CCA Events

Presented by the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

May 29, 2013 6:00 pm

Kadist Art Foundation | 3295 20th St. | San Francisco CA 94110

Free and open to the public

In conjunction with the exhibition Words and Places: Etel Adnan, the CCA Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice and Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts present a series of talks and film screenings that examine issues called up by Adnan’s practice and expand its frame of reference.

To celebrate the release of the exhibition publication, a screening of Lebanese filmmaker Rania Stephan's documentary, The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni (2011, 70 min.) will take place at the Kadist Art Foundation. The montage film consists of appropriated footage from the long career of the Egyptian actress and star, reassembling in the process an irreverent history of a lost era of Egyptian cinema.

The exhibition publication is titled The Ninth Page: Etel Adnanʼs Journalism 1972-1974 and collects and translates some of Adnanʼs contributions to the Lebanese francophone daily newspaper, Al-Safa. The articles document the rich cultural scene of Beirut on the brink of civil war, a political cataclysm addressed with great force in Adnanʼs landmark books Sitt Marie Rose (1978) and The Arab Apocalypse (1980). These writings have an immediacy that is distinct from the rhythms of her poetry and prose. The publication also includes newly commissioned essays that respond to Adnanʼs journalism and its fraught sociopolitical context.

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Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy & Bill Timken. Generous support provided by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and the CCA Curator's Forum.

Curatorial Practice Thesis Exhibition

April 17–June 29, 2013

Wattis Institute, San Francisco Campus
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New location! 360 Kansas Street (between 16th and 17th Streets)
Reception: Wed., Apr. 17, 6-8 p.m.
Gallery hours: Tues.-Fri., noon-7 p.m.; Sat., noon-5 p.m.; closed Sun. and Mon.
Info: 415.355.9670

This is the first large-scale institutional exhibition of work by the Lebanese writer, poet, and painter Etel Adnan, spanning six decades of her artistic practice. It is the thesis exhibition of the graduating students in the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.

Born in Beirut in 1925 to a Christian Greek mother and a Muslim Syrian father, Adnan has spent her life between places -- Beirut, Paris, and the Bay Area -- negotiating their different cultures and language as well as her distinctive position among them.

This experience of displacement deeply informs her work, which similarly ranges between mediums and formats. Her recent exhibitions include dOCUMENTA (13) (Kassel, Germany, 2012) and the Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon (London, 2010).

The exhibition explores Adnan's complex negotiation between verbal and visual forms of expression. Some of the featured paintings include elements of geographical specificity, whereas others are more ambiguous depictions of "nonplaces." Adnan's leporellos, or folding books, offer a compelling fusion of written texts and painted or drawn images.

The exhibition also includes selected articles written by Adnan for the francophone daily newspaper Al-Safa as well as film and video works by Chris Marker, Rabih Mroué, and the Otolith Group that relate directly or obliquely to Adnan's practice.

Marker's eerie footage of sculptures at the fringe of San Francisco Bay; Mroué's conflations of destruction and construction, future and past in an unspecified city; and the Otolith Group's portrait of Adnan reading her own poetry in her Paris home all present a melancholic counterpoint to Adnan's work, deepening the exhibition’s logic of place and displacement.

See wattis.org for a schedule of accompanying public programs that include poetry readings, workshops, film screenings, and lectures.

Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy & Bill Timken. Generous support provided by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and the CCA Curator's Forum.