April 12th - May 31th 2008


Jalal Toufic, Minor Art: Conceptual Posters and Book Covers
Emily Jacir, Material for a film
Vlatka Horvat and Tim Etchells, To Bring down a House
Michael Rakowitz, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist
Marwan Rechmaoui, Spectre
Kamal Aljafari, AlBum
Ziad Antar, Rythm
Walid Sadek, On Learning To See Less


Jalal Toufic, Minor Art: Conceptual Posters and Book Covers


Minor Art: Conceptual Posters and Book Covers (2000 - ongoing)
Project by Jalal Toufic

Minor Art: Conceptual Film and Video Posters, presently re-titled Minor Art: Conceptual Posters and Book Covers, is a work in progress begun in 2000. The title draws on Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s book Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature. In his “One Manisfesto Less,” Deleuze writes: “With regard to his play Romeo and Juliet, Carmelo Bene says: ‘It is a critical essay on Shakespeare.’ But the fact is that CB is not writing on Shakespeare; his critical essay is itself a piece of theatre.” I would also say, of my conceptual posters and book covers: they are critical essays on certain films (Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc, Angelopoulos’ Eternity and a Day, etc.), videos and books—except that these critical essays are themselves artworks.
Sfeir - Semler Gallery, April 12 to May 31, 2008. Exhibition opens 11am.

Jalal Toufic
Jalal Toufic is a thinker, writer, and artist. He is the author of Distracted (1991; 2nd ed., 2003), (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film (1993; 2nd ed., 2003), Over-Sensitivity (1996), Forthcoming (2000), Undying Love, or Love Dies (2002), Two or Three Things I’m Dying to Tell You (2005), ‘Âshûrâ’: This Blood Spilled in My Veins (2005), and Undeserving Lebanon (2007). His videos and mixed-media works have been presented in such venues as Artists Space, New York; ICA, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel; and the 16th International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA) in a “Focus Jalal Toufic” program. He has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, California Institute of the Arts, USC, and the Rijksakademie, and he is currently a Professor at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. (www.jalaltoufic.com)


Emily Jacir, Material for a film

Material For a Film (2004 - ongoing)
Installation by Emily Jacir
On Monday October 16, 1972, Wael Zuaiter left Janet Venn-Brown’s apartment and headed to his apartment at no. 4 Piazza Annibaliano in Rome. He had been reading A Thousand and One Nights on Janet’s couch, searching for references to use in an article he was planning to write that evening. He took two buses to get from Janet’s place to his in northern Rome. Just as he reached the elevator inside the entrance to the building of the apartment block where he lived, Israeli assassins fired 12 bullets into his head and chest with 22 caliber pistols at close range. Wael Zuaiter had become the first victim in Europe in a series of assassinations committed by Israeli agents on Palestinian artists, intellectuals and diplomats, which was already underway in the Middle East.
Emily Jacir
Emily Jacir’s work spans a diverse range of media and strategies including
film, photography, installation, performance, video, writing and sound.
Recurrent themes in her practice include repressed historical narratives,
resistance, political land divisions, movement (both forced and voluntary) and
the logic of the archive. Jacir has shown extensively throughout Europe, the Americas and the Middle East since 1994. In 2007, at the 52nd Venice Biennale Emily Jacir received the Golden Lion Award for an artist under 40 as well as a Prince Claus Award from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, The Hague. She is currently a finalist for the 2008 Hugo Boss Prize.


Vlatka Horvat and Tim Etchells, To Bring down a House

To Bring Down a House (2008)
Installation by Vlatka Horvat and Tim Etchells
With fax machine, drawings, diagrams, collages.
An installation that is 'performed' from a distance, To Bring Down A House changes daily as artists Vlatka Horvat and Tim Etchells fax new material to the gallery over a month-long period. In the project, over 100 works on paper – in the form of collages, drawings, instructions and texts – are faxed to the gallery and then pinned to the walls by gallery staff, creating a growing archive of proposals for different ways to destroy or attack a house. Ranging from simple instructions drawn from research to more far-fetched, absurd and playful destructive possibilities, all the artists’ proposals sent to the house frame domestic space as a fragile site of unease and uncertainty.
Originally created for the project “Nothing Good House” – part of Protections exhibition in Kunsthaus Graz, fall 2006.
Sfeir-Semler Gallery, April 12 to May 31, 2008. Exhibition opens April 12th at 11am.

Vlatka Horvat
Vlatka Horvat (born in 1974, Croatia) is a New York-based artist working in a range of media — from video and photography to works on paper and projects with text. Recent exhibitions include “White Columns”, Anna Kustera Gallery, and CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, both in New York, as well as a commissioned project for nomadic new york at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin; ArtSheffield08; IBID Projects in London; Galerija Nova in Zagreb; Forum Stadtpark and Kunsthaus in Graz. Horvat is currently a postgraduate researcher at Roehampton University in London. For more information see: www.vlatkahorvat.com

Tim Etchells
Tim Etchells (born in 1962, UK) is an artist, director and writer best known for his work as leader of the renowned performance ensemble Forced Entertainment, based in Sheffield, UK. Alongside his work with the group since 1984, Etchells has collaborated with a wide range of other artists, choreographers and writers and has created original works in diverse media. He has also developed a unique voice in writing fiction and in writing for and about performance (Certain Fragments, Routledge 1999). His novel The Broken World will be published by Heinemann in July 2008. He is currently developing new work for Manifesta 7 in Italy. For more information see: www.timetchells.com / www.forcedentertainment.com


Michael Rakowitz, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist

The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist (2007)
Exhibition by Michael Rakowitz
Wooden table, artifacts constructed from Middle Eastern food packaging and newspapers, labels, drawings, sound.
The invisible enemy should not exist is an attempt to reconstruct the artifacts looted from the National Museum of Iraq in the aftermath of the American invasion in April 2003. The exhibition takes its name from the direct translation of Aj-ibur-shapu, the ancient Babylonian street that ran through the Ishtar Gate; the display table takes its shape from that of the Processional Way. Alluding to the implied invisibility of these artifacts, the reconstructions are made from the packaging of Middle Eastern foodstuffs and Arabic-American newspapers, moments of cultural visibility found in cities across the United States. The objects were created together with a team of assistants using the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute database and Interpol’s website. This version of the project represents the second stage of an ongoing commitment to recuperate the over 7,000 objects that remain missing. To date, 70 artifacts have been replicated to scale.
Exhibition courtesy of the artist and Lombard-Freid Projects, New York City.
Sfeir - Semler Gallery, April 12 to May 31, 2008. Exhibition opens at 11am.

Michael Rakowitz
Michael Rakowitz is an artist based in Chicago and New York City. His work has appeared in venues worldwide including P.S.1; MoMA; MassMOCA; Castello di Rivoli; and the 10th Istanbul Biennial. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Sharjah Biennial Jury Award; a 2006 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Grant in Architecture and Environmental Structures; and a 2008 Creative Capital Grant for Dark Turquoise, a collaboration with artist Emna Zghal. Upcoming exhibitions include the 16th Biennale of Sydney in June, 2008. Rakowitz is an Associate Professor in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University and a Contributing Editor to Surface Tension: A Journal on Spatial Arts.


Marwan Rechmaoui, Spectre

A project by Marwan Rechmaoui (2006 / 2008)
None shrinking grout, aluminum, glass, fabric; 420cm x 225cm x 80cm
Spectre archives an already-existing, forty-five year old building in Beirut. By replicating the building itself, we reveal all the transformations that have occurred to this massive structure due to the economic and demographic changes that took place in Lebanon over time.
Spectre recreates every detail along the borderlines marked by the inhabitants. It examines the traces people leave behind and explores how urban life is impressed upon a city’s surface. At the same time, it refuses to divulge what goes on in people’s lives within.
Produced with the support of Ashkal Alwan.Marwan Rechmaoui

Marwan Rechmaoui, born in 1964, is a practicing visual artist based in Beirut. His work is mainly concerned with urban/rural dynamics and demographic transformations in urban space. A Monument For The Living is a replica of a high rise in Downtown Beirut that was never finished and only served as a strategic military location during the Lebanese civil war; composed of sixty pieces of rubber mats that fit together like a huge puzzle, Beirut Caoutchouc forms the complete map of Beirut with all the streets engraved accurately on it. He has been participating in local and international exhibitions since 1996, most recently in “How to Live Together”, Sao Paulo 27th Biennal, Brazil in 2006, and “Belonging”, Sharjah Biennal 7, Sharjah, UAE.


Kamal Aljafari, AlBum


Installation by Kamal Aljafari (2008)
AlBum is a work dealing with my longing and my lust, inspired by the poem Romance Sonambulo by Federico Garcia Lorca: But now I am not I, nor is my house now my house…Let me climb up, at least, up to the high balconies…
The installation is constructed in the shape of an album, which is also a house. Inside this home is the footage of many balconies whose construction has not yet been completed, windows agape or sealed shut, unfinished doors and stairways that lead to upper levels not yet built; the architectural details of homes in my hometown Ramle, Palestine, left suddenly and in fear, surrendered to abandon and neglect, now seemingly suspended in time, 60 years after the Nakba.
Produced with the support of Ashkal Alwan
Sfeir-Semler Gallery, April 12 to May 31, 2008. Exhibition opens April 12th at 11am.

Kamal Aljafari
Born in Ramle, Palestine in 1972, Aljafari graduated from the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne in 2003. His films include: Visit Iraq, 2003 and The Roof, 2006. AlBum is the first part of a series. AlBum 2 will include the installation and photo project, The First Video Work of my Father.


Ziad Antar, Rhythm


La Marche Turque (2006) / La Corde (2007)
Video installation by Ziad Antar

La Marche Turque
A musician plays Mozart’s Marche Turque on an electric piano.
La Corde
A young man follows the rules of a game.
Sfeir-Semler Gallery, April 12 to May 31, 2008. Exhibition opens April 12th at 11am.

Z¦ad Antar
Ziad Antar lives and works between Saida (Lebanon) and Paris (France). He graduated with a degree in agricultural engineering in 2001, and has been working in photography and video since 2002. He completed a one-year residency at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2003 and a one year residency at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Videos include Tokyo Tonight (2003); Tambourro (2004); Safe Sound (2006); Tank You (2006); and Mdardara (2007). He directed his first documentary in 2002 on the French photographer Jean-Luc Moulène, and has since made several documentaries for the Arabic news channel al-‘Arabiya.


Walid Sadek, On Learning To See Less


On Learning To See Less (2008)
Poster by Walid Sadek

She survived the attempted assassination of her husband and returned to the world of the living with an acceptable face.
Masrah Al Madina, April 12 to 20, 2008; Sfeir - Semler Gallery, April 12 to May 31, 2008. Exhibitions open at 11am.

Walid Sadek
Born in 1966, Walid Sadek is an artist and writer from Lebanon.