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The concept of nature is therefore as concept a cultural and for this very reason an un-natural one. But how does the un-nature of any concept of nature come to the fore? The lecture will address this question by problematizing the diverse assumptions of structure and stability that we (cannot but?) make when we refer to the thing, to das Ding, called nature – and especially, today, when nature’s most stable feature is taken to be its inherent fragility and instability.
This talk is the outworking of various audaciously super-condensed critiques of the logic of the aesthetic, bio(s)graphical, and curatorial modelling and finishing (off) of art-as-nature and the nature of the art (as) (art)work, as found in the poem and artists book ‘c.21st vernissage’.
Situating the oil industry’s unlikely and little-examined development in Singapore against a scenography of the island city’s postcolonial repopulation by greenery, this lecture proposes a visual economy of the city-state that is premised upon the near-invisibility of oil and the spectacular visibility of trees.
Heather H. Yeung
Ho Rui An
Rohit Goel, Director of BICAR, and Rico Franses, Head of the new department of the Critical Analysis of Art discuss how the department aligns with BICAR’s overall project of promoting a radical, critical approach to the arts and humanities. Rico Franses introduces his course ‘Manet in the Upheavals of Modernity’ and preview future courses that will be offered in the department.
Meitha Al Mazrooei's talk offers a closer look at how fragrance played an essential role in the historical relations between architecture and capital that resulted from a cross-cultural knowledge exchange that was facilitated by a book-making industry in 13th century Iraq.
Ben Ware's talk will offer a closer look at Ware’s research into the politics and ethics of extinction.
Rico Franses & Rohit Goel
Moza Almatrooshi's will take a closer look at her artistic practice, particularly in relation to her research and work around bee populations and agricultural production.
Meitha Al Mazrooei
Rohit Goel's talk explores the structural homology between political economy and the production of value in capitalism and political ecology and the transformation of nature in the ‘Anthropocene’.
In this talk, Rohit Goel argues that NFTs would simply be the art world's latest enjoyment if they weren't sadomasochistic. In capitalism, we not only ‘enjoy’ our suffering in labor (masochism) but are compelled to do so by the system (sadism). We’ll see how NFTs both issue and abide capital’s sadomasochistic imperative.
Rohini Devasher's films, prints, sounds, drawings, and mappings of the antagonism of time and space walk the fine line between wonder and the uncanny, foregrounding the 'strangeness' of encountering, observing and recording both environment and experience.
The questions of 'truth' and 'veracity' structure Pallavi Paul's practice. Her talk presents a discussion around her film works that deal with the tension between countenancing the world—working with the complex transference between sensation, history, memory, and reality—and representing the world, which often presumes a positivist capture of everyday life.
Raqs Media Collective turn against soothsaying by conceptualizing the infinite, the impossible as necessarily present, not as that which awaits us in some determinate, post-apocalyptic future. They work on the contemporary as always-already pathological, the apocalypse as having happened, and toxicity as the structure of the present that begs dismantling (Toxicity, current).
Raqs Media Collective
What does catastrophe sound like? Can we hear the past in the present? What might it mean to score the contemporary as future perfect? Lawrence Abu Hamdan presents his work on reincarnation (current), considering the relation between past, present, and future temporalities through sound loops open and closed.
Walid Sadek demands we ‘labour the missing’ in his prose and artistic practice, confronting the regnant ideology of our contemporary -- melancholia, nostalgia -- through a careful critique of waiting for those who disappeared during Lebanon’s protracted civil war to return before politics can get started again.
BICAR introduces its forthcoming course on Robert Meister's opus, After Evil: A Politics of Human Rights. Moving between art history, architecture, psychoanalysis, jurisprudence, philosophy, and theology, Meister's global analysis of our contemporary is definitive.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Juxtaposing images, built-forms, photographs, cinema, and archival documents of visual culture that undermine stereotypical particularizations of crisis and its replies in a global world order, Ala literally exhibits a revolutionary international of presence and absence in the same space-time: what is missing from here that is present elsewhere, what was done then that is being done now, and vice-versa?
In this talk, Rohit Goel reorients the faculty of memory – work through human suffering – by asking why catastrophe repeats, how memory has become untethered from its goal, by considering trauma outside experience in contemporary philosophy and the visual arts.
BICAR introduces its forthcoming course ‘Pandemic’. We consider the state of the nation in the wake of the novel coronavirus, encouraging students to think afresh about the manner in which politics, economics, and policies unfold in times of a global crisis.
Building on a reading of Padamsee's existentialism - his work as depiction of 'being-in-itself' - Rohit sees Padamsee's oeuvre as an ongoing struggle to find a position between existence and thought, a painstaking search for a medium of 'being' and 'sense'.
A discussion between a philosopher and a contemporary dancer, Padmini Chettur and Rohit Goel will push us to think about how humans can be mindful bodies and embodied minds. Reckoning with the human condition, they will choreograph a thought of incompletion.
Padmini Chettur, Rohit Goel
Mahesh Baliga's work presents depth in and on (normal) surfaces, the consequence of a true painterly medium. In his talk/walk-through with the artist, Rohit Goel will consider how aesthetics offer crucial psychoanalytical insights.
Rohit Goel, Mahesh Baliga
Organised by BICAR Lebanon, the Goethe-Institut Lebanon, and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Beirut, this panel discussion brings together two contexts, that of Bosnia and Lebanon, in order to consider the questions of civil war and its so-called post war temporality.
Damir Arsenijević, Rohit Goel
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