Rituals of Signs and Transitions (1975-1995)

Rituals of Signs and Transitions (1975-1995) questions the significance history of art has in our region today, investigates the relationship between art works and political and historical transitions at the time, and looks at the exchange between art works with other forms of expression, such as literature, music, and cinema.

The period between 1975 and 1995 proved to be crucial in the formation of the modern Arab world. The period began with the Lebanese Civil War, was further marked by the first Palestinian Intifada in 1987 and the 1991 Gulf War, and ended with the signing of the 1993 Oslo Agreement and the 1994 Wadi Araba Treaty. These events marked the paths of people and nations, and encouraged various artistic practices to record the transitions that we are still living through now.

In 1994, after learning he had cancer, Syrian playwright Saadallah Wannous wrote Rituals of Signs and Transitions, which gave its name to this exhibition. This is one of the most crucial works of art confronting the use of politics in religious dialogue, and can be regarded as a prophecy today. It stands as an example of what art has the potential to reveal.

Rituals of Signs and Transitions (1975-1995) revives art, books, and visual and audio productions as an affirmation of the role of art in shaping our individual and collective histories.

Artists from The Khalid Shoman Collection: Abderrazak Sahli, Adam Henein, Adnan Yahya, Ahmad Nawash, Ali Jabri, Aziz Amoura, Chaouki Choukini, Dia Azzawi, Etel Adnan, Fouad el Khoury, Gouider Triki, Ismail Fattah, Issam al Said, Jananne Al-Ani, Jumana el Husseini, Laila Shawa, Marwan, Mohamed Kacimi, Mohammad Omar Khalil, Mona Hatoum, Nabila Hilmi, Nasser Soumi, Nedim Kufi Mohsen, Samia Halaby, Shaker Hassan al Said, Suleiman Mansour, Vera Tamari, Youssef Abdelké.

In addition, there are relevant works from The Khalid Shoman Collection on permanent display by Abdul Hay Mosallam, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Fateh al Moudarres, Himat Ali, Ismail Shammout, Rafa’ al Nasiri, and Ziad Dalloul.

Also shown is a selection edited by Emily Jacir from the salvaged rushes for Tel al Zaatar (1977), together with documentation of the 2013-2014 restoration of these rushes at the Archivio Audiovisivo del Movimento Operaio e Democratico (AAMOD) in Rome by Jacir and Monica Maurer. A Palestinian and Italian co-production directed by Mustafa Abu Ali, Pino Adriano and Jean Chamoun, Tel al Zaatar was filmed in 1976 directly following the August 1976 massacre of over 1,000 Palestinians and Lebanese at Tel al Zaatar, a UN-administered refugee camp in northeast Beirut. Abu Ali and Chamoun edited the footage in Rome for six months in 1977, and the rushes afterwards remained untouched in the archives for 36 years.

Begun in the early eighties, the Khalid Shoman Collection is one of the earliest collections dedicated exclusively to contemporary art of the Arab world. This extensive publication brings together the voices of artists, architects, curators, art critics, and scholars to reflect on the Khalid Shoman Collection and its potential role in narrating a regional art history. The book consists of three interwoven parts: (1) academic essays by scholars from different disciplines examining a range of art historical concerns through art works from the Collection, (2) personal reflections by artists, curators, critics, and scholars who have lived the history of Darat al Funun, and (3) the works by the over one hundred and forty artists forming the Collection, reflecting the shifts and transformations in the region's artistic practices over the last four decades.

You can buy the book at Darat al Funun, or online via Ideabooks.
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Exhibition Opening: Rasbras | Omar Al-Zo’bi
Tuesday 2 June 2015 | The Lab 6:30 PM

Following a series of intensive interviews with participants, Omar Al-Zo’bi experiments with creating made-to-measure headpieces that respond to personal narratives. This exhibition invites you to question the idea of externalizing the internal by “wearing” it on your head, to eventually become a potential source of pride, shame, exposure, concealing or more.
Concert: Album Launch of “Dahab” | Kazz al Omam
Tuesday 9 June 2015 | Archaeological Site 6:30 PM

Rapper Kazz al Omam launches his new album “Dahab” at the Archaeological Site, three years after he stood on our stage for the first time. Kazz al Omam is an Arabic hip hop artist who addresses topics that relate to Jordanians and Arabs, and has collaborated with Mohammad Hijazi - “Jazz tha Process”, "Synaptik", BGEYE", and Almosstanqa3.
Film Screening: ‘Al Hudood’ (The Border)
Tuesday 16 June 2015 | Archaeological Site 7:30 PM

As part of the exhibition “Rituals of Signs and Transitions (1975-1995) that revives the relationship between different artistic disciplines during that time, Darat al Funun will screen the film ‘Al Hudood’ (The Border) (1982) from the writings of Mohammed al Maghout, directed by and starring Dureid Lahham. The film tells the story of an Arab citizen who loses his identification papers while crossing the border between two imaginary countries, “Westistan” and “Eastistan”, and is forced to live on the border.

Exhibition: Rasbras | Omar Al-Zo’bi
2 - 24 June 2015 | at the Lab
Opening: Tuesday 2 June 2015 | 6:30 PM

In a multidisciplinary exercise combining story collecting, pseudo-millinery and photography, Omar Al-Zo’bi investigates the question of personal narrative and how it manifests physically in relation to human anatomy. Al-Zo’bi will be designing wearable sculptures that create a departure from the cerebral to the spatial realm.
Music workshop with Tarek Al-Jundi
20 June - 15 July 2015

Continuing work that started last year, Darat al Funun invites young people between the ages of 12 - 20 to apply for a music workshop led by musician Tarek Al-Jundi. The workshop targets participants who have not had classical training in music, and includes lessons on collective and individual singing skills, musical sight reading, rhythm, playing the melodica, and music appreciation. Participants from last year will be involved in assisting the workshop and developing their music leadership skills. The workshop will culminate with a concert to be held at the end of Summer.

The workshop will take place over twelve sessions on Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays between 20 June and 15 July 2015, between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm at Darat al Funun.

To join, please send an e-mail with your name, age, phone number, home address, and a short description of your interests and reasons for participating before 10 June 2015 to: opencall@daratalfunun.org

Darat al Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation

13 Nadeem al Mallah st. (main entrance)
9 Moh'd Ali al Saadi st. (upper entrance)
Jabal al Weibdeh

Saturday - Thursday / 10:00AM - 7:00PM
Ramadan hours: 10:00 AM - 3:00PM

P.O.Box 5223, Amman 11183, Jordan
Tel.: 962 6 4643251 / 2
Fax: 962 6 4643253