Soundtrack to the weekend
Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Batool grew up in Kuwait and currently lives in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, where she works at the Sharjah Art Foundation. She completed a four year BFA at the College of Fine Art and Design at the University of Sharjah and graduated in 2012.
Batool is not on Hiatus by choice, in fact, making art has proven a frustrating challenge after she graduated from university. However being officially on Hiatus, she hopes, will take the pressure of needing to make art off of her shoulders, allowing her to resume making it after the period of this residency is over.
Also given the fact that she works at the Sharjah Art Foundation, she often finds herself sarcastically nitpicking at artist statements, biographies and the general wording of art texts; what has been called International Art English (IAE). She also spends lots of time doing conceptual research for upcoming events, which surprisingly results in similar sarcastic deconstruction of texts by established philosophers that she would usually be fascinated by.
For the duration of this residency she proposes to compile all her notes on readings and texts as a series of scans and word documents or other means of entering text on the web page. She will also document her daily life on hiatus which would include the process of furnishing her flat, getting a drivers license, going to art events in Sharjah and Dubai and hopefully not making any art secretly.
One day before the start of March Meeting 2014, I met Farid (Rakun) at the office to say hi and get some formalities out of the way. During the few minutes we spoke I manage to condense my experience on RFAOH to one sentence that I paraphrase as accurately as I can; I can be okay with not making anything and still call myself an artist.
This is not to be confused with laziness (please). The anxiety of feeling obliged to make work was enough to drive me away from it, not unlike a stubborn child, but also, the art world’s [implied] obsession of producing a spectacle – even if not visual – factored into the equation. It blew my mind, and perhaps naively so, that there still needs to be a final entity to fund/produce/document/archive/perform/record/etc.
This remains an open question to me, and perhaps the closest of an answer to this issue, is the one reached by the organizers behind RFAOH when they decided to start the residency. I took the time at RFAOH to focus on none of that, hoping that by not searching for it, I’ll notice it sitting outside the doorstep. I can’t say I’ve succeeded too finitely (how ironic) but I have at least, identified my preferred way to work, of having many disconnected things simultaneously going until they all condense into ‘a practice’. Accordingly, going to class, work and anything else I do will factor into said practice; and parallel to that, I’m starting to work on a text-based project similar to my initial proposal for RFAOH which I did not carry out during the residency because it felt too much like… work. Also I was afraid of starting it within RFAOH then not being able to extrapolate from it after the end of the residency since nothing on RFAOH is to be considered art/work. However, I don’t intent to embark on this research with the same smirk on the face of the initial proposal to RFAOH, but rather with a genuine questioning approach that may or may not culminate into a resolute end.
I am also considering documenting said research on my own – now dormant – blog that I started some time back for this very reason, but never got to really take it on. It was also due to being at RFAOH that I came to be more comfortable with the idea- that of virtual space and internet content.
recent commentsOn Mar 6 2014, shinobu commented on Farid: SO amazing you guys are meeting in person - this is truly March Madness!!! We loooove it[...]
In SAF news: We have extended the deadline of the March Meeting open call to the 5th of January, so there is still time to apply.
In my news: I’m sick at home answering emails and sipping hot ginger lemonade. Tonight is the wedding party of a dear friend and ex professor, but I’m too sick to survive a ride to Abu Dhabi and party.
I shall try to take some time to read The Market. I’ve been procrastinating way too much around my readings lately and been sick pretty much all week.
I’m flying to Kuwait again for chistmas to see family, my brother is also flying in from Prague, I havent seen him in a while.
I will deviate from my currently uneventful life to post about the March Meeting 2014, which has pretty much been taking up most of my time anyway.
Its a really cool open call this year, so if you are interested in coming to Sharjah next March to attend and report on March Meeting, do give this a try… and if you know of anyone that would be interested, also please dissiminate accordingly.
If you have any questions about this that would like to ask before applying, just go ahead and send them to the email on the application page, and I will be on the other side answering them.
TOEFL test: Passed: 118/120
MBA test: Passed: 14/45, 11/15, 7/10 (that first score is the math section, as predicted)
The easy part is over, now I have to write one of those cheesy “letter of interest” style things, with not-so-subtle sucking-up phrases. As you can gather… I’m thrilled.
It is a sad week. As you may or may not have noticed, this past Wednesday la Biennale di Venezia announced the curator of 2015’s 56th International Art Exhibition.
It is not Kanye West.
It is instead, Okwui Enwezor (http://www.labiennale.org/en/art/news/04-12.html).
Ixnay on the #BiennalYe.
Whilst we mourn this tragic news for contemporary culture, we can take some comfort the knowledge that whilst this announcement was being made, Kanye was talking about design and architecture with curator Hans Ulrich Obrist (a supporter of this very petition) and architect Jacques Herzog, within the context of Art Basel Miami Beach (http://m.complex.com/art-design/2013/12/kanye-west-jacques-herzog-design-dialogue-art-basel-miami-beach).
The dream lives on.
We fought a good fight, amassing 906 signatures before Wednesday’s announcement, and gaining support and mentions in titles including Dazed & Confused, DIS and Blouin Art Info and from figures such as The Guardian newspaper’s art critic Adrian Searle, MoMA’s Senior Curator of Architecture and Design Paola Antonelli, and Kim Kardashian (probably).
Who knows, 2015 may bring Mr West’s first participation in the Venice Biennale yet through an independent endeavour. The seed has been sown.
Will he take over San Servolo on a floating weaponised version of one of the mountains from his Yeezus tour’s stage set? Will an impromptu performance financed by the Fiorucci Art Trust see Yeezus crucified over the alter of Santa Maria della Salute by a grinning Bernard Arnault impersonator (later revealed to be John Bock)? Or will a stealth operation transform the Canadian into the Kanyedian Pavilion, catching La Biennale off guard and putting a long neglected patch of the Giardini back on the map?
#BiennalYe thanks you for your support.
This message was sent by BiennalYe using the Change.org system. You received this email because you signed a petition started by BiennalYe on Change.org: “La Biennale di Venezia: APPOINT KANYE WEST TO CURATE THE 2015 VENICE ART BIENNALE.” Change.org does not endorse contents of this message.
I was reading through my notes from The Public Woman, and was a bit hesitant about posting them here. Partially because they express my personal thoughts on a topic that is very dear to me, but primarily because they are grammatically horrible.
They don’t even read like a stream of consiousness, they just dont make sense. However, I find it nesessary for myself to get over that and accept my note-taking-level of english and post them here anyway, unedited.
So (I’m very tempted here to say ‘henceforth’), as soon as I acces a scanner – or if I just decide to photograph the pages, I’lll upload them here. I apologize in advance if this causes any of the readers annoyance, but I really don’t feel like typing that shit up.
This was a couple of days ago. I didn’t realise the odd combination of object in my living room intil I saw the picture today. Also I went to see Catching Fire last night, and blatantly cried through the whole thing.
I have proudly done NOTHING today!
After waking up from a 13-hour sleep… I promptly proceeded to have cake for breakfast, then a 3-hour reading session, spicy ramen and cold tofu for lunch, 2 hours of korean reality TV, internet surfing, ‘liking’ facebook birthday wishes and will soon have another slice of cake and reality TV episode. Zero guilt, it’s my damn birthday.
Rest assured, I did party two days ago, because it was more convinient of a day for eveyone. And I got lots of gifts including a slushie-making-cup/mug-thing and a polariod camera from my closest friend in the universe! I’m feeling very grateful and fuzzy on the inside.
…now I need to sort out my Paypal…