Block Autumn 2012 - Current Events in the Past Tense

From September to November 2012, the 10-week block at DasArts, entitled ‘Current Events in the Past Tense’ took place. Mentors were: Lina Saneh and Rabih Mroué. They used the block to reflect on time of actual events, the time of news, the timing of (an) event(s) and the time of art.

Rabih Mroué and Lina Saneh are from Beirut. There they make performances, write texts and create visual arts installations that are touring the world. Their starting point for the block was the pressure and the temptation Lina and Rabih felt to go along with this loud call for artistic response to current events in their region. Entitled ‘Current Events in the Past Tense’, this programme offers time to investigate and ask questions, about immediacy and distance, about the status of actual events, the role of the messenger, the use of documents etc. What strategies can artists apply to address these issues?

Read the double interview with Lina Saneh and Rabih Mroué. Why this theme? And what are their own notions of the connection between art and actuality?

Over the course of the block, a series of guest teachers offered their input into the investigation and raised new questions. The international guests were Stephen Wright, Fadi Abdallah, Alex Karschnia and Hito Steyerl.

The Current Events in the Past Tense students were:
Bojan Djordjev (Serbia); Emke Idema (The Netherlands); Sonja Jokiniemi (Finland); Mala Kline (Slovenia); Jaha Koo (South Korea); Maria Lalou (Greece); Margo van de Linde (The Netherlands); Riina Maidre (Estonia); Pedro Manuel (Portugal);  Laila Soliman (Egypt); Tchelet Weisstub (Israel)

One of the first events during the Block was the participation in the 24/7 Truth is Concrete marathon at the Steirischer Herbst festival in Graz (//truthisconcrete.org).

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