Thanks to all of you who celebrated the last decade with us this past October at glorious Shishawy in London.
Special thanks to our generous host committee: Mohammed Afkhami, Sara Alireza & Faisal Tamer, Aarthi Belani, Brian Boylan, Claudia Cellini and Sunny Rahbar, Iman Dakhil, Zeina Durra and Saadi Soudavar, Maryam Eisler, David Elghanyan, Lisa Farjam, Dana Farouki, Coco Ferguson, Raghida Ghandour, Tala Gharagozlou, Fati Maleki, Shirin Neshat, Maya Rasamny, Rana Sadik, Dania & Kareem Sakka, Alia Al Senussi, Andree Sfeir, Maria Sukkar, Nayrouz Tatanaki, Burkhard Varnholt, Sheena Wagstaff
And our readers: Knight Landesman, Maryam Eisler, Sunny Rahbar, Andree Sfeir, Dana Farouki, Stuart Comer, and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 7pm NYU Abu Dhabi Institute 19 Washington Square North, New York
On the occasion of New Directions ’ publication of the writer Sonallah Ibrahim’s Stealth (Al Talassus), Bidoun and the legendary publishing house bring together a distinguished group of writers and scholars to reflect upon the predicament of the Egyptian intellectual in the year since President Mohamed Morsi’s dramatic fall. From Ibrahim himself to the bestselling author Alaa Al Aswany, countless writers and artists–many of them of historically contrarian bent–have expressed their support for a military-backed government whose abuses and excesses have on occasion surpassed those of the Mubarak era. How to begin to understand the role of the public intellectual in such times? Khaled Fahmy (American University in Cairo), Mona El Ghobashy (independent scholar), and Robyn Creswell (Yale University and poetry editor at The Paris Review) reflect on a year in which moral compasses have been cast hopelessly askew.
Wednesday August 27, 2014 at 8pm Ooga Booga 2
356 S. Mission Road, Los Angeles
The cultural wars between Iran and its left coast diaspora have long been played out in the realms of cinema, television, and music—from pre-revolutionary films such as Mamal Amrikai to the lyrics of pop songs such as Sandy’s Talagh. State television vs. satellite; aging divas vs. youthful rappers; parkour vs. the Shahs of Sunset: the Tehranis have historically portrayed the diasporic Iranian as effeminate, gaudy and morally loose, while the Tehrangelenos see the the Iranians as illiterate, perverted, obscurist bumpkins—that is, if they even acknowledge them at all! Maxx (Saman Moghadam, 2005) is an artifact from the Khatami-era of cross-cultural dialogue, where old stereotypes get some new clothes. The film was a domestic success in Iran, and one of the earlier instances of a non art-house film finding an audience within the diaspora. Can Tehran and Tehrangeles learn to love each other?
Post-screening discussion will be led Bidoun editors and accompanied by Armenian arak and ice cream generously provided by MILK.
Maxx, Saman Moghadam, 2005, 110min, in Persian with English subtitles
Bidoun at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair
January 31– February 2, 2014
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Bidoun presents Etel Adnan: To look at the sea is to become what one is
Sunday, February 2, 2014, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Democracy Forum at the Japanese American National Museum
Across the courtyard from the Geffen Contemporary
Stop by our booth this week at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair and join us Sunday morning for a special screening and reading event to celebrate the forthcoming anthology To look at the sea is to become what one is: An Etel Adnan Reader (Nightboat Books, 2014) starring Bruce Hainley, Hedi El Kholti, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Rijin Sahakian, and Noura Wedell.
The Otolith Group‘s film I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another (2012), shot largely in Adnan’s Paris apartment, centers on a reading of the first chapter of the renowned Lebanese-American artist’s poem, Sea and Fog. The sound of Adnan’s gentle voice, and the quiet but ever present ambient noise in her apartment, create a powerful, meditative atmosphere. If poetry can be understood as a study in constraint, the film, I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another, can be understood as an experiment in concentration and a study of gestures, that speaks of the mobility of language and the movement of the ocean.
The Bidoun Library at the 2013 Carnegie International
October 5, 2013–March 16, 2014
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
The Bidoun Library is a presentation of printed matter, carefully selected with no regard for taste or quality, that attempts to document the innumerable ways that people have depicted and defined—slandered, celebrated, obfuscated, hyperbolized, ventriloquized, photographed, surveyed, and/or exhumed—that vast, vexed, nefarious construct known as “the Middle East.” The result is banal and offensive, a parade of stereotypes, caricatures, and misunderstandings, all the trappings of the Middle East as fetish: veils, oil, fashion victims; sexy sheikhs, sex with sheikhs, Sufis, stonings; calligraphy, the caliphate, terrorism; Palestinians. We wanted to see what would happen if we put together a library without regard to aptness or excellence; to choose books not for their subjects, but their contexts; not for their authors, but their publishers; not for their qualities, but in their quantities.
THE NATURAL ORDER
“Water was the first type of drilling fluid to be used, but when it became evident that superior drilling fluids could be made when certain clays were added, the art of mud control began.”
Kuwait Oil Company, Crude to Carrier, The Epic of Oil. Kuwait City: Information Department, 1967.
MARGIN OF ERROR
“The life of an immigrant family of three. Having been a violinist, the man is used to play violin when he is alone. The woman is working in an office and the eight-year-old child attends school. The man has problems with his wife. Being in a bad situation the couple can not help each other. But the child is aware of the problems.”
Mohammad Aghili, Hossein Mahini, A Prospect of Iran’s Film in Exile. Gothenburg: FRI Fil, 1993.
“Choose Your Own Adventure is the best thing that has come along since books themselves.”
– Alysha Beyer, age 11
“I didn’t read much before, but now I read my Choose Your Own Adventure books almost every night.”
– Chris Brogan, age 13
“I love the control over what happens next.”
– Kosta Efstathiou, age 17
Shannon Gilligan, Choose Your Own Adventure: The Terrorist Trap. New York: Bantam-Skylark, 1991.
A big thank you to all who joined us this past Sunday evening for the Bidoun Benefit Dinner. It was really really fun!
A special thanks to our readers: Chelsea Clinton, Stuart Comer, Lawrence Weiner, Lynne Tillman, Knight Landesman, and Orhan Pamuk & Shirin Neshat; and our host committee: Maria Baibakova, Yto Barrada, Aarthi Belani, Lisa Farjam, Dana Farouki, Coco Ferguson, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Leila Heller, Shirin Neshat, and Sheena Wagstaff.
New York Art Book Fair
September 19–22, 2013
MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Queens
Bidoun is taking part in the eighth annual New York Art Book Fair at PS1 this weekend. Come visit, chat, and peruse your favorite Bidoun titles.
The fair begins this Thursday from 6-9 pm and runs through the weekend.
Also! On the final evening of the fair, Sunday the 22nd from 6-9 pm, join us for vodka, music, MFK Fisher’s favorite minestrone soup, and diverse readings on and about FOOD by Bidoun’s Michael C. Vazquez , who joins an illustrious cast including Gini Alhadeff , Clarissa Dalrymple , K8 Hardy , Gaby Hoffmann , Matthew Higgs , Emily Stokes , Lynne Tillman , Nicola Tyson , Wendy Yao , and more. Music by Bidoun’s Tiffany Malakoobideh. Look for signs of the pop-up cafe at the new MoMA PS1 storefront. Organized by Negar Azimi and Pati Hertling.
Paper Weight — Genre-defining Magazines 2000 to Now
July 7 – October 27, 2013
Haus Der Kunst, Munich
Bidoun is pleased to be part of the exhibition ‘Paper Weight — Genre-defining Magazines 2000 to Now’ at Haus Der Kunst, Munich. Curated by PIN-UP editor Felix Burrichter and designed by Athens-based artist and architect Andreas Angelidakis, the exhibition features BUTT, Candy, 032c, and Sang Bleu among other publications.
Labyrinth of Passion, Pedro Almódovar, 1982
Saturday July 27, 2013 at 2pm El Charro Espanol
4 Charles Street, New York
Bidoun and Dirty Looks present an afternoon screening of Pedro Almodovar’s second feature film at the legendary Village restaurant El Charro Espanol. Labyrinth of Passion follows scantily disguised but heavily camped-up members of the Iranian royal family in their famous period of limbo following the revolution of 1979 as they are thrust into extravagant plot lines that weave hilariously between historical accuracy and ribald fantasy. “Toraya,” the disgruntled ex-empress is desperate to fertilize herself with royal seed via the young Crown Prince “Riza.” Riza, meanwhile, is busy attempting to cure himself of his homosexuality after falling in love with a nymphomaniac pop star named Sexilia, but his former lover Sadec (played by a young and nubile Antonio Banderas) is secretly a pro-Khomeini guerilla belonging to a group attempting to kidnap him. Plus: full body plastic surgery, doctors, laxatives, and other culturally appropriate themes.
The film’s elliptical Iranian historical connection has been tragically overlooked ― at worst misunderstood to be about a fictional Arab monarchy, and at best, mentioned in passing. Bidoun and Dirty Looks are pleased to host this absolutely essential revisiting of this deliciously queer retelling of an important moment in Iranian history.
May 1, 2013
NYUAD Downtown Campus, Abu Dhabi
Free and open to the public
Kenneth Goldsmith, founder of UbuWeb, and Bidoun’s Tiffany Malakooti will be presenting an evening of experimental work from the Bidoun-o-sphere, including a variety of historical and contemporary films, music, and radio plays.
Bidoun #28 INTERVIEWS features conversations among Giorgio Agamben, Sophia Al-Maria, Hossein Amanat, Negar Azimi, Omar Berrada, Leland de la Durantaye, Jeremy Deller, Mona Eltahawy, Lisa Farjam, Yasmine El Rashidi, Larry Gagosian, Conner Habib, Yasmine Hamdan, Zahi Hawass, Michelle Kuo, Ursula Lindsey, Navid Negahban, Sukhdev Sandhu, Anna Della Subin, Benjamin Tiven, Michael C. Vazquez and Marina Warner.
Sunday, January 27 at 4pm
4601 21st Street, Long Island City, NY 11101
Free with museum admission Join the Facebook event
A screening of Jack Kevorkian’s public access television program The Door (30 min); presented by Anna Della Subin
A screening of Shridhar Bapat’s video feedback fantasia Aleph Null (12 min, 1971); presented by Alexander Keefe
Sex talk and group consciousness exercises;presented by Conner Habib
Plus: Transcendental listening in the dome
In the late 1960s Shridhar Bapat was a key figure in the emerging video scene. The first video curator at The Kitchen in its most freewheeling period and the “finest feedback camera turner in New York City,” Bapat worked on the New York Avant Garde Festivals, the first Women’s Video Festival, Shirley Clarke’s TeePee Video Space Troupe, and many of Nam June Paik’s major installations before falling out of the scene to live underground; he died, homeless, in 1990. Alexander Keefe reconstructed Bapat’s story in Bidoun #27 (Diaspora). Keefe will be presenting a rare screening of Aleph Null, one of Bapat’s original video compositions — “all these mandalas going all over the place,” in Bapat’s words — created with Charles Phillips in 1971. First shown at the Whitney Museum’s 1971 “Video Tape Special,” Aleph Null was last screened at the Mudd Club in 1981.
Conner Habib is a writer, philosopher, sex advice columnist, and gay porn star, based in San Francisco. An adherent of Rudolph Steiner’s Anthroposophy, Habib lectures on the Western esoteric tradition. He has been featured in such films as Man Up, Night Maneuvers, and Arabesque 2: From Tales of the Arabian Nights; his essay, “The Virtues of Being an Object,” appeared in Exploring the Edge Realms of Consciousness, edited by Daniel Pinchbeck & Ken Jordan. Anna Della Subin’s conversation with Habib is forthcoming in Bidoun #28 (Interviews).