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Marwa Arsanios: Notes, Texts, Annotations or How to Read While Walking

July 13, 2016 – October 9, 2016
Tues-Sat 13.00–21.00, Sun 11.00–19.00

Alt, Bomontiada, Tarihi Bomonti Bira Fabrikası, Birahane Sokak No: 1, Bomonti, Istanbul


This solo exhibition will feature Marwa Arsanios’ single channel video ‘Have You Ever Killed a Bear, or Becoming Jamila’ (2013–2014), and her interactive installation ‘Olga’s Notes, The Library’ (2013). Both works, which are part of the artist’s larger project on Al-Hilal magazine from the 1950–60s, investigate responses to politics of resistance whether through armed struggle or through speech.

While ‘Olga’s Notes, The Library’ presents books from the ‘What you should read section’ in the magazine to underscore the ideological roots of a rare instance of utopianism in the history of Arabic-speaking peoples, ‘Have You Ever Killed a Bear, or Becoming Jamila’ zooms in on one particular figure – namely, Algerian freedom fighter Jamila Bouhired – who became an icon through the circulation of magazines like Al Hilal. By casting actors not only to play the part of Jamila, but also to reflect on the role of playing Jamila, Arsanios reveals a cross-temporal dialogue among these women, addressing (infra)structures of patriarchy, subjugation and canonisation.


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