Exhibiting the Archive; Seminar with Kristine Khouri

Join writer, research and co-curator of the ‘Past Disquiet’ exhibition Kristine Khouri for a seminar exploring the challenges and complexities of working with historical and archival materials within an exhibition format. The seminar will also address research methodologies in the visual arts focussed around marginalised and political histories, and the role of speculative histories, ghosts and coincidences within research practises. Using ‘Past Disquiet’ as the core case study, the seminar will use videos, images and texts as entry points to focus discussions around themes present in the exhibition.  The seminar will be followed by a presentation and book launch for Past Disquiet: Artists, International Solidarity, and Museums in Exile published by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2018) and co-edited by Kristine Khouri and Rasha Salti.

Past Disquiet is a documentary and archival exhibition centred on research conducted on and around the story of the International Art Exhibition for Palestine, which opened in the spring of 1978 at the Beirut Arab University. The size and scope of the exhibition was unprecedented for the region, and yet it seems to have eclipsed from art historical narratives and texts. The investigation led to other marginal histories of “museums in exile,” contemporary to the International Art Exhibition for Palestine, such as the International Museum of Resistance Salvador Allende, Artists Against Apartheid, and Art for the People of Nicaragua. The reconstructed story of the exhibition has traced complex and sometimes intersecting networks, as well as a rarely explored history of politically engaged artists mobilised in different modes around the seminal causes inscribed in the tri-continental international anti-imperialist solidarity movement of the 1970s, such as the opposition to the Vietnam War, the rejection of the Pinochet dictatorship, the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and in support of the Palestinian struggle.

 Kristine Khouri is an independent researcher and writer whose research interests focus on the history of arts circulation and infrastructure in the Arab world, and archival practises and dissemination. Khouri is a member of the board of the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut. Together with Rasha Salti she initiated ‘Past Disquiet’ a long-term research project which began in 2008 and was transformed into a documentary and archival exhibition, and co-edited the publication, Past Disquiet: Artists, International Solidarity, and Museums in Exile published by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2018).  Khouri and Salti are co-founders of the History of Arab Modernities in the Visual Arts Study Group, a research platform focussed around the social history of art in the Arab world.

 

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