Lecture and performance by Maja Bekan and Rana Hamadeh.
In describing a common water fountain while giving a museum tour at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Andrea Fraser proclaims the fountain as “a work of astonishing economy and monumentality”. Drawing its title from this famous moment, ‘Another Work of Astonishing Economy & Monumentality’ is a lecture-performance tour by Maja Bekan and Rana Hamadeh, that reflects on the status, value, identity and framing conditions of (art) objects. Through shifting back and forth between the museum context and that of an antique shop, and between the art object, the historical document, and the second hand 'worthless' object, the performance will try to think through the conventions of spectatorship, art production, and their institutional framings. The talk will focus on objects' relations to the collections they are part of and through a closer reading of a 1966 issue of the graphic design magazine GRAPHIS Nº 127 by Rana Hamadeh.
This event is product of collaboration between ongoing projects by the two artists: GRAPHIS Nº 127 and P for Performance.
Rana Hamadeh is a performance and visual artist from Beirut currently based in Amsterdam. Interested in the idea of curation as an artistic practice, she works on long term discursive projects that comprise several levels of collaboration, and involve lecture-performances, installations, conversations and audio/text based works. Researching modes of articulation and interpretation ‘as’, or in terms of capital, is the subtext that generally underlies her work. She focuses on speech and conversation as artistic media, questioning conditions of spectatorship, boundaries, mechanisms, and authority of meaning production. She initiated in 2008 GRAPHIS Nº 127 as an umbrella under which she has been producing several works. She graduated in 2009 from the Dutch Art Institute/Enschede.
P for Performance is part of an ongoing project by Maja Bekan, entitled Secret Powers for Identity, Security and Self-respect in Troubling Times. The performative events aim to be an open platform for investigation and to critically engage into the investigation of the artist’s role as a producer and advertiser. One might take various roles – as a performer, participant or spectator in order to contribute to this research. The events envision an encounter of the guests among each other and with the works (performances, imagery/objects, lectures and talks). The participants of this enquiry are invited to take over different positions: whether one is a moderator, explorer, presenter or a visitor to the place.