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Indicated by signs, Installation view, Bonner Kunstverein, 2009. Photo: n.a.

Indicated by signs: Appearance in Beirut, Bonn, Cairo and Fez/Rabat

This international project forms a joint effort of curators based in Egypt, Germany, Lebanon and Morocco presented in a series of exhibitions of newly commissioned and existing work, presentations, workshops, residencies and a publication collectively born out of heated discussions of a loaded topic.
The actual locations in which the projects are staged and from where they gain their inspiration (Beirut, Bonn, Cairo, Fez/Rabat) are crucial to the conceptualization process of the project and have directly influenced the parallel directions pursued in each city. Equally important is the dynamics of how curatorial work comes into play that is informed by a loose group of individuals. This process is informed by the different curatorial methodologies, cultural background and distinct conceptions of how an artwork can be mediated in a multipart theme-based project.

One key angle on the notion of appearance is focused on the social and political realm. How are categories such as class, race, sexuality and cultural background negotiated in appearance (e.g. of somebody)? Within this approach, appearance functions as an instrument for defining positions.
Sometimes actively (with deliberation and awareness) or passively, inevitably informing personal and public interactions. In this context “Indicated by Signs” deals also with physical appearance (e.g. of the body) as a tool for communication.

Appearance also implies that something might be there that maybe is not. More specifically, attention is put on the question how artists investigate beyond the surface of things and in the process render visible a subtext. Through the means of commissioning and initiating residencies the project puts a special emphasis on process oriented and dialogue based works. This working methodology mirrors the nature of “appearance” that is not fixed or static but under constant negotiation and reformulation. In that context ambiguity is an effective tool for creating meaning and this aspect the project also intends to
investigate. The curatorial work is more an articulation between the artist and the public in general. The multiplicity of approaches and possibilities negotiate the artwork in dialogue within the context of its appearance.

Artists: Doa Aly (*1976, lives in Cairo), Tarek Atoui (*1980, lives in Beirut/Paris), Yto Barrada (*1971, lives in Tanger/Paris), Matti Braun (*1968, lives in Cologne), Sherif El-Azma (*1975, lives in Cairo), Kinda Hassan (*1984, lives in Beirut), Mahmoud Khaled (*1982, lives in Alexandria), Katrin Mayer/Sylvi Kretzschmar (*1974 und *1977, both live in Hamburg),
Ligna (founded 1995, based in Hamburg), Henrik Olesen (*1967, lives in Berlin), Jalal Toufic (*1962, lives in Beirut/Istanbul), Akram Zaatari (*1966, lives in Beirut).

Different formats and participating artist in each city:

Exhibition/Prasentation in Cairo (CIC Contemporary Image Collective): 22nd March to 26th April 2009 (Kinda Hassan, Henrik Olesen, Jalal Toufic)

Workshop & Exhibition in Fez/Rabat (Appartement22): 1st April to July 2009 (Yto Barrada, Matti Braun, Katrin Mayer/Sylvi Kretzschmar)

Exhibition/Performances in Bonn (Kunstverein):18th July – 27th September 2009, opening Friday, 17th July, 7 p.m. (Doa Aly, Tarek Atoui, Yto Barrada, Matti Braun, Sherif El-Azma, Kinda Hassan, Mahmoud Khaled, Katrin Mayer/ Silvi Kretzschmar, Ligna, Henrik Olsen, Jalal Toufic, Akram Zaatari)

Performance and Talks in Beirut (Art Center) September/Oktober 2009 (Mahmoud Khaled, Ligna and others)

Curators: Sandra Dagher, Yilmaz Dziewior, Aleya Hamza, Abdellah Karroum, Edit Molnar and Christina Végh. Coordination: Yilmaz Dziewior.