this time as a Palestinian terrorist who kidnaps the US President’s daughter. The opening sequence was shot on location in Jerusalem and Persianesque pseudo-Arabic sparkles throughout.

Watch trailer on youtube

Watch trailer on youtube
The Nuclear Baby and 1999
Jalal Fatemi

From the B Movie avant-garde comes Jalal Fatemi’s The Nuclear Baby, a surreal video feature about a pregnant woman navigating a post-nuclear war nation called “Caspiana” while being hunted by a dream terrorist. Although Iran is never named, the village doctor has all the familiar physical trappings of a filmfarsi jaheli character, and the remaining canned goods in this post-apocalyptic world seem to consist mostly of ghormeh sabzi mix and pickles.

The short film 1999 is built upon a conceptual framework of bowel-based imagery. A US Marine with digestive problems ponders his past and future while trapped in an oil refinery on the cusp of the new millennium and the discovery of an alternative fuel source.

Watch trailer on youtube
Dangerous Men
John S. Rad

It took John S. Rad, aka Jahangir Salehi Yeganehrad, about two decades to patch together Dangerous Men, which is frequently described as completely indescribable. The official tagline promises an unforgettable comedy suspense, mystery drama and Bret Berg of Los Angeles’ Cinefamily passionately crowns it “THE holiest of all holyfuckingshits.” In a 2006 interview with Rad, the director pondered the response of some audiences during the film’s theatrical run: “They laughed, screamed, clapped, and got up and sat down, almost with any scene. I was wondering, some scenes in my opinion were not funny to laugh at or be so excited.”

Book Week II: In Translation at Miguel Abreu Gallery

Book Week II: In Translation, with Collages by Raha Raissnia

Wednesday, October 24th – Sunday, November 4th, 2012
Miguel Abreu Gallery
36 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

Bidoun is pleased to be participating in Book Week II: In Translation, with Collages by Raha Raissnia, presented by Miguel Abreu Gallery and Sequence Press. The gallery floor will be arranged as a bookshop and reading room with recent titles from mostly local publishers. In addition, selections will be on hand from the Lower East Side Heritage Collection, a unique archive of specialized, noncirculating books at the Seward Park branch of the New York Public Library. Participants include:

  • Archipelago
  • Bidoun
  • Dalkey Archive Press
  • Halmos
  • New York Review Books
  • Open Letter Books
  • Seven Stories Press
  • Verso
  • New York Public Library’s Lower East Side Heritage Collection

See press release for more information

Michael Rakowitz & Robert Christgau in Conversation

Michael Rakowitz and Robert Christgau in conversation

Michael Rakowitz and Robert Christgau in conversation
+ Launch of the record Sabreen — Live in Jerusalem 2010
Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 7pm
Lombard Freid Gallery
518 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011

Lombard Freid Gallery is pleased to present an evening with artist Michael Rakowitz and legendary rock critic Robert Christgau, discussing the breakup of The Beatles as history and as metaphor, inspired by Rakowitz’s “The Breakup"—a set of works that includes radio broadcasts, film, a live concert in Jerusalem, memorabilia, and a deluxe limited edition LP produced in conjunction with Bidoun Projects.

The evening will be hosted by Sukhdev Sandhu, director of the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture at New York University and author of the lead essay in the liner notes for Live In Jerusalem 2010, which will be on sale at the event and from Bidoun.

Michael Rakowitz’s “The Breakup” was originally commissioned for The Jerusalem Show IV by Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem.

The 45min video of The Breakup will screen at 6pm.

Longtime Village Voice writer-editor Robert Christgau has covered popular music for many publications, including Esquire, Newsday, Creem, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and Blender. His ” Rock & Roll &“ column appears monthly in the Barnes and Noble Review and his ” Expert Witness“ blog twice weekly at Michael Rakowitz is an artist based in Chicago and New York City. His work has appeared in venues worldwide including P.S. 1, the Museum of Modern Art, MassMOCA, Tate Modern, the 10th Istanbul Biennial, Sharjah Biennial 8, Asian Art Biennial, and, most recently, dOCUMENTA (13) . His work is in many private and public collections including MoMA, UNESCO in Paris, and the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago.

Super Models Launch Party at Bidoun

Super Models Launch Party at Bidoun

Book launch party
& “Real Talk”
with Super Models contributors
Babak Radboy (Bidoun)
& Andy Pressman (Rumors, Bidoun)
moderated by Harry Gassel
Thursday 12 July at 7 PM
47 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002

Bidoun #26 Launch at 155 Freeman

Friday, May 18 at 7pm
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY
$5 suggested donation

A celebration of the publication of Bidoun #26, Soft Power, hosted by Triple Canopy at 155 Freeman

Featuring a conversation between Iman Issa and Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, readings by Anand Balakrishnan and Michael C. Vazquez, and music by Tiffany Malakooti

Join us in celebrating the twenty-sixth issue of Bidoun, which considers art and patronage, state-sponsored media, cultural diplomacy, revolution and counterrevolution, nation and/or corporate branding, and potato chips as public relations.

Artist Iman Issa will discuss monuments and mysteries, among other things, with Bidoun contributing editor Kaelen Wilson-Goldie , who writes about Issa in “ Radical Subtraction.” Issa’s work, which was part of the recent New Museum Triennial, “The Ungovernables,” creates an eloquent language of forms to address unruly questions about place, power and memory.

Writer Anand Balakrishnan will read from his story “The Serendipity of Sand,” which ponders the ultimate civilizational soft-power gambit — the monumental ruin — and what that might have to do with the zebra’s beguiling stripes.

Bidoun senior editor Michael C. Vazquez will present outtakes from his essay “ The Bequest of Quest,” which contemplates the curious legacy of Cold War magazines funded by the American CIA, including the Indian literary magazine Quest and the African journal Transition.

A slide show of covers of nation-state self-help books, drawn from Shumon Basar and Parag Khanna’s article “Soft Readers Prefer Hard Covers,” will be shown.

Throughout the evening, Bidoun’s Tiffany Malakooti will play Iranian wedding trance and Lebanese happy softcore.

Join the Facebook event!

Bidoun Bookshelf Launch

Bidoun Bookshelf

Bidoun Bookshelf Launch
Sunday May 6th from 6-9pm
47 Orchard Street between Grand and Hester

Join us for the launch of the Bidoun Bookshelf, a micro-bookshop in our storefront space on the Lower East Side in which we present and sell unique, rare, or otherwise compelling books from across the Bidouniverse.

Presented in conjunction with Frieze NY’s Downtown Night

Bidoun at the March Meeting, Global Art Forum, and Art Dubai

Negar Azimi speaking at the Global Art Forum, Dubai

Negar Azimi speaking at the Global Art Forum, Dubai

Much of team Bidoun has spent the past week in the Gulf, with Negar Azimi and Tiffany Malakooti presenting at the March Meeting in Sharjah; Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, Michael Vazquez, Alexander Provan, Yasmine El Rashidi, Sophia Al-Maria, and Negar Azimi participating in the Global Art Forum in Doha and at Art Dubai, curated by Shumon Basar; all in addition to our regular booth at the fair and screenings of two great archival documentaries on Ardeshir Mohasses and Parviz Tanavoli and his founding of the sculpture department at the University of Tehran.

Come say hello if you’re in Dubai, or follow us — or someone with superior social-networking skills — on Facebook and Twitter.

Bidoun and "Revolution vs Revolution" at the Beirut Art Center

Ebrahim Golestan, Yek Atash (A Fire), 1961

Ebrahim Goelstan, still from Yek Atash (A Fire), 1961

Revolution vs Revolution,
March 14, 26, 28
Beirut Art Center

In the context of Beirut Art Center’s exhibition “Revolution vs Revolution,” Bidoun’s Tiffany Malakooti presents two curated film programs around Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979 and Negar Azimi gives a talk entitled “Iran in Pictures: Social Suffering and Three Sets of Images.”
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 8pm
Ebrahim Golestan,_ Yek Atash (A Fire), 1961, 24’
Kamran Shirdel, _Tehran Is the Capital of Iran
, 1966, 18’
Parviz Kimiavi, Ya Zamene Ahu (O Guardian of the Deer), 1970, 20’

Monday March 26, 2012 at 8pm
Kianoush Ayari,_ Tazeh Nafas-ha (The Newborns)_, 1979, 45’
Wednesday March 28, 2012 at 8pm
Iran in Pictures: Social Suffering and Three Sets of Images by Negar Azimi

BubuWeb: Kianoush Ayari's Tazeh Nafas-ha

Kianoush Ayari, Tazeh Nafas-ha, 1979

Kianoush Ayari, still from Tazeh Nafas-ha, 1979

Kianoush Ayari
Tazeh Nafas-ha (The Newborns)
45 min
In Farsi with English subtitles

Kianoush Ayari’s documentary captures rare scenes of everyday life on the streets of Tehran in the months following the revolution of 1979 — that somewhat utopian period between revolutionary violence and the formation of a full fledged Islamic Republic when a bright future seemed possible, if not probable.

In this Tehran, we witness books carrying conflicting ideologies sold openly on the streets, laborers debating as to the wages they have been promised, and young men donning Arab garb to have their portrait taken with a Yasser Arafat backdrop. We also witness extended scenes from three different political plays, along with street theatre in a park where a performer imitates various iconic pop singers, political figures, and even the Shah himself.

Still, images from slums in the south of the city remind us of lurking problems in the background, and while the film ends on an optimistic note — with footage of youth energetically campaigning for upcoming elections — 33 years later and in light of current events, that optimism seems misplaced, if not bittersweet.

Kianoush Ayari’s Tazeh Nafas-ha on UbuWeb

This upload is part of the BubuWeb project — a partnership between Bidoun and UbuWeb which aims to make available rare audio and visual materials from the Middle East.

Reza Abdoh on UbuWeb

Reza Abdoh, still from Bogeyman, 1991

Reza Abdoh, still from Bogeyman, 1991

We are very pleased to present eight rare videos from experimental theater director Reza Abdoh (b. 1963 Tehran, d. 1995 New York City) on UbuWeb. The videos include four show tapes used in theatrical performances: _ The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice_ (1990), _ Bogeyman_ (1991), _ The Law of Remains_ (1992), _ Tight Right White_ (1993) and four standalone experimental videos: _ My Face_ (1986), _ Sleeping with the Devil_ (1990), _ Daddy’s Girl_ (1991), _ The Weeping Song_ (1991).
Reza Abdoh was an Iranian-born director and playwright known for his large-scale, experimental theatrical productions that utilized multimedia elements and violent sexual imagery. Reza Abdoh died of AIDS on May 11, 1995 in New York City at the age of 32.
Reza Abdoh on UbuWeb

With special thanks to Adam Soch, Brenden Doyle, and Salar Abdoh.
This program is part of the BubuWeb project — a partnership between Bidoun and UbuWeb which aims to make available rare audio and visual materials from the Middle East.

A Celebration of Transition at the New Museum

Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 7pm
New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York


Transition: An International Review is an award-winning journal of Africa and its many diasporas — where a strikingly large number of Bidounis got their start. On December 8th, Bidoun’s Michael Vazquez and an all-star cast mark the 50th anniversary of Transition’s founding with performances, readings, and an editor’s roundtable, hosted by Kelefa Sanneh and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts.
Tickets and more information here.

The Changing Middle East at MoMA

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 6pm
Theater 3, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building,
4 West 54th Street


On December 7th Bidoun’s Negar Azimi will join William Wells, Director of Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, and Glenn D. Lowry, Director of the Museum of Modern Art, in a sprawling conversation about the arts in the swiftly changing Middle East. Azimi will narrate the various and vexed issues related to the production of Bidoun #25, made in Cairo.

Tickets and more information here.

Celebrating Albert Cossery

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 7pm
WORD bookstore, 126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn

Albert Cossery in Cairo

On December 6th Bidoun joins forces with New Directions and The New York Review of Books for a panel discussion on the late Egyptian novelist, Albert Cossery, whose greatest subject was laziness, and whose characters — anarchists, revolutionaries, retired philosophers — seek happiness by doing as little as possible. A scene in Tahrir Square from The Colors of Infamy, recently published by ND, appeared in Bidoun #25. The panel includes Robyn Creswell, poetry editor of The Paris Review, Cossery’s translators Anna Moschovakis and Alyson Waters, and Bidoun’s Anna Della Subin.

Issue #25 New York Launch Event and After Party

Wednesday, September 28 2011
Artists Space
38 Greene Street, 3rd Floor, New York
7:30 – 9:00pm

Featuring contributions from Gini Alhadeff, Sinan Antoon, Anand Balakrishnan, Hampton Fancher, Sophia Al-Maria, Fatima Al Qadiri, Lynne Tillman, and more.
The twenty-fifth issue of Bidoun responds to the Egyptian revolution that began on the 25th of January. In April and May, a group of Bidoun editors went to Cairo in order to better understand what happened, and what did not happen, during the eighteen days of revolt and since…. Bidoun 25 is the result – the product of over fifty unique interviews in Arabic and English, along with roundtable discussions, political party platforms, TV transcriptions, overheard dialogue, dreams, tweets, and email forwards. The result is a composite portrait, at once disjointed and revealing, partial but not trivial.

The launch of Bidoun #25 at Artists Space will bring together friends from the Bidounisphere to reveal, perform, show and tell some of the things discovered in Cairo.

After-party featuring Egyptian shaabi music by Rainstick and Azizaman
Santos Party House
96 Lafayette Street
9:30pm til late

Bidoun Library Saturday Seminar: Ahdaf Soueif

Saturday, August
Ahdaf Soueif
Sackler Centre of Arts Education, 3pm
Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, W2

Ahdaf Soueif in Tahrir Square. Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy.
Ahdaf Soueif comes from a family of activists and writers who have been some of the key protagonists in the recent revolution in Eygpt. She arrive in London having spent several months in Cairo reporting on the events as they unfolded. Soueif will be discussing her work and sharing her experiences of activism and writing over the past two decades, as well as connecting with colleagues in Cairo, in an exciting seminar on writings and the revolution.
Based between Cairo and London, Soueif writes in both English and Arabic, and her essays and reviews have been published in numerous publications, including: Akhbar al-Adab, al-Arabi, Cosmopolitan, Granta, al-Hilal, al-Katibah, The London Magazine, The London Review of Books, New Society, Nisf al-Dunya, The Observer, Sabah al-Kheir, The Sunday Telegraph, Times Literary Supplement, Washington Post and others. .

Bidoun Library Saturday Seminar: Tales From the Bidoun Library Vol.1 Intercontinentalism: A Partial History of Magazine Diplomacy by Michael C Vazquez

Saturday, August
Tales From the Bidoun Library Vol.1 Intercontinentalism: A Partial History of Magazine Diplomacy by Michael C. Vazquez
Sackler Centre of Arts Education, 3pm
Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, W2

Michael C Vazquez, Tiffany Malakooti, Babak Radboy

Introduction and question time with Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts
In the 1960s, an array of state-sponsored international magazines fought pitched battles — against imperialism or communism and/or their own governments — across the entire length of the first, second, and third worlds.
Michael Vazquez presents an illustrated lecture on pivotal moments in periodical diplomacy, with especial focus on Transition (Kampala / Accra), Tricontinental (Havana), and Lotus: Afro-Asian Writing (Cairo / Beirut / Tunis).

Michael C Vazquez is Senior Editor at Bidoun and a member of the Bidoun Library group. He was formerly Executive Editor of the revived Transition (Cambridge, MA). He writes often about music and magazines for Bidoun and other venues.
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts is a writer whose work has appeared in Transition, The New York Times, Harper’s, Bidoun, and Essence among others. Her book, Harlem is Nowhere, the first volume of a trilogy on black utopias, is just out in the UK from Granta Books.

Bidoun Library Saturday Seminar: Slavs and Tatars Present Molla Nasreddin

Saturday, August
Slavs and Tatars: Molla Nasreddin, The Magazine That Woud’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve
Sackler Centre of Arts Education, 3pm
Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, W2

Slavs and Tatars Mola Nasreddin

Artist collective Slavs and Tatars present Molla Nasreddin: The Magazine that Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve, a new book examining the history of that legendary Azeribaijani periodical, arguably the most important Muslim satirical political magazine of the 20th century. For the book’s UK launch, Slavs and Tatars will present Molla Nasreddin: Embrace Your Antithesis, including: a discussion of the book’s historical context; a case study of the complex Caucasus region; and an exploration of the issue of self-censorship, then and now. Guests will be offered their choice of red or white tea, alluding to Communism and Islam, the two major geopolitical narratives between which Molla Nasreddin — and Slavs and Tatars — navigate.

Bidoun Library Saturday Seminar: Samandal

Saturday, July 30
Samandal Comics
Sackler Centre of Arts Education, 3pm
Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, W2

Hatem Imam, co-founder of Samandal Comics, will host this week’s Saturday Seminar about this tri-lingual quarterly comic magazine.
Hatem Imam is a visual artist and designer whose work includes print media, installation, photography, video, and painting. In 2007, he co-founded Samandal comics magazine. He is board member of the 98weeks research project, the artistic director of the Annihaya record label, and a founding member of the art collective Atfal Ahdath. Since 2007, he has been teaching at the Department of Architecture and Design at the American University of Beirut.
Samandal Comics is a Beirut-based magazine dedicated to comics, with contributors from all over the world. The goal of Samandal is to provide a platform on which graphic artists may experiment and display their work, generating contemporary reading material for comics fans.
The Bidoun Library Project is up at the Serpentine from 12 July – 17 September. Click here for a complete schedule of Saturday Seminars.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion: Shaabi-Music-Wedding-Dance-Party!

Friday 22 July 2011
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, London, W2

Shaabi Party

Image courtesy Sarah Carr

Featuring music by Sadat, Figo, and Amr 7a7a
Tickets £5/£4
Available from the Gallery Lobby Desk or Ticketweb.
The Shaabi-Music-Wedding-Dance-Party is part of the Bidoun Library Project, up at the Serpentine Gallery until September 17th.

Serpentine Gallery: Free Cinema School hosted by Bidoun in collaboration with Ubuweb

Ardeshir Mohasses

Wednesday June 8, 2011

Centre for Possible Studies
64 Seymour Street
London W1H 5BW

In conjunction with our residency at the Centre for Possible Studies, the Bidoun Library will present a program of two films drawn from our collaboration with the online archive UbuWeb.

The program will be introduced by Masoud Golsorkhi, editor of Tank magazine.

Bahman Maghsoudlou
Ardeshir Mohasses & His Caricatures ,1972
20 min

A short documentary about Ardeshir Mohasses (1938-2008) featuring rare footage of the Iranian artist in his studio in Iran before his self-exile in New York which was to last over thirty years. Mohasses’ anti-shah and anti-Islamic Republic cartoons used settings and costumes of the Qajar dynasty of 1794 to 1925 — a misdirection that fooled nobody. The film features commentary from Iranian intellectuals of the time including Houshang Taheri, Javad Mojabi, and Fereidoun Gilani whereas Mohasses, a man of few words, is noticeably mute throughout.

Kamran Shirdel
The Night It Rained ,1967

In northern Iran, a schoolboy from a village near Gorgan is said to have discovered that the railway had been undermined and washed away by a flood. As the story goes, when he saw the approaching train, he set fire to his jacket, ran towards the train and averted a serious and fatal accident. Kamran Shirdel’s film The Night it Rained does not concentrate on the heroic deed promulgated in the newspapers, but on a caricature of social and subtle political behavior — the way in which witnesses and officials manage to insert themselves into the research into this event. Shirdel uses newspaper articles and interviews with railway employees, the governor, the chief of police, the village teacher and pupils — each of whom tell a different version of the event. In the end, they all contradict each other, while the group of possible or self-appointed heroes constantly grows. With his cinematic sleights of hand, Shirdel paints a bittersweet picture of Iranian Society in which truth, rumor, and lie can no longer be distinguished.
Upon completion the film was banned and confiscated, and Shirdel was finally expelled from the Ministry. It was released seven years later in 1974 to participate in the Third Tehran International Film Festival, where it won the GRAND PRIX by a unanimous vote, only to be banned again until after the revolution.

Hassan Khan: The Hidden Location and The Big One

Hassan Khan, The Hidden Location

May 22 - August 14, 2011
Opening Reception: Sunday, May 22, 4-6 pm
The Big One: Live music performance by Hassan Khan, May 22, 5:15pm
Queens Museum of Art

On the occasion of the opening of his video installation The Hidden Location (May 22, 4:30pm), Bidoun contributing editor Hassan Khan will perform his music set The Big One (2009), a 45 minute piece made up of oscillating juxtapositions of heavy synth-based New Wave Shaabi music with delicately wrought tonal compositions. The exhibition is curated by Queens Museum of Art Van Lier Fund Fellow — and fellow Bidoun contributing editor — Sohrab Mohebbi.

In addition, on May 20, 7-9 pm , after a screening of selected single channel videos, the artist will discuss the work on view at e-flux, 41 Essex St, New York.

BubuWeb: Pasolini in Palestine

Piero Paolo Pasolini Seeking Locations in Palestine for the Film “The Gospel According to Matthew” (Sopralluoghi in Palestina per il film “Il Vangelo secondo Matteo

Seeking Locations in Palestine for the Film "The Gospel According to Matthew” (Sopralluoghi in Palestina per il film “Il Vangelo secondo Matteo”)
Pier Paolo Pasolini.
52 min

In 1963, accompanied by a newsreel photographer and a Catholic priest, Piero Paolo Pasolini traveled to Palestine to investigate the possibility of filming his biblical epic The Gospel According to Matthew in its approximate historical locations. Edited by The Gospel’s producer for potential funders and distributors, Seeking Locations in Palestine features semi-improvised commentary from Pasolini as its only soundtrack. As we travel from village to village, we listen to Pasolini’s idiosyncratic musings on the teachings of Christ and witness his increasing disappointment with the people and landscapes he sees before him. Israel, he laments, is much too modern. The Palestinians, much too wretched; it would be impossible to believe the teachings of Jesus had reached these faces. The Gospel According to Matthew was ultimately filmed in Southern Italy. Mel Gibson would use some of the same locations forty years later for_ The Passion of the Christ_.

More here:

BubuWeb: Four Films from Kamran Shirdel

Kamran Shirdel — Tehran is the Capital of Iran

Nedamatgah (Women’s Prison) (1965)
Tehran Is the Capital of Iran (1966)
Qaleh (The Women’s Quarter) (1966)
The Night It Rained or The Epic of Gorgan Village Boy (1967)

Bidoun and UbuWeb are pleased to present four of Shirdel’s most renowned socio-political documentaries, films that courageously and frankly revealed the darker side of Iran’s economic boom, analyzing the effects of a society flush with oil money. These films were steeped in a deep social consciousness reminiscent of the best of the Italian Neo-realist tradition, the cinema that had influenced him deeply during his studies in Italy. Shirdel’s furious documentaries and cinematic language were a bone of contention both under the Shah and following his exile, because they spoke up for the underprivileged and, in doing so, exposed and criticized the corruption of the mechanism of power. Because of the severe censorship, nearly all his films were banned and confiscated, and in the end he was expelled from The Ministry and put on the blacklist. Seven years after it was made (and censored), his The Epic of the Gorgani Village Boy (The Night It Rained!), after receiving the GRAN PRIX at The Third Tehran International Film Festival (1974), was immediately banned again and remained so (like his Nedamatgah (Women’s Prison, 1965), Qaleh (Women’s Quarter, 1966), Tehran Is the Capital of Iran (1966), and others) until after the revolution.
Visit Kamran Shirdel on UbuWeb

Bidoun Library: Call for Printed Matter!

Bidoun Library Call for Printed Matter

The Bidoun Library is seeking manifestations of the Revolution of January 25th in magazines, newspapers, books, and miscellaneous printed matter. We do not seek a complete and democratic collection of everything printed just ahead, during and after the 25th, nor of the best, most insightful, or lucid accounts in print, but printed materials which are more than anything else OBJECTS, necessitated, transformed or intervened upon by the continuing revolution.

In our experience, this approach tends to produce two types of documents: first, there are materials which are produced to meet new needs or markets among the public, or by new channels of distribution and socialization opened by an event. In general these are materials that would not have existed before these events and may not exist after. This could include newspapers and leaflets produced in, during, and for the demonstrators in Tahrir, for example, or hastily produced commemorative magazine issues or books produced directly after.

Another prime site of the material manifestation of an event often appears in the ways it is refracted in existing modes of cultural production. For example the way the revolution appears in teen and celebrity magazines, advertisements, sports papers, occult and conspiratorial pamphlets, romance novels, comic books, children’s books, auto decals and stickers, trade journals, pop-political analysis, hastily produced biographies of presidential hopefuls, yellow pages, real estate and travel guides, and so on.

The Bidoun Library is a peripatetic collection of printed materials from and about the ‘Middle East,’ as a product and producer of printed materials. It has traveled extensively throughout the region, from Abu Dhabi to Beirut to Cairo. This summer the Library will spend several months at the Serpentine Gallery in London. All materials donated to the library will be credited and all purchases on its behalf compensated, by arrangement with its librarians. Upon request, Bidoun will return materials after documentation.

Email [email protected] with queries. Though this is an ongoing project, any materials sent to us by the first week of May would be helpful as potential inclusions in the summer issue of Bidoun. Materials could be dropped off at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, 1st floor.

United States of Palestine Airlines

United States of Palestine Airlines
United States of Palestine Airlines Clock

Visit the United States of Palestine Airlines at the World Travel Expo, Kuwait.
March 29 - April 1, 2011.

Bidoun Projects at Art Dubai, March 16-19, 2011

Bidoun Projects returns for its fourth year as a project partner of Art Dubai. Our 2011 programming is built around the theme of Sports: competition, stardom, the parody of sports as labor or labor as sports, the art of losing, and sports per se. Our projects include the Art Park, an underground project space for film, video and talks, that features retrospectives of two pivotal Egyptian artists, Sherif El Azma and Wael Shawky, curated by Bidoun’s Kaelen Wilson-Goldie and Sarah Rifky of the Townhouse Gallery, respectively, as well as a sports-themed video programme featuring a variety of artists including Ziad Antar, Mahmoud Hojeij, Van Leo, and Marwa and Mirene Arsenios.
The Bidoun Library returns, too, featuring ‘The Natural Order,’ a new section specially curated for the fair that focuses on printed material on the Gulf from the past five decades. ‘The Natural Order’ will include corporate and state publications, as well as magazines and lay-ethnography on the Gulf published in the mid 20th century, when the region was mostly unfamiliar in the West and was becoming a source of great interest with the discovery of oil. The collective Slavs and Tatars will also make a special appearance with a new project and publication dedicated to Molla Nasreddin.
Join us at the fair on March 15th at 5 pm for a special Bidoun Show & Tell in the Art Park and on March 16th as we co-host, with The Third Line, the Sharjah Biennial After Party!
Bidoun Projects thanks the Emirates Foundation for its support in making these initiatives possible.

Adventure Persian Style

This past Sunday Bidoun screened a special hour-long montage for BLVCK AMERICA’S inaugural BLVCK EYE film night at the Ace Hotel in New York. Responding to popular demand, we’ve uploaded it for all to see along with some photos of the screening.
The montage is comprised of shorts and clips from materials which in some manner depict a relationship between Iran and the rest of the world: Farsi in American films, English in Iranian films, French directors commissioned to make films in Iran — even Princess Soraya Bakhtiari’s acting debut in a throwaway Antonioni film.
Click here to see a guide to source films.


BLVCK AMERICA’s Saheer Umar introduces the BLVCK EYE series
Team Bidoun (Lisa Farjam and child, Babak Radboy, and Tiffany Malakooti)

Team Bidoun (Lisa Farjam and child, Babak Radboy, and Tiffany Malakooti) on deck
Bidoun Screening


A scene from The Invincible Six directed by Jean Negulesco. Shot entirely in Iran, the film features Elke Sommer (seen here as a village vixen) along with some marginal Hollywood figures but also includes Iranian cast members (Behrouz Vossoughi) and production team (Fereydoun Hoveyda is credited as a “consultant” and Masoud Kimiai as “assistant director”).

Fielding questions

Bidoun at Art Dubai 2011

Art Dubai
March 16-19, 2011

One again Bidoun Projects has been invited to partner with Art Dubai in bringing you a series of non-profit artist projects, screenings, and miscellaneous more with the theme of “SPORTS” — also the theme of our spring issue, to be launched at the fair.
2011 Bidoun Projects include the Art Park, an underground project space for film, video and talks, that features retrospectives of the work of two pivotal Egyptian artists, Sherif El Azma and Wael Shawky, curated by Bidoun’s Kaelen Wilson-Goldie and Sarah Rifky of the Townhouse Gallery, respectively, as well as a sports-themed video programme featuring a variety of artists including Ziad Antar, Mahmoud Hojeij, Van Leo, and Marwa and Mirene Arsenios.
Limited edition Bidoun trading cards will be distributed, too, and autograph sessions will be held throughout the fair featuring leading lights of the contemporary art world. Bidoun also presents a “live mural” painted and repainted each day throughout the fair by a group of distinguished artists — Dubai-based artist Rokni Haerizadeh and Tehran-based Ali Chitsaz among them — tasked with depicting the theme of “labor.”
The peripatetic Bidoun Library is back, too, featuring “The Natural Order,” a new section specially curated for the fair that focuses on printed material on the Gulf from the past five decades.
Also look out for a special appearance by the collective Slavs and Tatars in the Bidoun Library.
Finally, Bidoun Projects will present a special “Show & Tell” evening dedicated to highlighting Bidoun’s diverse activities past and present.


Thursday January 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm
Cezayir 2. Toplantı Salonu, Hayriye caddesi No:12, Galatasaray Beyoğlu
(Talk will be in English)

AA Bronson at BAS IStanbul

From 1969 through 1994 AA Bronson lived and worked as one of three artists who together formed the group General Idea, dividing his time between Toronto and New York. For 25 years they published a continuous stream of more than 300 low-cost multiples and publications. From 1972 through 1989 they published the artists’ magazine FILE, and in 1974 they founded Art Metropole, a distribution center and archive for artists’ books.
Since his partner’s deaths in 1994, AA Bronson has worked under his own name, focusing on themes of death, healing, transformation, and social justice. His solo exhibitions have included the Vienna Secession, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Power Plant, Toronto.
As the director of Printed Matter from 2004 to 2010, AA Bronson greatly expanded the activities of this centre for artists’ books in New York. He founded the NY Art Book Fair in 2006. He has also curated many exhibitions, especially of artists’ books and other democratic editions. His exhibition “Queer Zines” was presented at the 2008 NY Art Book Fair and traveled from there to OCA in Oslo.
At My Life in Books, AA will talk about the publications by General Idea, FILE magazine, Art Metropole and his recent experiences at Printed Matter, inc.

Read interview with BAS’s Banu Cennetoglu from Bidoun #18 Interviews.

Taqwacore Screening Tonight at NYU — Introduced by Michael C. Vazquez!

The Taqwa Tour 2007 in Chicago

Tuesday November 30, 6:30pm
20 Cooper Square
New York
Directed by Omar Majeed
2009, 80 minutes
Presented by Michael C. Vazquez

NYU’s Program for Asian/Pacific/American Studies presents a screening of Taqwacore as part of its program ‘WRONG MUSLIM: a series on infidels.’ Taqwacore is a roaring, rollicking portrait of Muhammad Knight, The Kominas, and a brown wave of riot grrl, metal, anarcho-punk and shouty-shout bands — among them Vote Hezbollah and Secret Trial Five, the latter fronted by a Pakistani lesbian from Vancouver and best known for their song ‘Middle Eastern Zombies’ — as they travel from suburban basements to Lahore. There the drugs are great, the response from locals slightly less so….

Babak Radboy and Tiffany Malakooti at the 'Experimental Libraries and Reading Rooms' conference session at the NY Art Book Fair

Saturday November 6, 2010
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
22-25 Jackson Ave
Long Island City, NY

Babak Radboy and Tiffany Malakooti at MoMA PS1 NY Art Book Fair

Babak Radboy and Tiffany Malakooti will be representing the Bidoun Library this Saturday morning at a panel discussion on the theme of ‘Experimental Libraries and Reading Rooms’ as part of The Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference at the NY Art Book Fair. Participants include:
Wendy Yao, Ooga Booga;
Andrew Beccone, the Reanimation Library;
Robin Cameron and Jason Polan, the Assembled Picture Library;
Tiffany Malakooti and Babok Radboy, Bidoun Library.
Moderated by Renaud Proch, Independent Curators International (ICI).

Visit the the NY Art Book Fair website for more information or purchase tickets here

Bidoun at The Kitchen II

Bidoun hosted an evening at The Kitchen for a second time, in commemoration of our fall 2009 issue, “INTERVIEW,” with added eclectica drawn from the world of our winter issue, “NOISE.” The evening, hosted by senior editors Negar Azimi and Michael Vazquez , featured Tony Shafrazi performing his exotic operatic epic Moogambo, an encounter between writer Gini Alhadeff and writer cum flamenco dancer Hampton Fancher , illustrated readings by Abou Farman ( “True Dub”, Bidoun 19 NOISE) and Bidoun’s own Lucy Raven and Tiffany Malakooti ( “The Lovers’ Wind”, Bidoun 19 NOISE). Musical acts included bumpers by world champion competitive whistler Steve “The Whistler” Herbst and music by $hayne Oliver and Fatima Al-Qadiri.

Review in Art in America

Tony Shafrazi performs Moogambo

Gini Alhadeff and Hampton Fancher

Khalid Al Gharaballi, Babak Radboy and Kai Kuhne

Steve “The Whistler” Herbst

Tonight: Babak Radboy at Art in General


“Babak Radboy is the Eddie Murphy of the Interview magazine of the Middle East”
— Jahan Al Dessari

Bidoun Creative Director Babak Radboy will be speaking tonight at Art in General as part of ArteEast’s Across Histories Lecture Series.

Iranian Film Festival, San Francisco

September 18-19, 2010
San Francisco Art institute

Iranian Film Festival (IFF) is an annual event showcasing the independent feature and short films made by or about the Iranians from around the world.

Tribute to the Masters: AnaPop, Istanbul

Influenced by global musical trends, Turkish pop and rock of the 60’s and 70’s, could be defined as a psychedelic outburst of multi-ethnic Anatolian culture… AnaPop sets out to get younger generations acquainted with this unique genre through a combined event of one-off concerts, workshops, seminars and documentary screenings.
A full-length documentary and interdisciplinary book will subsequently support the AnaPop event featuring 4 days of concerts, performances, workshops and a range of exhibitions (including photographs, LP artworks and posters).
AnaPop provides a unique opportunity to see some of the most acclaimed performers of the period playing live whilst at the same time creating the right milieu to foster new music.
September 15th -16th -17th 2010: Workshops, Seminars, Documentary Screenings
Saturday September 18th, 2010: Concerts at İ.M.Ç 6. Blok Unkapanı, Istanbul
Concert day doors open: 16:00, until 00:00
Visit for detailed information
Online ticket sales at

Opening Event, Book Fair and Party: Bidoun Library at the New Museum

Thursday August 5, 2010 at 7 PM
235 Bowery
New York, NY

To mark the opening of “Museum as Hub: Bidoun Library Project,” Bidoun will present selected readings and video clips from the Bidoun Library collection. In addition, for the opening day of the project, Bidoun has invited booksellers usually found outside the New York University library to set up shop outside the New Museum.

Join us afterward for dancing and drinks at:
Sweet and Vicious
5 Spring Street
Music by Tim DeWitt (Gang Gang Dance)

Pearls on the Ocean Floor at LACMA, Los Angeles

Robert Adanto’s new documentary Pearls on the Ocean Floor features interviews with some of the most highly regarded Iranian female artists living and working in and outside the Islamic Republic, including Shadi Ghadirian, Shirin Neshat, Parastou Forouhar, Haleh Anvari, Sara Rahbar, Leila Pazooki, Afshan Ketabchi, Malekeh Nayiny, Bahar Sabzevari, Afsoon, Gohar Dashti, Pooneh Maghazehe, Mona Hakimi-Schuler, Taravat Talepasand, and Shadi Yousefian and Negar Ahkami. This screening takes place in conjunction with LACMA’s installation: Yek, Do, Se: Three Contemporary Iranian Artists , which features Yassaman Ameri, Bahman Jalali and Samira Alikhanzadeh.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Robert Adanto; Pearls on the Ocean Floor; Free;

'Antiphotojournalism' at La Virreina Centre de l'Image, Barcelona

Exhibition curated by Carles Guerra and Thomas Keenan.
The exhibition includes work by Paul Lowe, Phil Collins, Gilles Peress, Gilles Saussier, Paul Fusco, Laura Kurgan, Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg, Clemente Bernad, Allan Sekula, Hito Steyerl, Kadir van Lohuizen, Goran Galic and Gian-Reto Gredig, Renzo Martens, Peter Piller, Walid Raad, and Harun Farocki; archives collected by Mauro Andrizzi, Ministry of Public Works and Housing (Gaza Strip), Ariella Azoulay, Susan Meiselas, and Sohrab Mohebbi; music videos edited by Jonathan Cavender, Robbie Wright, and Shane McDonald.

La Virreina Centre de l'Image; Antiphotojournalism; Various; 5 July — 10 October 2010;

Amir Zaki at LA><Art, Los Angeles

Opening reception: Saturday, July 17th, 2010 6-9pm
LA<ART; Eleven Minus One; Amir Zaki; 17 July — 21 August, 2010;

'Heat Wave' at Lombard-Freid Projects, New York

Fikret Atay, Bani Abidi, Maya Schindler, Eko Nugroho, Mounira al Solh and Noa Charuvi
Lombard-Freid Projects; Heat Wave; Various; 17 June — 30 July, 2010;

'The Absolutely Other' at The Kitchen, New York

This group exhibition features New York-based artists who make work with, for, and about strangers. For each video, photograph, installation, and performance, artists cast out lines to remote neighbors who (wittingly or not) become active partners in creating the work. The resulting projects realign and sometimes undermine extant social relations and artistic intentions, engaging and confounding issues of authorship, exchange, generosity, and chance. Interactions both off site and within the gallery will continuously shape the exhibition’s content over the course of the show. The artists in the exhibition include: Einat Amir, Daniel Bozhkov, Xavier Cha, Eteam, Hope Hilton, Nancy Hwang, and Dave McKenzie.
Opening Reception: Friday, June 25, 6-8pm
The Kitchen; The absolutely Other; Various; 25 June — 7 August, 2010;

'Beauty is Diamond' at Laleh June, Basel

Opening Reception of Beauty is Diamond at Laleh June Galerie Basel on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 4-9 PM.
Laleh June; Beauty is DIamond; Ed Ruscha, Behrouz Rae, Anoush Abrar, Geogre Condo, Marc Rembold, Bruce Nauman, Joseph Kosuth, Julian Schnabel, Dexter Dalwood, Claes Oldenburg, Philippe Zumstein, Peter Zimmermann; 18 May — 31 June, 2010;

Bidoun Video Programme 2010 at Invisible Publics at Townhouse Gallery, Cairo

Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art
Invisible Publics
May 23 – June 20 2010
10 Nabrawy Street off Champollion Street
Downtown Cairo, Egypt

The show will feature works and acts by Dora Garcia, Sharon Hayes, Johanna Billing, Johan Svensson, Nikos Arvanitis, Sarah Pierce, Miklos Erhardt + Little Warsaw, the Complaints Choir in addition to Bidoun Video 2010 with programmes curated by Bidoun and guest curators Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Aram Moshayedi, and the duo of Özge Ersoy and Sohrab Mohebbi.
More information at Art Agenda

Mona Hatoum at the Beirut Art Center

Mona Hatoum’s first solo show in Lebanon, ‘Witness,’ at the Beirut Arts Center from June 10 – September 9, features the products of a recent five-week residency in the country: ‘Witness’ itself is a porcelain biscuit, rendered in miniature, of the Centre Ville’s Place des Martyres. ‘Worry Beads,’ scaled-up prayer beads, calls to mind the artist’s ‘The Entire World as a Foreign Land.’
Beirut Arts Center; Witness; Mona Hatoum; 10 June — 09 September,

‘From Giacometti to Murakami' at Palais des Arts, Dinard

The town of Dinard, Bretagne, follows up the spectacle of last year’s Pinault Foundation-reliant ‘Qui a peur des artistes?’ with ‘From Giacometti to Murakami,’ a major exhibition of 50 works from leading figures including Ruscha, Serra, Boetti, Fontana, and Polke paired with works from Houshiary, Haerizadeh, Hatoum, and Moshiri. In the Palais des Arts convention centre, from 12 June – 12 September.
Palais des Arts, Dinard; From Giacometti to Murakami; various; 12 June – 12 September,

Zoulikha Bouabdellah at gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai

Zoulikha Bouabdellah’s ‘Set Me Free from my Chains’ opens at Dubai gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, marked by large-scale hollow neon work(s), ‘hubb,’ in zoetropic variations. From 14 June – 15 August.
Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai; Set Me Free from my Chains; Zoulikha Bouabdellah; 14 June – 15 August;

‘i.u.[heart]’ at The Third Line, Dubai

The Third Line Dubai stages an exhibition,‘i.u.[heart],’ on the phenomenon of Iran-USA relations, the Iranian diaspora in the Emirates, and work made by and about them. From 23 June – 29 July.
The Third Line gallery, Dubai; i.u.[heart]; various; 23 June – 29 July;

Bint al-Dunya at Amsterdam Noord

Mediamatic, Amsterdam, invites Cairene artists—including Osama Dawod & Ayman Ramadan—to relocate from Mother Egypt to the so-called Bint al-Dunya, aka Amsterdam Noord, an impoverished yet spacious neighborhood, to make work in response to radically different urban conditions. Coordinated by Nat Muller, from September 5 – December 5.
Amsterdam Noord; Bint al-Dunya; various; 05 September – 05 December;

'Where Three Dreams Cross – 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh' symposium at Fotomuseum Winterthur

A symposium surrounding the exhibition ‘Where Three Dreams Cross - 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh’ featuring talks and discussions with Dayanita Singh, Sunil Gupta, Bani Abidi and more.
Fotomuseum Winterthur; Where Three Dreams Cross - 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesch; various; 12 June — 13 June, 2010;

Emre Hüner at Stroom Den Haag

Emre Hüner’s first European solo show looks to build on the acclaim of his Panoptikon project with ‘The New Horizon,’ at Stroom Den Haag. Curated by Övül Durmusoglu.
Stroom Den Haag; The New Horizon; Emre Hüner; 18 April — 6 June, 2010;

Etel Adnan and Yto Barrada at Sfeir–Semler, Beirut

Sfeir-Semler gallery exhibiting both the delicate watercolors of Arab-American author Etel Adnan —she of Sitt Marie Rose, In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country, and Paris, When it’s Naked fame—and Tangiers-based photographer Yto Barrada’s ‘Play’ (sculpture, installation, photographs, and projections) to coincide with Homeworks V.
Galerie Sfeir-Semler; Etel Adnan and Yto Barrada; 22 April — 10 July, 2010;

Can Altay - Iman Issa at Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul

Rodeo Gallery Istanbul present an intriguing pair: Can Altay and Iman Issa. The former’s interstitial post-architectural photos, slides, and occasional texts are sure to create a fine counterpoint to Issa’s politically upfront blandishments in installation, video, and photo-still.
Rodeo Gallery; Can Altay & Iman Issa; 22 April — 26 June, 2010;

Noa Lidor at Green Cardamom, London

Noa Lidor’s ‘This dark ceiling without a star’ opens at Green Cardamom, London, marked by various site specific installations, including ‘Field (Perseus),’ flutes embedded in concrete in the shape of the Perseus constellation.
Green Cardamom; This dark ceiling without a star’; Noa Lidor; 23 April — 11 June, 2010;

Abboudi Abou Jaoude Talk at 98Weeks

Saturday May 8th, 5:30pm
Bidoun Library & Project Space @ 98 Weeks
Jisr el Hadid, facing spoiler center, Chalhoub building, Ground floor, Beirut

Publisher (Al Furat Publishing) and collector Abboudi Abou Jaoude will present his collection of Lebanese and regional historical art and cultural magazines from the 30s to today. Examples of the discussed magazines will be available for consultation at 98weeks project space.
This event is part of 98weeks’ research, On publications, and coincides with the Bidoun Library on display at 98weeks until May 15.

Bidoun Library in Beirut!

Bidoun Library & Project Space @ 98 Weeks
April 17 – May 15, 2010
98 Weeks Project Space, Ground Floor, Chalhoub Building, Off Nahr Street, Facing Spoiler Center, Before Jisr Hadid, Mar Mikhael

Opening: Saturday April 17, 5pm, with readings by Bidoun contributing editors and writers Shumon Basar and Wael Lazkani and a conversation with the comics’ collective Samandal.
Debate: Saturday May 8, 5pm, with a panel including Abboudi Abou Jaoude of Al-Furat Publishers.
This iteration of the library coincides with the launch of 98 Weeks’ new research project on avant-garde journals and popular magazines stemming from moments of modernity in the Arab world. 98 Weeks’ collection of publications will be on permanent display at the 98 Weeks Project Space.
The 98 Weeks Project Space is open daily from 3pm to 7pm, except on Sundays.

Fortune-teller: Reflections on the Future of Arts, Education and Economy in the Middle East at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

April 7, 2010, 6:30 PM
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute: 19 Washington Square North, New York

What does the future hold? Speculations on the political, economic and social future of the Middle East are common in many spheres. Political economists Kiren Aziz Chaudhry and Saskia Sassen join Mishaal Al Gergawi, curator and critic, for an informed discussion, building on each other’s perspectives to propose potential directions for regional developments with implications for arts and education internationally.
This event is part of Romanticide: Love, Loss and Co-dependency in Art and Cultural Politics, a NYU Abu Dhabi Lecture Series in New York City co-sponsored by Bidoun.

Forms of Compensation at Townhouse Gallery

Forms of Compensation
Babak Radboy or Ayman Ramadan
March 23 — April 14, 2010
Townhouse Gallery: 10 Nabrawy Street, off Champollion Way, Downtown Cairo

Forms of Compensation opens this Tuesday March 23 at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo.
‘Forms of Compensation’ is a series of 21 reproductions of iconic modern and contemporary artworks, with an emphasis on sculptures, paintings and prints by Arab and Iranian artists. The series was produced in Cairo by craftspeople and auto mechanics in the neighborhood around Townhouse Gallery, commissioned by Babak Radboy and overseen by Ayman Ramadan, working from installation shots of the original artworks, along with the instruction that each copy should differ in one small way from its referent.

The Shape of the Argument: A Talk By Hassan Khan

March 10, 2010 at 6:30 PM
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute: 19 Washington Square North, New York

After insistent vague realizations (signs of consciousness or merely the platitude of self-serving delusion?) the artist investigates: the normalizing institution and its stifling horizons; the relationship between value and aesthetics; willful misreadings by 101 critics; the charged moments of transactions and loss; and last but not least the artist’s secret anger–the drama and its pleasure.
This event is part of Romanticide: Love, Loss and Co-dependency in Art and Cultural Politics, a NYU Abu Dhabi Lecture Series in New York City co-sponsored by Bidoun.

Bidoun Video 2010

Each year, Bidoun Projects presents a series of new video programs with the aim of exploring various thematic concerns and highlighting video art practice in and around the Middle East.

The programs are launched at Art Dubai (March 17–20, 2010) in the Art Park–an underground space for talks, film and video–and then travel on throughout 2010 to venues in the region and beyond.

This year’s programs are curated by Bidoun and guest curators Masoud Amralla Al Ali , Aram Moshayedi , and the duo of Özge Ersoy and Sohrab Mohebbi.

Program One: Cloudy Head
Curated by Bidoun
Running time: approximately 35’

Bidoun Projects’s latest video program brings together works that reference the power of collectively produced codes of communication and highlight the artist’s ability to tap into this power and make it their own. The assembled works engage the hyper-expressive, sometimes hysterical, voices born of these conditions.

The dense streets of a megalopolis are evoked in a percussive translation of street talk, while the romantic promise of YouTube as a venue for self-representation is interrogated through clips of body builders that relate to one artist’s awareness of his own agenda. The thin line between absurdist theater and political demonstration points to the failure of video itself, and Ravel’s Boléro is rendered magical in the presence of a Brazilian street prophet. Somewhere between investigation and homage, polemic and testimony, these videos attest to the failure and eloquence of collective languages as well as their transformative power.

Deaf Countries — Eyad Hamam
2009, 2’; courtesy of the artist

Red, Green, Black and White Indians — Sobhi Al Zobaidi
2007, 43”; courtesy of the artist

Cloudy Head — Justine Triet
2009, 4’58”; courtesy of the artist

Camaraderie — Mahmoud Khaled
2009, 10’30”; courtesy of the artist

80 Million — Eslam Zeen El Abedeen and Mohamed Zayan
2009, 3’41”; courtesy of the artists

Nástio’s Manifesto — Nástio Mosquito
2008, 4’8”; courtesy of the artist

Arabic Home Interiors: An Introduction — Vartan Avakian
2009, 3’40”; commissioned by Tokyo Wonder Site, courtesy of the artist

Adhan — Haroon Mirza
2009 , 4’30”; courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery

Program Two: Hollywood Elegies
Curated by Aram Moshayedi
Running time: approximately 50’

“Hollywood Elegies” is the title of one of many pieces of writing Bertolt Brecht composed while living in Los Angeles, from 1941 to 1947. Brecht’s poetry from this period reflected his dissatisfaction with the social and cultural conditions of his newfound home in exile. The six stanzas that comprise this particular text describe the overwhelming presence of the Hollywood industry in the world around him. There is the sense from these passages that Hollywood existed for him less as a specific geography and more as a disorienting state we all experience, no matter the time or place.

The videos that make up this program may or may not refer directly to Hollywood as a location, but in them we find propositions that relate, in sideways or direct fashion, to the current conditions of production, exhibition, and distribution throughout cultural realms. While Hollywood is no longer regarded as a dream factory, its mechanics, for better or worse, still seem to operate.

Shoving — Hirsch Perlman
1994, 12’; courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Untitled (Ladera Heights) — Drew Heitzler
2007, 46”; Courtesy of the artist; Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

The Dictator — David Lamelas and Hildegarde Duane
1978, 15’; courtesy of the artists sent you a video postcard — Nasty Nets
2010, 6’; courtesy of the artists

The Cockpit — Tracey Rose
2008, 3’; courtesy of the artist and DBA Christian Haye, New York

Instructional Film — Walead Beshty
2010, 10’ (excerpt); courtesy of the artist and Wallspace, New York

Untitled — Jordan Wolfson
2007, 3’; courtesy of the artist and Johann König, Berlin

Dimples — JMS and Miljohn Ruperto
2010, screenplay (a text supplement); courtesy of the artists and Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles

Program Three: Strike a Pose
Curated by Özge Ersoy and Sohrab Mohebbi
Running time: approximately 35’

Support structures for the arts—biennials, art fairs, and global museums—are more ambitious these days than ever. With the unprecedented increase of interest in contemporary art and the controversial expansion of the art world into a new universal class, without essentialist boundaries or regional claims, more and more media outlets are covering art matters.

The role of the mass media on contemporary society has often been viewed with suspicion by artists. However, contemporary art now seems to adapt to mass-media semiotics without contesting their set standards and formats. Is the art community simply testifying to the invincible power of the spectacle and the regime of the visual? Or is it taking its time to shape its strategies and experimenting with newly discovered possibilities, reframing its representation for a more inclusive viewership? How can art practitioners contribute to the formation of a mass-media representational format specific to the arts? Furthermore, can they contribute to the formation of a lexicon that uses mass media in more engaging modes, as opposed to only establishing a critical distance?

This program comprises a selection of video clips in a variety of formats including news, updates, behind-the-scenes shots, artist interviews, and promotional clips; together these investigate the limits and the possibilities that the mass-media video genre can offer to the art community. The program includes—among others—Twitter with Marina Abramović; Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari announcing Whitney 2010 artists; Tirdad Zolghadr, Lamya Gargash and Dr. Lamees Hamdan on the UAE Pavilion in the Venice Biennale; a Vernissage report on the 11th Istanbul Biennial; and excerpts from the half-hour television shows created by Circular File and commissioned by Performa.

The List: Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari announcing Whitney 2010 artists — Pierce Jackson and the Whitney Museum of American Art
courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art
2010, 1’42’’

Venice Biennale: UAE Pavilion — Bloomberg Tate Shots
courtesy of Tate

30 Seconds at MoMA: Staff—Tamsin Nutter — Thilo Hoffmann
Commissiobed by and courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York
2008, 53’’

Rudolf Stingel. LIVE at Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin — VernissageTV
courtesy of VernissageTV
2010, 5’58’’

MoMA Doug Aitken: Sleepwalkers [60-second trailer] — Doug Aitken
courtesy of the artist and the Museum of Modern Art, New York
2006, 1’02’’

11th International Istanbul Biennale 2009 — VernissageTV
courtesy of VernissageTV
2009, 7’46’’

30 Seconds at MoMA: Staff—Andy Haas — Thilo Hoffmann
courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York
2008, 0’59’’

Twitter With… Marina Abramović — Bloomberg Tate Shots
courtesy of Tate
2009, 7’ 20’’

Circular File Channel, Episode 1 (2005) — Performa.
commissioned by and original presented by Performa 09; courtesy of the artists and Performa
2009, 4’11’’ (excerpt)

*Program Four: Exploding Nostalgia
Curated by Masoud Amralla Al Ali and Antonia Carver

Over the past decade, there has been an explosion in short filmmaking in the UAE, driven in part by initiatives such as the Emirates Film Competition and the Gulf Film Festival, both founded by curator Masoud Amralla Al Ali. Although most continue to see themselves as filmmakers rather than artists, some Emirati directors have begun pushing the medium and their subjects, often making use of surreal, experimental imagery and drawing as much on traditions of oral poetry as on existing cinematic styles in the region. The films in this program reflect early efforts as well as more recent films, and range from nostalgic, whimsical tales from the northern emirates to introspective studies, via abstract illustration; they are bound together by their combined reflection on today’s connections to the traditions and landscape of the UAE.

Haresat Al Ma'a (The Water Guard) — Waleed Al Shehhi
2007, 11’29”; courtesy of the filmmaker and Reflective Group of Art Production

Mirror — Saleh Karama Al Amri
2003, 3’12”; courtesy of the artist

Wajeh Alilq (Stuck Face) — Manal Ali Bin Amro
2007, 6’03”; courtesy of the artist

My Way — Khalil Abdulwahed Abdulrahman
2005, 6’50”; courtesy of the artist

Amal’s Cloud — Rawia Abdullah
2009, 9’18”; courtesy of the artist

Video #2 — Ahmed Mohammed Sharief
2003, 5’; courtesy of the artist

Bidoun at Art Dubai 2010 Update

Art Dubai 2010
March 17–20, 2010
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

In 2010, Bidoun Projects is the curatorial partner of Art Dubai, responsible for programming a series of non-commercial exhibitions, commissions, screenings and educational events that engage with the fabric of the fair. Our projects at the fair are kindly supported by the Emirates Foundation.

The projects range from A New Formalism, a group exhibition, including Hazem El Mestikawy , Iman Issa , Mahmoud Khaled and U5 , that looks at new and expanded formalist practices, to a series of commissions that dwell on the spectacular, temporal nature of an art fair. These include new installations by Ebtisam Abdul-Aziz and Vartan Avakian , and a set of ice sculptures designed by Farhad Moshiri. Nikolas Gambaroff and Matt Sheridan intervene at Madinat Jumeirah with Nowhere for Nothing, a stoop designed to encourage loitering.
Bidoun Projects has commissioned Sophia Al Maria , Khalil Rabah and Daniel Bozhkov to act as guides, conducting narrative and performative tours of the fair. (Places are limited: please sign up in advance at the Art Projects Desk.)

Babak Radboy and Ayman Ramadan, Forms of Compensation
Forms of Compensation, an exhibition situated within Art Dubai’s gallery halls, is a series of reproductions of iconic modern and contemporary artworks, with an emphasis on sculptures, paintings and prints by Arab and Iranian artists. The series was produced in Cairo by craftspeople and auto mechanics in the neighborhood around Townhouse Gallery, overseen by artists Babak Radboy and Ayman Ramadan, working from installation shots of the original artworks, along with the instruction that each copy should differ in one small way from its referent.

Alice Aycock, Sand/Fans, 1971
This year’s projects also dwell on the nature of documentation. A trio of artists and writers (Shumon Basar, Haig Aivazian and Naeem Mohaieman) are ‘in residence’ at the Global Art Forum and at the Art Park Talks, mapping the (naturally contested) conversations and moments – both those remembered and in real time. In keeping with the Global Art Forum’s theme of ‘Crucial Moments’, Alice Aycock’s seminal 1971 installation Sand/Fans, with sand sourced from the UAE desert, will be recreated.
Bidoun Video in the Art Park features guest curators Sohrab Mohebbi and Özge Ersoy along with Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Aram Moshayedi, and Bidoun Projects, shown in a screening room and in the Bidoun Lounge in daily screenings hosted by the curators. A dynamic discussion programme includes talks and performances looking at the relationship between archives, art, music and film, in collaboration with the online avant-garde archive, UbuWeb.
The Bidoun Library is a collection of books, catalogues, journals, music and ephemera that traces contemporary art practices as well as the evolution of the various art scenes of the Middle East. At Art Dubai 2010, the resource space features a selection of innovative artists’ and children’s books (as well as music and films) published by Kanoon, Iran’s Centre for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, founded in 1961, which was an incubator for some of the country’s most celebrated artists and filmmakers, including Abbas Kiarostami, Amir Naderi and Farshid Mesghali.

Shahr-e Gheseh Screening at Cabinet Space

Cabinet Space
February 26, 2010, 7pm
300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn
FREE; no RSVP necessary

Bidoun and Cabinet co-present a screening of the film version of Bijan Mofid’s lauded 1967 avant-garde play Shahr-e Gheseh (City of Tales). Set in a mythical city populated by various animals, Shahr-e Gheseh is an allegorical fable in which the fate of a visiting elephant strangely echoes the fate of Iran under the modernity espoused by its rulers in the twentieth century.
Program in Farsi (film has NO SUBTITLES; discussion following also in Farsi)
Ab-Dough-Khiar and other refreshments will be provided.

Dense Objects and Sentient Viewings: Contemporary Artistic Production and the Middle East at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

February 10, 2010 at 6:30 PM
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute: 19 Washington Square North, New York

Historian Omnia El Shakry outlines recent trends in contemporary artistic production in and about the Middle East, while critically exploring the prevalence of binary understandings of the region as trapped between local ethno-nationalisms and global neo-liberalisms, or between politics and aesthetics.
Omnia El Shakry Associate Professor of History, University of California Davis
This event is part of Romanticide: Love, Loss and Co-dependency in Art and Cultural Politics, a NYU Abu Dhabi Lecture Series in New York City co-sponsored by Bidoun.

FOXP2 at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

Wednesday, January 27th at 6:30 PM
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute: 19 Washington Square North, New York

Please join Bidoun and NYU Abu Dhabi next Wednesday for FOXP2, an event moderated by Clare Davies. FOXP2 is a dérive in the spatial and mental fields usually ascribed to a lecture. Constantly shifting back and forth between the authorial voices of a politician, a naturalist, and an art historian, the lecturer drifts between the passionate and the irrational, stopping at various stations of historical, artistic, socio-political, and personal significance. This event will include performances by Bassam El Baroni, Curator, Co-Director of the Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum and Manifesta 2010; and Kenny Muhammad, known as “the human orchestra.”
Space is limited. Please RSVP to [email protected].
This event is part of Romanticide: Love, Loss and Co-dependency in Art and Cultural Politics, a NYU Abu Dhabi Lecture Series in New York City co-sponsored by Bidoun.

Bidoun and Art Dubai 2010

Art Dubai 2010
March 17–20, 2010
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

In 2010, Bidoun Projects becomes the curatorial partner for Art Dubai, taking on all non-commercial programming at the art fair. The Art Park will feature video programs curated by Bidoun and guest curators Masoud Amralla Al Ali , Aram Moshayedi , and Ozge Ersoy & Sohrab Mohebbi , plus a series of talks and performances co-curated with UbuWeb; a group exhibition looks at new and expanded formalist practices; and Bidoun has commissioned new performances and sculptural works that interact with the fabric of the fair. We will update you nearer the time, but hope to see you in Dubai this March!

The Portfolio Project at Shelter: Aisha Miyuki Ansari and Zeinab Hajian

January 10, 2010—February 10, 2010
the shelter
t +971.4.434 5655 11370
Dubai, UAE

In November 2009 Bidoun launched a new, monthly exhibition project aimed at highlighting the work of art photographers based in the UAE.
The Portfolio Project this month will be featuring two former students of the American University of Sharjah, Aisha Miyuki Ansari and Zeinab Hajian, both of whom were taught by AUS professor and artist Tarek Al Ghoussein. The novelty of compositional experimentation and thematic exploration that marks academic work in art photography distinguishes the January series from previous month’s artists Hind Mezaina and Mohamed Somji.
More information on the artists on the Portfolio Project’s page

NOISE at Sfeir-Semler: Installation images

Curated by Negar Azimi and Babak Radboy for Bidoun
With Vartan Avakian, Steven Baldi, Walead Beshty, Haris Epaminonda, Media Farzin, Marwan, Yoshua Okon, Babak Radboy, Bassam Ramlawi, Mounira Al Solh, Andree Sfeir, Rayyane Tabet, Lawrence Weiner, Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck
11th December 2009 - 6th February 2010

Vartan Avakian

Wall text, Walead Beshty

Rayayne Tabet, Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck and Media Farzin

Lawrence Weiner, Babak Radboy

More images at Sfeir-Semler.
Read review in NOW Lebanon: Make some NOISE Sfeir’s show challenges the idea of art galleries by Lucy Fielder

Workshops 2010: Writing About Art

January 15-16, 2010: Hassan Khan, Kevin Mitchell, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie
February 13: Kevin Mitchell, Shumon Basar, Antonia Carver
March 20: Douglas McLennan, Murtaza Vali
April 16-17: Haytham El Wardany, Clare Davies, Hassan Khan
May 17: Negar Azimi, Murtaza Vali

In January 2010, Bidoun Projects, in partnership with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) launches a course of workshops that focus on writing about art and offer the opportunity for critical debate.

The monthly get-togethers will be led by renowned critics and curators from Egypt, Lebanon, USA, and the UAE including Hassan Khan, Kevin Mitchell, Negar Azimi, Haytham Al Wardani, Antonia Carver and Clare Davies. This “informal art school” provides an opportunity for debate about contemporary art, and facilitates links between artists, curators and editors based in the UAE, the region, and beyond.

The course launch weekend takes place January 14-17, 2010 at Shelter Dubai. Further day-long workshops take place on February 13, March 20, and on dates to be confirmed in April and May.

The call for applications has been closed but places may come available. For more information, please visit the Workshop’s Facebook page.

Course Tutors

Sasha Anawalt is director of USC Annenberg Arts Journalism Programsat the University of Southern California, where she founded the Masters degree program in Specialized Journalism (The Arts). In October 2009, she directed and produced with Douglas McLennan the first-ever virtual National Summit on Arts Journalism, streamed live from USC Annenberg. She wrote the best-selling cultural biography, “The Joffrey Ballet: Robert Joffrey and the Making of an American Dance Company” (Scribner, 1996). Anawalt’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, SoHo Weekly News, Wall Street Journal (, KUSC and MSNBC-online sites. Anawalt served on the 2006 and 2007 Pulitzer Prize Committee juries for criticism.

Negar Azimi has contributed to the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Artforum, and Frieze, among other art magazines and newspapers, and has been published widely in books and exhibition catalogues. A senior editor of Bidoun, Negar is based between Cairo, Beirut and New York. She is a member of the Arab Image Foundation. Recently, she and Babak Radboy curated the exhibition “NOISE,” at the Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut.

Shumon Basar studied architecture at Cambridge University and the Architectural Association, London. He worked for Zaha Hadid Architects, most notably as a lead designer on the acclaimed Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Since 2000, he has been Unit Master and Co-director of the Summer School programme at the Architectural Association; Co-founder of multi-disciplinary collective, sexymachinery, who make magazines, performances and exhibitions. He is architecture editor at Tank magazine; and has written for a number of publications, including Modern Painters, Blueprint and AA Files.

Antonia Carver (course organizer, with Alia Al-Sabi) is director of Bidoun Projects and editor-at-large for Bidoun magazine. She contributes to books, magazines and newspapers, primarily on contemporary art and film in the Middle East. Recent publications include PROVISIONS: Sharjah Biennial 9 (ed, with Lara Khaldi), and With/Without:Spatial Products, Practices and Politics in the Middle East (co- editor, with Shumon Basar and Markus Miessen). Antonia is a programmer for the Dubai and Edinburgh international film festivals, specializing in film from Iran and the Arab world.

Hassan Khan is an artist, musician and writer who lives and works in Cairo, Egypt, where he has instigated and directed series of “criticality workshops.” As an artist, selected solo shows include Gezira Art Center, Cairo (1999),Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris (2004), A Space Gallery, Toronto (2005), Gasworks, London (2006) Le Plateau, Paris (2007) and Uqbar, Berlin (2008). Khan has also participated in the Istanbul (2003), Seville (2006), Sydney (2006), Thessaloniki (2007),Contour (2007),Gwangju (2008) biennales as well as the Turin (2005) and Yokohama (2008) triennalles, amongst other international group exhibitions. He has composed soundtracks for theater and performed his music in venues around the world and his album tabla dubbwas released on the 100copies label. Khan is also widely published in both Arabic and English, his latest publication Nine Lessons Learned from Sherif El-Azma was published by the Contemporary Image Collective earlier this year.

Seattle-based Douglas McLennanis an arts journalist and critic and the founder and editor of, the leading aggregator of arts journalism on the internet. Each day ArtsJournal features an array of links to stories from more than 200 publications worldwide. Douglas has written on the arts for numerous publications, including, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the London Evening Standard. He has won several awards for arts criticism and reporting, including a National Arts Journalism Program Fellowship at Columbia University and a Deems Taylor/ASCAP Award for music journalism. He was recently named one of 100 Outstanding Graduates of the Juilliard Schoolof Music for the school’s centennial.

Kevin Mitchell is an Associate Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture and Design and currently serves as Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). Professor Mitchell co-chaired the 2008 conference Instant Cities: Emergent Trends in Architecture and Urbanism in the Arab Worldand co-edited a volume of selected essays published by The Center for the Study of Architecture in the Arab Region. Recent publications appear in Dubai: Growing through Architecture (Thames & Hudson, in press), The Courtyard House: Between Cultural Expression and Universal Appeal (Ashgate, in press), The Superlative City: Dubai and the Urban Condition in the Early Twenty-First Century (Harvard Graduate School of Design/Harvard University Press, in press) and Dubai: City from Nothing (Birkhaüser). An essay on architecture in the Gulf was awarded a 2009 research prize by the International Art & Architecture Research Association (IAARA) in conjunction with The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

Murtaza Vali is a Sharjah — and Brooklyn — based critic and art historian. He is a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific, and was co-editor of its 2007 and 2008 Almanac issue, an encyclopedic year-end review of contemporary art across Asia. He is also a regular contributor to Bidoun and his writing has appeared in ArtReview, Art India and Nukta. He has penned catalog essays on various artists, most recently Reena Saini Kallat and Emily Jacir. Also a freelance curator, his recent exhibition “Accented,” was presented at BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, in early 2010, as part of their Lori Ledis Emerging Curator Program.

Haytham El-Wardany was born in Cairo 1972 and currently lives in Berlin. He works as an author and journalist, and has been involved in numerous cultural and publishing projects both in Germany and Egypt. As a writer, he has published two collections of short stories in Cairo, including Jama'at Al-Adab Al-Naqis (The League of Incomplete Literature) known for its innovative approach, covering a range of styles from reportage to formal experimentation.

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie is a writer who lives and works in Beirut. She has contributed numerous essays on contemporary art and visual culture to catalogues, anthologies, and journals, including texts on the work of Akram Zaatari and Walid Raad, experimental music, urban intervention, video, and performance art. Over the past decade, she has written for_ The New York Times, _The Times of London, and The Village Voice, among many other newspapers and magazines. Previously the arts and culture editor of The Daily Star, she is currently a contributing editor for Bidoun, a critic for Artforum, and a staff writer for_ The Review, the weekly cultural supplement of _The National. She earned a BA in English literature and international relations from the University of Virginia, an MS from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and an MA from the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut. She was a 2007 fellow in the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program in Los Angeles.

The Black Banana at Anthology Film Archives

Illustration by Tiffany Malakooti

The Black Banana
Ben Hayeem
1976, 71 minutes, 16mm, color

Together with Anthology Film Archives, Bidoun presented an encore screening of Ben Hayeem’s unmissable, unfathomable wonder. Born and raised in Bombay, Hayeem (1933-2004) made a number of well-regarded films and was close with experimental film pioneers Maya Deren and Slavko Vorkapich. Early in his career he joined the Living Theater group in New York and became the only Indian Jew to play a Chinese Priest with a Yiddish accent in a Brecht play. This comedic, cross-cultural experience must have set him down the path to the rather incredible and risque happenings in The Black Banana.

The original promotional notes inform us that, “In this zany, ribald Middle Eastern comedy, young Jews, Arabs and Texans revolt against the parental and conventional authority, represented by old-fashioned Jews, Arabs and Texans…Despite its message of peace and good will between Jew and Arab, The Black Banana has the distinction of being the only film ever banned in Israel because its mixture of nudity and religious satire offended the Israeli censorship board.” Hayeem protested the banning dressed only in Black Banana filmstrips until a compromise of partial magic marker censorship was reached.

The Black Banana was preceded by Ben Hayeem short films Papillote (1964, 10.5 minutes, 16mm) and Flora (1965, 6 minutes, 16mm) and introduced by Ben’s sister, Vilma, who plays the role of the paper bag in Papillote.

Tuesday, December 22 at 8:00 PM
Anthology Film Archives:
32 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10003

The Plight of the Arab Intellectual

Wednesday, December 16th at 6:30 PM
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute: 19 Washington Square North, New York, NY 10011

Please join Bidoun and NYU Abu Dhabi for an encounter between philosopher Sadik Jalal Al-Azm, famous for his controversial and censured works on religion, politics and culture in the Middle East, and Bilal Khbeiz, an independent poet, essayist and journalist in exile, bringing both men’s personal experiences to bear on a discussion of the Arab intellectual as political, cultural and social construct.
Space is limited. Please RSVP to [email protected].

Ben Hayeem's The Black Banana at Anthology

Tuesday, December 22 at 8:00 PM
Anthology Film Archives: 32 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10003

Bidoun is thrilled to co-present with Anthology Film Archives an encore screening of Ben Hayeem’s unmissable, unfathomable wonder. Born and raised in Bombay, Hayeem (1933-2004) made a number of well-regarded films and was close with experimental film pioneers Maya Deren and Slavko Vorkapich. Early in his career he joined the Living Theater group in New York and became the only Indian Jew to play a Chinese Priest with a Yiddish accent in a Brecht play. This comedic, cross-cultural experience must have set him down the path to the rather incredible and risque happenings in The Black Banana.

The original promotional notes inform us that, “In this zany, ribald Middle Eastern comedy, young Jews, Arabs and Texans revolt against the parental and conventional authority, represented by old-fashioned Jews, Arabs and Texans…Despite its message of peace and good will between Jew and Arab, The Black Banana has the distinction of being the only film ever banned in Israel because its mixture of nudity and religious satire offended the Israeli censorship board.”

The Black Banana will be preceeded by Ben Hayeem short films:
Papillote (1964, 10.5 minutes, 16mm)
Flora (1965, 6 minutes, 16mm)
Total running time: ca. 90 minutes.

Bidoun Library at Abu Dhabi Art

The first incarnation of the traveling Bidoun Library & Project space took place this past weekend at Abu Dhabi Art. The collection features over 200 publications (and growing) selected by team Bidoun; BAS, Istanbul; and Samandal, Beirut. Listening stations were curated by Bidoun’s Hassan Khan and Tiffany Malakooti. The space was design by Dubai-based Traffic with typography by the Khatt Foundation. Next stop: Art Dubai, March 2010!
Downlaod a PDF of the Bidoun Library catalogue here.

NOISE at Sfeir–Semler Beirut

Curated by Negar Azimi and Babak Radboy for Bidoun
December 9, 2009 – February 6, 2010

BEIRUT – From the din of cultural initiatives, exhibitions, symposia, biennials, group shows, and surveys mounted to confront, mediate, meditate, cross-pollinate, advocate, decry, valorize, deny, expose, represent, reconsider, reappraise, reify, or, better yet, to re-unveil what it means to make, show, and sell art in the Middle East, Bidoun magazine responds with NOISE, an exhibition opening December 9 at the Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut.<!–more–>

Between the first generation of post-9/11 cultural survey shows and the reflexive gymnastics of the next generation—which aimed to problematize the legitimacy of yet another regional survey while managing, miraculously, inevitably, to deliver one—Bidoun attempts to close its eyes and tune its ears to the white noise of the white cube, wondering how much it matters which city, region, country, or peoples surround it.

As it happens, it does matter, but perhaps not in ways expected. Rather than curating works to illustrate problems plucked from a readymade critical lexicon, NOISE attempts to let these problems arise from, and give rise to, the works themselves, opening the door to the unexpected, and even to the uninvited. The exhibition’s point of departure is the space itself. Its location in Beirut gives it its critical acoustics, but it retains the conceited platonic generality of any clean post-industrial art space, anywhere in the world.

Included in the show are a number of special commissions. A text piece by Lawrence Weiner runs along the gallery’s windows facing the Dora Highway. On the roof, a large neon sign by Vartan Avakian spells out SFEIR-SEMLER (the gallery was previously unmarked) in Devangari script, facing the newly emigrated Asian population in the neighborhood below.

In one room of the gallery hang the unsold works of Syrian modernist painter Marwan from a retrospective earlier in the year. The room housing the modernist works is dominated by an obtrusive white cube, leaving the paintings impossible to view except at an uncomfortably close proximity. Alongside a series of photorealist paintings of exhibition catalogs from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, artist Steven Baldi has sealed off one entire side of the gallery with a glass wall, forcing visitors to retrace their steps to see the show in its entirety. Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck and Media Farzin contribute a sculptural installation that tells the story of a cultural moment born of the Cold War that continues to have eerie resonance today. And Babak Radboy has installed a section of gallery wall on loan from the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York, along with a photograph of the corresponding hole left by its removal.

Also included is a new series of photographs by Walead Beshty printed from film damaged as it passed through Beirut’s airport security, as well as glass and copper sculptures destroyed in shipping, and a cartographic ping-pong table by Rayyane Tabet that traces the strange contours of a cultural exchange between an American drinking game and one of Lebanon’s most famous explosions.

Scattered throughout the space are a series of polaroids by Haris Epaminonda taken from the insides of obscure books and magazines, alongside an enigmatic video piece.

Yoshua Okon presents one and a half videos on the state of cultural production in his native Mexico, and Mounira Al Solh and Bassam Ramlawi make their painting debuts.

Also making her exhibition debut is gallerist Andrée Sfeir , as herself.

An Evening with Bidoun at The Kitchen

Monday, October 26th at 7pm — Free!
The Kitchen: 512 W 19th St., New York, NY 10011

Join Bidoun for an evening at The Kitchen, FREE!, in commemoration of our fall issue, “INTERVIEW,” with added eclectica drawn from the world of our winter issue, “NOISE.” See gallerist Tony Shafrazi narrate his operatic epic MOOGAMBO. Witness an encounter between writer Gini Alhadeff and writer cum flamenco dancer Hampton Fancher. Indulge in burlesque! And competitive whistling! All of this plus illustrated readings by Abou Farman, Lucy Raven & Tiffany Malakooti, with music by Fatima Al-Qadiri.

Bidoun & Semiotext(e) at Light Industry

Bidoun and Semiotext(e) presented a screening of two rarely shown works depicting outsiders’ visions of Morocco, introduced by celebrated novelist Abdellah Taïa, Morocco’s first openly gay writer, who discussed the fascination that Moroccan literature, landscape and culture have exerted over American expats and travelers.

An American In Tangier, Mohamed Ulad, 1993, 27 mins
Leaving the US for Tangier, Morocco in 1947 when he was 37 years old, the American writer Paul Bowles remained there until his death in 1999, immersing himself in Moroccan culture. In addition to the classic novels he is best known for, Bowles translated numerous stories by Moroccan storytellers (Mohammed Mrabet, Larbi Layachi and others) and compiled two LP recordings of traditional Moroccan music. An American in Tangier is an intimate conversation in which Bowles reflects upon his life in Morocco.
Print courtesy of Cinematheque de Tanger and LACMA.

Chronicles/Morocco, Michel Auder, 1971-71, 26 mins
Morocco 1972: The Real Chronicles with Viva, Michel Auder, 2002, 36 mins

Auder alternately refers to the Chronicles as video diaries or novels that are Proustian in nature. Edited almost thirty years apart, Chronicles/ Morocco and Morocco 1972: The Real Chronicles with Viva together are a study in Auder’s approach to his memories. The footage is all from the same trip that was a family vacation. Tension developed between the couple and Viva left a few weeks into the trip, while Auder remained for several more months. Auder subsequently edited Viva out of the first version. He also misdated the trip by accident. It took place in 1972, not 1971. Considering Chronicles/Morocco a construct of emotional convenience unfaithful to memory, Auder decided to supplement the first version with a fuller account. The two works feature almost entirely different footage. There are, however, sections where one can see where Auder has omitted Viva. The star of the 1971 version is a young Moroccan Adonis who appoints himself tour-guide for a group of Europeans, including Michel. The camera follows his charming antics as he flaunts his nubile body and rather blunt but effective skills as a hunter. The supplement, Morocco 1972, stars Viva and Alexandra, continuing the theme of mother and child as it was poignantly established in Auder’s other diaries.

Wednesday, October 21 at 7:30pm
Light Industry

An Evening with Bidoun and Semiotext(e)

Abdellah Taïa +
An American In Tangier, Mohamed Ulad, 1993, 27 mins
Chronicles/Morocco, Michel Auder, 1971-71, 26 mins
Morocco 1972: The Real Chronicles with Viva, Michel Auder, 2002, 36 mins

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at Light Industry, Brooklyn
7:30pm, $7

More information here.

Bidoun, LACMA and the Cinémathèque de Tanger

LACMA’s Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, the Ralph M. Parsons Fund and Bidoun present Another Border - Films and Videos from the Cinémathèque de Tanger Archives at LACMA in Los Angeles this June. The series is co-curated by Bidoun contributor, collaborator and friend, Yto Barrada.

We will be hosting the screenings on Tuesday June 9 at 7PM in the Leo S.Bing Theater. Regular contributor Gary Dauphin will be presenting, along with the world premiere of the Bidoun video commercial and a Bidoun hosted intermission reception.

We hope to see you there!

Tuesdays: June 9, 16, 23 & 30 | 7 pm | Bing Theater
Tickets required: $7 general admission, $5 museum members,
seniors (62+), students with valid ID

The Cinémathèque de Tanger is a nonprofit organization based in Tangiers, Morocco devoted to the preservation and promotion of Moroccan cinema. Curated by Bouchra Khalili and Yto Barrada, Another Border showcases the vitality of contemporary Moroccan film and video alongside the richness of historic archival footage from the region. This selection of Moroccan short movies, documentaries, experimental films, and videos follows the fault lines between representation and reality, in both daily life and extraordinary circumstances. The intersection between tradition, globalization, and shifting notions of ‘modernity’ creates not a clash, but a fertile space for reflection. Addressing both the complex space between the West and Morocco, the program provides a platform for further dialogue on the ideas of hope and hospitality.


The Townhouse gallery is holding an international, contemporary art sale in the form of a live auction on Saturday 6th June 2009. Over thirty renowned artists, many from the Middle East region and with strong connections to the gallery, have donated works that will be exhibited in the Townhouse Factory space for a week in the run up to the auction.

From 7pm guests will be invited to view work and then from 8pm have the opportunity to place their bids. Those unable to attend in person can ask the gallery to bid on their behalf.

All funds raised will go towards the gallery and its outreach program which offers free workshops to adults and children, including those with special needs and from under-served communities.

All art works and details of participating artists can be viewed online from May 15th.

Auction entrance cards are 150 EGP (100EGP for Townhouse Friends) including a catalogue and bidding registration. These can be purchased by contacting [email protected]. Likewise, for those who would like to bid by proxy please contact the gallery directly on the above email address.

Participating Artists:

Adam Henein, Ahmed Askalany, Amre Heiba, Ala’ Younis, Anna Boghighuian, Ayman el Semary, Chant Avedissian, Damon Kowarsky, Doa Aly, Esmat Daoustachi, Essam Marouf, Farouk Hosny, George Bahgory, Huda Lutfi, John Jurayj, Khaled Hafez, Lamia Joreige, Lara Baladi, Lise Allam, Maha Maamoun, Marianne Eigenheer, Mohamed Sharkawy, Mona Hatoum, Nazli Madkour, Nermine Hammam, Rana El Nemr, Sabah Naim, Shady el Noshokaty, Swoon, Susan Hefuna, Tarek el Komi, Wael Shawky, Waheeda Malullah, Yiannis Hadjilaslanis.

More information

Bidoun and Migrating Forms at Anthology Film Archives

Bidoun and the Migrating Forms festival presented a very rare and special screening of Parviz Kimiavi’s 1973 experimental satire, Moghollha (the Mongols).

Moghollha (The Mongols)
Parviz Kimiavi
16mm On Video / 92 min / 1973

Included in Jonathan Rosenbaum’s list of 1000 essential films, Parviz Kimiavi’s The Mongols (1973) is a leftfield satire and sharp commentary on the expanding presence of cinema and television in Iran. The story follows a filmmaker, played by Kimiavi himself and also named Parviz, as he struggles with both his own film and a looming assignment to oversee the installation of a television relay station in the remote province of Zahedan. Imbued by his wife’s thesis work on the Mongol invasion of Iran, Parviz’s anxieties coalesce and materialize in the form of surreal visions in which the origins of cinema are acted out by the Turkomans he hired to play Mongols in his own film. Together with Parviz, we watch as the would-be gang of Mongols wander the desert in search of their director and the answers to their pressing questions about the nature of cinema, all while the forthcoming introduction of television consumes the local village and its inhabitants. Kimiavi fashions a fantastical cinematic space rife with bizarre metaphoric imagery and Godardian references to film-making in order to draw a sarcastic parallel between the Mongol invasion and the hyper-accelerated modernization of 1970s Iran.

Sunday April 19th, 2009 at 4pm
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue, New York
$8 in advance / $10 day-of-show

Art Dubai Recap


Bidoun once again hosted the video lounge, a space for video, talks and performances. The lounge was co-designed by Traffic, with typography by the Khatt Foundation, and kindly supported by the Emirates Foundation. Programs included FLOWERS (curated by Bidoun), ME AND HER AND OUR PUNCTUATION MARKS (curated by Christine Tohme), and THE MESSAGE (curated by Sylvia Kouvali).


Bidoun Projects presented a screening of Yto Barrada’s 2003 film The Magician at the Bastakiya Art Fair.


The Inhabitants of Images, a new performance by the celebrated artist/actor Rabih Mroué, co-produced by Bidoun, Ashkal Alwan and Tanzquartier Wien, was presented in the Bidoun Lounge.


Limited edition FLOWERS posters by Yto Barrada, Babak Radboy and Shirana Shahbazi, commissioned by Bidoun and co-produced with the Dubai-based boutique S*uce.


Bidoun and The Third Line hosted a celebration of Sharjah Biennial 9 and Art Dubai week 2009 at the Golf Park at the Hyatt Regency Dubai, featuring Un-drum / strategies of surviving noise, a sound performance by Tarek Atoui (produced by Sharjah Biennial 9).

Bidoun and Migrating Forms Present Moghollha (The Mongols)

Sunday April 19th, 2009 at 4pm
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue, New York
$ 8 in advance / $10 day-of-show

Bidoun and the Migrating Forms festival present a very rare and special screening of Parviz Kimiavi’s 1973 experimental satire, Moghollha (the Mongols).
Moghollha (The Mongols)
Parviz Kimiavi
16mm On Video / 92 min / 1973

Included in Jonathan Rosenbaum’s list of 1000 essential films, Parviz Kimiavi’s The Mongols (1973) is a leftfield satire and sharp commentary on the expanding presence of cinema and television in Iran. The story follows a filmmaker, played by Kimiavi himself and also named Parviz, as he struggles with both his own film and a looming assignment to oversee the installation of a television relay station in the remote province of Zahedan. Imbued by his wife’s thesis work on the Mongol invasion of Iran, Parviz’s anxieties coalesce and materialize in the form of surreal visions in which the origins of cinema are acted out by the Turkomans he hired to play Mongols in his own film. Together with Parviz, we watch as the would-be gang of Mongols wander the desert in search of their director and the answers to their pressing questions about the nature of cinema, all while the forthcoming introduction of television consumes the local village and its inhabitants. Kimiavi fashions a fantastical cinematic space rife with bizarre metaphoric imagery and Godardian references to film-making in order to draw a sarcastic parallel between the Mongol invasion and the hyper-accelerated modernization of 1970s Iran.

Sharjah Biennial 9: Provisions For The Future

PROVISIONS is an experimental exhibition catalogue/artist’s project, co-published by Bidoun and Sharjah Biennial 9 and designed by The Khatt Foundation. It is the first in a two-book series that reflects the Sharjah Biennial’s particular focus on production and process, documenting all the new work in this year’s Biennial, from conception to realization. Part II is to be published to coincide with Art Dubai in 2010.

Art Dubai 2009


Bidoun once again hosted the video lounge, a space for video, talks and performances. The lounge was co-designed by Traffic, with typography by the Khatt Foundation, and kindly supported by the Emirates Foundation. Programs included FLOWERS (curated by Bidoun), ME AND HER AND OUR PUNCTUATION MARKS (curated by Christine Tohme), and THE MESSAGE (curated by Sylvia Kouvali).


Bidoun Projects presented a screening of Yto Barrada’s 2003 film The Magician at the Bastakiya Art Fair.


The Inhabitants of Images, a new performance by the celebrated artist/actor Rabih Mroué, co-produced by Bidoun, Ashkal Alwan and Tanzquartier Wien, was presented in the Bidoun Lounge.


Limited edition FLOWERS posters by Yto Barrada, Babak Radboy and Shirana Shahbazi, commissioned by Bidoun and co-produced with the Dubai-based boutique S*uce.


Bidoun and The Third Line hosted a celebration of Sharjah Biennial 9 and Art Dubai week 2009 at the Golf Park at the Hyatt Regency Dubai, featuring Un-drum / strategies of surviving noise, a sound performance by Tarek Atoui (produced by Sharjah Biennial 9).

Dubai Now: short films and video from the UAE

‘Dubai Now’, a program featuring recent work by UAE-based artists and filmmakers Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Lamya Gargash, Nawaf Al Janahi and Waleed Al Shehhi, is included as a projected installation in the exhibition ‘Dubai Next: the Face of 21st Century Culture’ at the Vitra Design Museum. Over the past decade a nascent filmmaking scene has developed in the UAE, spearheaded — in the absence of dedicated film schools and a local industry – by homegrown initiatives such as the Emirates Film Competition and Gulf Film Festival. Groups of young Emirati men and women have produced a substantial body of short films, many of which explore the nature of being ‘local’ in today’s rapidly changing society – a subject rarely debated in the public realm.

Dubai Next is presented by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and curated by Rem Koolhaas, Jack Persekian and Bidoun.

June 5-September 14, 2008
The Firestation, Vitra Design Museum, Weil-am-Rhine, Germany

Bidoun at Home Works IV

April 19, 2008
Ajram Beach on the Corniche, Beirut

A party to celebrate the end of Home Works IV, the forum organized by Ashkal Alwan.

Music by Philippe Azoury

Organised by Dalila Barkache with the support of Establissement Antoine Massoud

Bidoun Night at the Kitchen

April 8, 2008
The Kitchen, New York

An evening celebrating a triplet of objects culled from the pages of the spring-summer issue.

Writer, film critic and web theorist Gary Dauphin on the Cleaver Sleeve, a revolutionary trouser design (circa 1975) by the soon-to-be-ex-Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver. Bidoun Editor in Chief Lisa Farjam on the secret of her beating heart. Writer Anand Balakrishnan on castrated pop singers, American imperialism, Arab moustaches and the mystery of Naguib Mahfouz’s white linen suit…

The Bidoun Cinema and Video Lounge at Art Dubai 2008

March 19-22, 2008
At Art Dubai, Madinat Jumeirah
Touring to the Palestine Art Academy, Ramallah, Palestine (July 2008); Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK (August 6, 2008).

At Art Dubai 2008, Bidoun curated and commissioned programs of artists film for a bespoke cinema and a video lounge. Film programs curated by Bidoun, Nav Haq and Tirdad Zolghadr feature work by 20 artists, making up the largest show of video art staged in the Gulf to date. Participating artists include Haluk Akakce, Ziad Antar, Yasmeen Al Awadi, Loulou Cherinet, Chris Evans, Shahab Fotouhi, Matthew Grover, Iman Issan, Nadine Khan, David Maljkovic, Shahyrar Nashat, Rosalind Nashashibi, Yoshua Okon, Hossam El Sawah, Anna Witt, Akram Zaatari.

Located in the Art Park at Art Dubai, the Bidoun Lounge and Cinema was co-designed by local gallery Traffic and Arabic-English typography specialists the Khatt Foundation. The project was kindly supported by the Emirates Foundation.

Emre Hüner: Panoptikon

March 15-31, 2008
At the Creek Art Fair, Bastakiya, Dubai

At the CAF, Bidoun Projects presented a seminal film by Istanbul-based artist Emre Hüner, comprised of exquisitely drawn and animated landscapes that form fantastical future-retro worlds.

Launch of With/Without, Dubai

May 27-28, 2007
At the International Design Forum, Dubai

Shumon Basar, Antonia Carver and Markus Miessen, co-editors of Bidoun Book WITH/WITHOUT: Spatial Products, Practices and Politics in the Middle East, participated in a discussion with Stefano Boeri and Rem Koolhaas, followed by the launch of With/Without and sister publication Al Manakh.

Bidoun at the DIFC Gulf Art Fair 2007

March 8-10, 2007
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

At the DIFC Gulf Art Fair in 2007, Bidoun designed an outdoor lounge on Fort Island at Madinat Jumeirah, showing work by Susan Hefuna, Ala Ebtekar, and Amir H Fallah, and a specially commissioned series of cushions by Dubai-based artists Nadine Kanso, Loreta Bilinskaite, Haig Aivazian, Amna Al Zaabi and Raghda Bukhash.

A booth screened two rolling programmes of video, curated by Bidoun and the Third Line, that included work by Akram Zaatari, Wael Shawky, Ahmet Ogut, Iman Issa and Solmaz Shahbazi, among others. A library included a selection of rare books and magazines on contemporary Arab and Iranian art. Bidoun co-hosted the Collectors’ Night on the opening evening of the fair with Bloomberg.

Sponsored by Bloomberg
With thanks to The Third Line and 9714.

Film night at the Curzon Mayfair

April 3, 2006
38 Curzon St London W1J 7TY

A film night curated by Bidoun member Tirdad Zolghadr, featuring works by Hito Steyerl (November), Dirk Herzog (Pelmeni/Blini), Fikret Atay (Lalo’s Story) and Giovanni Carmine and Christoph Buchel (PSYOP).
With thanks to Artschool Palestine

Entourage at Counter Gallery

March 29-April 15, 2006

Counter Gallery, London, and touring to The Galleries Show, Extracity, Antwerp, April 20-25, 2006

A series of week-long exhibitions curated by Bidoun in which artists were given carte blanche not only in terms of content, but are also free to behave as artists or curators in absentia.

Week 1: Shirin Aliabadi & Farhad Moshiri: OPERATION SUPERMARKET

A series of posters alongside a small number of supermarket commodities, mixing, in the words of the artists, “poetry with detergent”. The emphasis here is on the commodification of mainstream media traits of the Middle East, but also on a wry parody of the mythical hopes that are still pinned on the commodity itself as a capitalist agent for change.

Week 2: Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige: THE LOST FILM

An absorbing travel narrative recounting the search for a lost film document, alongside an extract from a video by filmmaker and researcher Akram Zaatari, This Day, which peruses persistent Orientalist patterns through the history of desert photography.

Week 3: Faouzi Rouissi

A writer born in Algiers and barely known in the West, Rouissi is appreciated in local circles for his outspoken style and undaunted prose. Living in exile in Paris since 1994, Rouissi travels widely, publishing a wide array of publications ranging from travel guidebooks to critical anthologies of land art, all in his native Kabyli. Here, Rouissi proposes a selection of paintings and drawings focusing on what he terms “the contagious poetics of envy”. His selection includes a work by the SHAHRZAD collective, from the series I Love You But I Don’t Trust You Anymore (2004), plus painter Rachid Izdaman’s Victimes d’extrêmes remords (2005), and photographic works by Solmaz Shahbazi.

With thanks to Carl Freedman and Jo Stella-Sawicka from Counter Gallery.