Coming Soon…

In Uncategorized on December 7, 2010 at 8:22 am

Indicated by Signs – Contested Public Space, Gendered Bodies, and Hidden Sites of Trauma in Contemporary Visual Art Practices


A publication edited by HAMZAMOLNAR
Book Launch in the General Public, Berlin
25th January, 2011, 19.00
The editors and some of the contributors will present the publication, screen some videos…

Free entrance, with friendly support of the Goethe Institut

General Public

Schönhauser Allee 167c
10435 Berlin

ÖPNV / Public transport
U2 > Senefelder Platz

HAMZAMOLNAR’s editorial from the book





A Constant State of Urgency

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm

a conversation between Hassan Khan and Edit Molnár

in: Arab Studies Journal, Spring, 2010


This conversation, conducted over skype, phone and email, took place on the occasion of the current issue of the Arab Studies Journal. A close reading of three recent works by the Cairo-based artist Hassan Khan undertook an in-depth engagement with several key issues informing and investigated in the pieces.

We discussed the shifting position of the artist in the contemporary cultural landscape and the phenomena of “amnesia” that is operational within cultural scenes. A consideration of the influence of personal histories lead to a conversation regarding the strategic application of mythological structures in talking about oneself in relation to how collectives operate through the subject.

Our dialogue about the position of the author tackled questions related to craftsmanship and art in Khan’s practice—from the various collaborations with actors to the use of the voiceover.

How can an artist create an emotionally charged space in which formal choices function as powerful tools in the production of a voice? Such questions were framed in relation to a critique of the influence of the geopolitical position of certain art scenes on the interpretation, dissemination and visibility of art.

The pieces discussed include the black-and-white video RANT (2008), a text of the same title, and a book project entitled Nine Lessons Learned from Sherif El-Azma (2009). RANT premiered as an installation in Cairo during “Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie”, an exhibition project curated by Nav Haq and Tirdad Zolghadr. The piece uses a rather minimalist form of expression. The subject, an actress, is sitting in front of the camera, behind a table. Over the period of roughly six minutes she utters ten phrases. Her gestures and facial expressions are accompanied by a musical composition. The video is accompanied at a later stage by a text under the same title that was published in the e-flux journal #2, 2009/1.

Nine Lessons Learned from Sherif El-Azma (2009) is a book project that was published in the framework of Publishing House, a temporary publishing unit operating within the framework of the 2008-2009 PhotoCairo4: The Long Shortcut. The book is divided into nine chapters (recalling educational books) in which Khan elaborates on the lessons he learnt, on an artistic and human level, from Sherif El-Azma, an artist, video and filmmaker who also happens to be one of his closest friends

Hassan Khan is an artist, musician, and writer who lives and works in Cairo, Egypt. He has been exhibiting widely internationally for the past ten years, selected solo shows include Gezira Art Center, Cairo (1999), Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris (2004), A Space Gallery, Toronto (2005), Gasworks, London (2006), Le Plateau, Paris (2007), and Uqbar, Berlin (2008). Khan has participated in several international Biennials, including the Istanbul (2003), Seville (2006), Sydney (2006), Thessaloniki (2007), Contour (2007), and Gwangju (2008) biennales as well as the Turin (2005) and Yokohama (2008) triennales.  Khan is also widely published in both Arabic and English

Book Launch in Cairo

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Indicated by Signs – Contested Public Space, Gendered Bodies, and Hidden Sites of Trauma in Contemporary Visual Art Practices

A publication edited by HAMZAMOLNAR

cover by eps51 Design Studio (Sascha Thoma and Ben Wittner)

Book Launch: October 2010, Cairo, Berlin

Indicated by Signs was an international project jointly formed by curators based in Egypt, Germany, Lebanon and Morocco and presented in a series of exhibitions of newly commissioned and existing work, presentations, workshops, residencies and a publication.

Curators: Sandra Dagher, Yilmaz Dziewior, Aleya Hamza, Abdellah Karroum, Edit Molnár and Christina Végh. Coordination: Yilmaz Dziewior.

Artists: Doa Aly (*1976, lives in Cairo), Tarek Atoui (*1980, lives in Beirut/Paris), Yto Barrada (*1971, lives in Tangier/Paris), Matti Braun (*1968, lives in Cologne), Sherif el-Azma (*1975, lives in Cairo), Kinda Hassan (*1984, lives in Beirut), Mahmoud Khaled (*1982, lives in Alexandria), Katrin Mayer/Sylvi Kretzschmar (*1974 and *1977, both live in Hamburg),
 LIGNA (founded 1995, based In Hamburg), Henrik Olesen (*1967, lives in Berlin), Jalal Toufic (*1962, lives in Beirut/Istanbul), Akram Zaatari (*1966, lives in Beirut).

About the Publication:

Indicated by Signs began in the summer of 2008 as a loosely formulated and process-driven visual art project by six curators working between Cairo, Fez, Rabat, Beirut, Bonn, Hamburg and Berlin. The initial underlying theme of the project was the depiction of forms of appearance in contemporary artistic practices. Investigating how categories of age, class, ethnicity, profession and sexuality influence the appearance of individuals, Indicated by Signs reflected on how these categories are negotiated in different cultural contexts.

Two years down the line, after multiple meetings and residencies, artist talks, presentations, performances and workshops, culminating in an exhibition at the Bonner Kunstverein in July 2009, this book, Indicated by Signs: Contested Public Space, Gendered Bodies, and Hidden Sites of Trauma in Contemporary Visual Art Practices, is presented as a series of endnotes to a multi-layered project.

The book builds on the traditional format of the exhibition catalog while not necessarily restricting itself to its limitations. Rather than focusing on a retroactive documentation and reflection of the various spatial or chronological stages of the project, or the original point of departure for Indicated by Signs, the structure of the publication follows a logic designed upon three key leitmotifs – as the titles suggests – which are often not mutually exclusive. These lines of enquiry have been formulated through an intensive scanning of the artworks presented by the participating artists and the disciplines from which they draw their inspiration. At the last stage of this morphing project is a desire to elaborate upon the vast mass of cultural references from which these artistic positions stem.

The creation of a platform for new artistic production is a principal impulse driving the publication. As an assemblage of sorts, the publication consists mostly of ‘site-specific’ contributions conceived for the capacities of a publication: essays, scholarly texts, conversations and art projects, developed in dialogue with the editors. Tones and approaches vary, not only from one text/project to the other, but also within each and every contribution. Shifting between theoretical and lyrical to analytical, introspective and critical, these degrees of densities are deliberate and shape a difficult discursive terrain.

Authors: Omnia El Shakry, Joseph Pearson, Jalal Toufic, Mia Jankowicz, Shahira Eissa, Mark Westmoreland, Thomas Burkhalter, Christina Végh, Aleya Hamza and Edit Molnár

Editor: HAMZAMOLNAR (Aleya Hamza and Edit Molnár)

Arabic editor: Lina Attalah

Design: eps51 Design Studio (Sascha Thoma and Ben Wittner)

Arabic Typesetting: Reem Naim

Published by Bonner Kunstverein


Indicated by Signs project was initiated and supported by the Goethe-Institute, Kairo.