Category Posts

Bidoun Library at the New Museum

New Museum (5th Floor)
August 4 — September 26, 2010
235 Bowery
New York, NY

The Bidoun Library Project at the New Museum is a highly partial account of five decades of printed matter in, near, about, and around the Middle East. Arrayed along these shelves are pulp fictions and propaganda, monographs and guidebooks, and pamphlets and periodicals, on subjects ranging from the oil boom to the Dubai bust, the Cold War to the hot pant, Pan-Arabs to Black Muslims, revolutionaries to royals, and Orientalism to its opposites.

Most of the 700-odd titles on display were acquired specifically for this exhibition. The shape of the collection was dictated primarily by search terms on the World Wide Web rather than any intrinsic notion of aptness or excellence. Searching for “Arab,” “paperback,” “1970s,” and “<$3,” we acquired dozens of books about the Oil Crisis, the cruel love of the Sheikh, and the lifestyles of the nouveau riche. A similar search for “Iran” produced its own set of types and stereotypes. We did not set out to find the best books about, say, the Iranian revolution; in a sense, we looked for the worst. Or, rather, we tried to look at what was there. The result is less a coherent group of titles or texts than an assortment of books as things, sorted roughly into four themes or units. Catalogues hang from the ceiling in front of each shelf cluster. Inside is a documentation of a selection of books from that shelf, in dialogue with excerpted texts and images from the library as a whole. The Bidoun Library includes a program of Iranian film, video, and television culled from low-fidelity DVDs and VHS tapes that circulate among Iranians in the Diaspora. The selection includes post-revolutionary variety shows, music videos, and other totems of middlebrow—unibrow?—culture. This is an Iranian cinema unlikely to be shown at Lincoln Center.

July 29, 2010

Bidoun Library at the New Museum, New York

New Museum (5th Floor)
August 4 — September 26, 2010
235 Bowery
New York, NY

The Bidoun Library Project at the New Museum is a highly partial account of five decades of printed matter in, near, about, and around the Middle East. Arrayed along these shelves are pulp fictions and propaganda, monographs and guidebooks, and pamphlets and periodicals, on subjects ranging from the oil boom to the Dubai bust, the Cold War to the hot pant, Pan-Arabs to Black Muslims, revolutionaries to royals, and Orientalism to its opposites.

Most of the 700-odd titles on display were acquired specifically for this exhibition. The shape of the collection was dictated primarily by search terms on the World Wide Web rather than any intrinsic notion of aptness or excellence. Searching for “Arab,” “paperback,” “1970s,” and “<$3,” we acquired dozens of books about the Oil Crisis, the cruel love of the Sheikh, and the lifestyles of the nouveau riche. A similar search for “Iran” produced its own set of types and stereotypes. We did not set out to find the best books about, say, the Iranian revolution; in a sense, we looked for the worst. Or, rather, we tried to look at what was there. The result is less a coherent group of titles or texts than an assortment of books as things, sorted roughly into four themes or units. Catalogues hang from the ceiling in front of each shelf cluster. Inside is a documentation of a selection of books from that shelf, in dialogue with excerpted texts and images from the library as a whole. The Bidoun Library includes a program of Iranian film, video, and television culled from low-fidelity DVDs and VHS tapes that circulate among Iranians in the Diaspora. The selection includes post-revolutionary variety shows, music videos, and other totems of middlebrow—unibrow?—culture. This is an Iranian cinema unlikely to be shown at Lincoln Center.

July 27, 2010

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.

April 2, 2010

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.

March 9, 2010

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.

February 8, 2010

FOXP2 at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

FOXP2
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 19wsn.rsvp@nyu.edu.

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.

January 21, 2010

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 19wsn.rsvp@nyu.edu.

December 15, 2009

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.

Bidoun Library Abu Dhabi Art

Bidoun Library Abu Dhabi Art

Bidoun Library Abu Dhabi Art

November 24, 2009