. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Radical Closure

Posted by | Kelly M Shindler | Posted on | February 28, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 6:00 pm

Posthumous (Ghassan Salhab, 2007). Courtesy the Video Data Bank.

Curated by Lebanese video artist Akram Zaatari (who presented a program of his own works at CATE in Fall 2006), Radical Closure brings together documentaries, independent films, and video art from the Middle East and Europe produced in response to war, territorial conflicts, division, and political tension. Originally organized as an 11-part series for the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in 2006, this ambitious and thought-provoking program has since been released as a DVD box set by the Video Data Bank. This evening’s program celebrates the VDB release with a selection of works from the set portraying unsettling situations and a post-screening discussion with Zaatari via remote. Works include: I Soldier (Köken Ergun, 2005), Homage By Assassination (Elia Suleiman, 1992), Birthday Suit with Scars and Defects (Lisa Steele, 1974), Intensive Care (Hatice Güleryüz, 2001), The First Ones (Hatice Güleryüz, 2001), I’ve Heard Stories (Marwa Arsanios, 2008), and We Will Win (Mahmoud Hojeij, 2006). Co-presented by the Video Data Bank. 1974-2005, Canada/Lebanon/Palestine/Turkey, Beta SP video, ca. 70 mins plus discussion.

AKRAM ZAATARI (b. 1966, Saida, Lebanon) is an artist who lives and works in Beirut. He has been exploring Lebanon’s postwar condition through collecting testimonies and various documents, notably on the mediation of territorial conflicts and wars through television, and the logic of resistance in the context of the current geographical division of the Middle East. Zaatari studied Architecture at the American University of Beirut and received an MA in Media Studies from the New School in New York. He worked as an executive producer for the daily morning show Aalam Al-Sabah at Future Television-Beirut in the early 1990s, where he also produced most of his early video pieces. He is a founding member of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut, and has edited three books on photography, The Vehicle: Picturing Moments of Transition on a Modernizing Society (AIF, 1999), Portrait du Caire: Alban, Armand and Van Leo (AIF, 1999) and Mapping Sitting: On Portraiture and Photography (with C. Bassil, Z. Maasri, and W. Raad, AIF, 2005).

Video Data Bank
Suzanne Cotter on Akram Zaatari