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critical writing workshop with marwa arsanios

25.03.2017 11am-6pm

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participation: 20$

students: 15$

beirut art center is organizing a new edition of its critical writing workshop series viewing art with words lead by artist marwa arsanios. in this one-day workshop, arsanios invites participants to study different ways of seeing, reading and perceiving/experiencing spatial renderings of an art exhibition. situating the discussion in relation to two different instances where artists tony chakar and rana elnemr, both currently showing at beirut art center, deal with architecture, urban space and various forms of representation, marwa arsanios seeks to raise a set of questions regarding the viability and sufficiency of prescribing the encounter with art today in terms of seeing, reading, telling, writing..

while these modes of interaction seem to relay a very restrictive notion of art critique and the intellectuality it involves, they also undermine the intelligibility and the sociality with which artwork presents itself to the general audience. this workshop instead seeks to unlock the possibilities of working with and through art to formulate questions, capture references, draw out contexts and situate discourses that inform the work of art and render it accessible. 

the workshop takes the context in which tony chakar's work first emerged in the 1990s and moving on to his most recent productions, inside (but not restricted to) his first solo show titled on becoming two and juxtaposes it with the work of rana elnemr in a chapter of synonyms, in order to provide a methodological point of comparison particularly where the two artists convey distinct sets of practices, concerns as well as formal and conceptual frameworks. arsanios will present the main aspects of the artists' practices dealing with the question of iconography, the critique of a so-called modernist project and the valuation of photography.


why is this writing workshop important?

beirut art center seeks to create momentum for a practice of art critique in beirut and the region, the recognizes the problematics of aesthetics and language and sets a common ground to have a meaningful discussion about the production of art and its conceptual frameworks, analyzing modes of writing about art and questioning the role of the art critic. 

in 2016, this writing workshop project titled viewing art with words was launched alongside the landversation beirut, the solo exhibition by otobong nkanga. This first edition was a three-day workshop with writer and art critic sandra delacourt and lebanese artist and art critic, roy dib. in addition to marwa arsanios who will lead this upcoming workshop, beirut art center has invited ma'n abutaleb, writer and co-founder of, and indian curator and writer, nida ghouse. 


who can particiapte?

if you are an aspiring writer, art enthusiast, or a student of arts, architecture, film, literature or journalism, this is a workshop that will allow you to engage in discussions about art and to receive feedback for your writing. beirut art center has launched a blog where all participants can post their reviews about its ongoing exhibitions or other exhibitions taking place in beirut. 


how to join?

in order to register for this workshop, please send an email to

the email should include a short motivation letter of 300 words that explains why you wish to join and what you expect to gain from this workshop.

once your email is received, we will send you a confirmation of your resgitration. meanwhile, you are strongly encouraged to register for the upcoming artist talk with rana elnemr on 22 march and the tour of the exhibition on becoming two with the artist tony chakar.  


> biography

marwa arsanios (b. 1978, washington dc, lives and works in beirut, lebanon) received her mfa from university of the arts london in 2007, and was a researcher in the fine art department at jan van eyck academie from 2011 to 2012. she has had solo exhibitions at witte de with, rotterdam, the netherlands (2016), kunsthalle lissabon, lisbon (2015), and art in general, new york (2015). her work was also shown at the 55th venice biennale (2013), the 12th istanbul biennial (2011), home works forum in beirut (2010, 2013, 2015), the new museum, new york (2014), m hka, antwerp, belgium (2013), and ngbk, berlin (2012). screenings of her videos have taken place at the berlinale, berlin (2010, 2015), e-flux storefront, new york (2009), and centre pompidou, paris (2011). in 2012 arsanios was awarded the special prize of the pinchuk future generation art prize.