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Screening of Handheld History at the Queens Museum of Art

Sunday, October 24, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm, 2010

"Handheld History" is a video summit co-produced by Tamar Ettun and Katayoun Vaziri (recent graduates of Yale School of Art MFA program) at the Queens Museum of Art. Video art by seventeen artists from the Middle East will be followed by a discussion with art historian, Thomas Keenan. The event aims to examine the transformation of historical and political narratives through the lens of personal accounts and individual perspectives. These works blur the borders between personal and collective space, confronting the dynamic between the everyday and the political. "Handheld History" attempts to engage with the complex and diverse sociopolitical settings of countries that are faced with their own troubled relationships. These artists' perspectives become a mirror, reflecting collective experiences of pain, pride, desire and criticism.

While the artists featured are from the Middle East, many live outside their home countries and approach their practices from a distinctly diasporic perspective. Within their work, actions such as gunshots, explosions, religious chanting, and other rituals are re-contextualized through the use of humor, absurdity and poeticism. This event is an attempt to build a shared space for creation that doesn't avoid the conflict and tension, but chooses to focus on shared emotions, gestures and above all, cultural exchange.

Handheld History includes screening of "Kings of the hill" by Yael Bartana. The work revolves around Israeli cultural symbols and rites of socialization and gives the viewer a focused glimpse of the forces and myths underlying Israeli society and of its norms and values. "Negotiation" by Azin Feizabadi and Kaya Behkalam examines forms of dealing with conflict through negotiation in a UN Security Council - like architectural set.  "Negotiation" reenacts a confluence of historic, literary and imaginary positions on rage and resistance.

Handheld history also includes works of artists: Kamal Aljafari, Roozbeh Asmani, Bahar Behbahani, Ofri Cnaani, Emily Coates & Tamar Ettun, Alireza Fashami, Arash Fayez, Tom Pnini, Haya Rukin, Naomi Safron Hon, Hamed Sahihi, Jessica Segall, Katayoun Vaziri.

The program consists of a screening of 15 video works presented in two 45 minute segments, with an intermission. The program will conclude with a lecture by Thomas Keenan of Bard College and author of Fables of Responsibility.

Queens Museum of Art
New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens NY 11368
Telephone: (718) 592-9700

... Payvand News - 10/17/10 ... --

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