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[Nettime-nl] Perfect Present Continuous - Video program curated by Nat M
Marieke Istha on Thu, 27 Mar 2008 13:05:37 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] Perfect Present Continuous - Video program curated by Nat Muller

The Netherlands Media Art Institute presents:

Perfect Present Continuous
Video program curated by Nat Muller
April 1, 2008
Start: 20.30 h.

“Perfect Present Continuous” is a wry reference to a grammatical tense 
(present perfect continuous), which indicates an unspecified time 
between 'before now' and 'now', wherein there is both an interest in the 
process as well as the result. This process may still be going on, or 
may just have finished. By placing the word ‘perfect’ at the beginning, 
an impossible – and at times ironic – utopian project is articulated. 
The selected works present us with visions bordering on the ideal and 
the flawed. They designate the moment between the potential of 
perfection and a preconceived failure, or the porosity between beauty 
and horror, present and memory, across the brink of time, geo-political 
space and place.

Featuring a special live performance of Lebanese artist Raed Yassin.

During the civil war period in Lebanon, the electric current was 
changing between 110v and 220v for unknown reasons. Once Raed plugged 
the VCR machine into the electricity and started to smell something 
strange. He plugged it out immediately and didn’t tell anybody about the 
incident. Since that time he has a feeling of guilt because nobody from 
the family members could watch night an Egyptian movie entitled 
“Tonight’s Special” featuring Mahmoud Yassin. Raed Yassin was born in 
Beirut in1979, and works as a video, sound and visual artist, as well as 
a musician (double bass, tapes and electronics). He graduated from the 
Theatre Department in the Fine Arts Institute in Beirut. His work is 
based on themes related to the media, the city, the history of 
contemporary art, Arabic cinema, disasters, and archives. Currently he 
lives and works in Amsterdam as a resident at The Ateliers.

Lamia Joreige (LB) Full Moon, 23’, 2007
The video and series of prints Full moon presents a few attempts over 
years to capture a poetic moment which happened once: A traveling with 
an extraordinary full moon while driving to Raouché crossing “the Ring”, 
then back home. The same traveling is repeated each time in a different 
way, the recordings which are each a diagnosis of our « present » in 
Beirut, constitute as many fragments of history. Is it possible to 
capture an instant? Aren’t we always beneath or beyond reality? Here, 
repetition becomes the reflection of a vain desire to capture beauty and 
at the same time a mean of renewal. It reflects on the process of creation.

Oraib Toukan (JO), Remind me to remember to forget, 2006, 2’50”
Remind me to remember to forget is a video that posits Middle Eastern 
memory as a memory that has somehow been 'made-to-forget,' a 'memory' 
that has become accustomed to being raped, eradicated, and disposed of 
right before it shifts from present to past. Entranced by the absurd US 
media coverage of the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, Oraib Toukan 
obsessively wrote and re-wrote the phrase ‘remind me to remember to 
forget,’ until the words and their meaning were eventually explored in a 
video. In a split screen format, Remind me to remember to forget depicts 
two separate but synchronized performances. On one half of the screen, 
the phrase is frantically written in gold glitter and then inhaled 
through a red, white, and blue nozzle. On the other half of the screen 
is a close up shot of a throat that concurrently breathes in and out. 
Set to the mind-numbingly hypnotizing sound of stifled breathing, the 
artist is suggestively seen remembering to forget...to erase all that 
she recollects…even the phrase that reminds her to do so.

Yane Calovski (MK) & Fos (DK), An Early Lost Play, 2006, 11’42”
Early Lost Play is comprised of series of public actions performed by a 
character - a young woman, Tanja - dealing with her own indifference in 
the wake of the current political situation in Denmark. They are 
recorded on video and produced as 8 short episodes understood as 
interventions in the media. As the real situation evolves and 
progresses, the character's existential connection to reality, built 
upon a certain kind of social idealism, devalues and she loses the 
constraints as an individual submitted to accepted codes of social 
behaviour. The work attempts to deconstruct these existential codes and 
bring up and provoke issues of social morality, escapism, non-compliance 
and humanity. The actions performed by the character are linked to, and 
hint of, demystifying social ideology, through individual demonstrations 
against the conservative and liberal norms and standards.

Larissa Sansour (PS/DK), SBARA, 8’30’, 2008
Heavily referencing the 1980 cult classic The Shining by Stanley 
Kubrick, the video piece SBARA explores the castigation of Arabs in 
contemporary Western dialogue. By adding an audio montage combining 
historical and current quotes on the Middle East to footage paraphrasing 
scenes from the original film, SBARA seeks to expose the cyclical nature 
of Middle Eastern rhetoric and policies and emphasize the psychological 
terror inflicted upon those at the receiving end of this repetitively 
stagnant political discourse.

Nat Muller (NL) is an independent curator and critic based in Rotterdam. 
She has held positions as staff curator at V2_, Institute for Unstable 
Media (Rotterdam) and De Balie, Centre for Culture and Politics (Amsterdam).

Entrance: 3,50 (2,50 for students)
Please make reservations: 020 6237101 info {AT} nimk.nl

Netherlands Media Art Institute
Keizersgracht 264
1016 EV Amsterdam

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